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Did You Know? Teemu Selanne has been really good for a really long time


The “Did You Know?” series ties in the news of the day with some little-known hockey factoids and/or trivia. It’ll be fun. Trust me.

Last night against San Jose, Anaheim Ducks F Teemu Selanne scored a power play goal in the first period. It was his 237th career PP marker, tying him with Brendan Shanahan for fourth all-time (the Finnish Flash is now 37 back of Dave Andreychuk, the NHL’s career leader.)

I don’t have to tell you that Selanne is an amazing talent. You already know that. If you don’t, chances are you’ve stumbled onto PHT accidentally. Perhaps I can redirect you to another one of fine blogs. Have you read Inside the Irish yet? It’s quite good.

Anyway, what I want to highlight is how Selanne constantly gives Father Time the finger. Two fingers, in fact. Just waving ’em like he’s on the cover of an Eminem album.

Selanne turned 41 this past summer, just a few months after finishing the 2010-11 season with 80 points in 73 games. He was the NHL’s only top-10 scorer drafted in the 80s, mostly because the NHL currently has only two players drafted in the 80s — Selanne (10th overall, 1988) and Nicklas Lidstrom (53rd overall, 1989). Not coincidentally, they are the league’s two oldest players.

To understand how amazing Selanne’s longevity is, consider the following factoids about the 1988 NHL Entry Draft:

— The overall pick, Mike Modano, retired this past summer. The last time he scored 80-plus points was in 2003. The second overall pick, Trevor Liden, retired in 2008. The last time he scored 80-plus points was in 1996.

— Five fellow draftees are currently working in NHL front offices or behind benches: Martin Gelinas (Nashville, player development), Rod Brind’Amour (Carolina, asst. coach), Kevin Cheveldayoff (Winnipeg, GM), Tim Taylor (St. Louis, player development) and Peter DeBoer (New Jersey, coach).

— Four fellow draftees are in the broadcasting game: Jeremy Roenick, Rob Ray, Keith Jones and Bret Hedican.

— Len Barrie, drafted 124th overall, used to own the Tampa Bay Lighting.

— Here are some things from the 1988 draft that don’t exist anymore: The Minnesota North Stars, the Quebec Nordiques,  the Hartford Whalers, rounds eight through 12 and HC Dynamo Moscow (where ’88 draftees Sergei Svetlov and Alex Semak came from).

So yeah, Teemu Selanne has been doing it for a long time, and doing it well. And since we’re on the video tip today, here’s a quick look back on his famous 76-goal rookie campaign:

Couture (fractured fibula) continues skating with Sharks, says return is on schedule

Logan Couture
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Some good news at Sharks practice today — Logan Couture continued to skate with teammates, just one week after returning to the ice from a broken leg suffered on Oct. 17.

What’s more, Couture says he’s on schedule to meet the 4-6 week timetable for return.

“[I’m] where I thought I would be at this point in time,” Couture said, per CSN Bay Area.

While the 26-year-old wouldn’t put an exact date on his return, it’s clear both he and the Sharks are anxious for him to get back in the lineup — especially with the club surging, and Couture having only played in three regular-season contests this year.

Looking ahead, there are some dates worth circling on the ol’ calendar.

The Sharks have a relatively light week. After beating Calgary 5-2 on Saturday, they play just once in five days — Tuesday’s home tilt against the Penguins — before a weekend back-to-back set against the Ducks on Friday and Lightning on Saturday.

The Ducks game is in Anaheim, but the following night’s contest against the Bolts is at the friendly confines of SAP. So that could be a potential date to watch for — but it is worth noting Couture said he’s still hesitant about getting into game action until his first step is back.

“Until then, I’m not going to force my way out there and put myself in a bad spot,” he explained.

Kesler believes Ducks are ‘too good to not be in the playoffs’

Shane Doan, Ryan Kesler

It’s been 24 games for the Anaheim Ducks, more than a quarter of the season, and still they’re having trouble winning.

Friday against Chicago, they surrendered two goals in the last two minutes of regulation and lost in overtime.

Currently, the Ducks sit five points out of a playoff spot with a record of 8-11-5.

Still, forward Ryan Kesler is confident they’ll find a way into the postseason.

“If we keep playing like we are, we’re going to get into the playoffs — this team is too good to not be in the playoffs,” Kesler told The Province ahead of tonight’s home game versus Vancouver.

“We had a bad start and, to be honest, some guys weren’t ready to start the season. There’s a lot of hockey to be played and we’re ready for the challenge.”

To match the 45-30-7 record the Flames squeaked into the playoffs with last year, the Ducks would need to go 37-19-2 over their next 58 games.




Depends who you ask.

Anaheim’s playoff chances will depend a lot on how Pacific Division teams like San Jose, Arizona, and Vancouver finish. The Ducks may need to leapfrog two of those three to get in.

Yes, there’s always the chance four teams from the Pacific qualify, because it’s not like Colorado, Winnipeg, and Minnesota don’t have their problems. Even Nashville you have to wonder about lately. Heck, even Chicago isn’t assured of anything yet.

Bottom line, though, the Ducks have dug themselves a hole, and it’s starting to look a lot like the one the Kings dug last year.

In the NHL, even good teams don’t always climb out.

Related: Boudreau does the playoff math, and it’s no ‘easy task’ for Ducks

Video: Ryan Suter doesn’t seem very happy with his coach


As you can see in the video, apparently Ryan Suter doesn’t like being paired with fellow lefty Jonas Brodin.

The Wild defenseman rather openly questioned the coaching staff’s decision-making today after practice.

“Yeah, I don’t know what they’re thinking,” said Suter. “I need to play with a right-handed defenseman. To give me more options. Neutral zone. Offensively. And even coming out of the D zone, it’s not fair to put a guy on his off side.”

Suter didn’t know if the pairings were just for practice or not. The Wild play tomorrow in Chicago. Minnesota has just one win in its last seven games.

Suter also had something to say about that.

“It does no good to pout and get pissed off at each other,” said Suter. “You’ve got to come together and dig out of this. Now’s when you need leadership more than ever. It’s easy to be a coach and a leader when things are going good.”

Yeo, by the way, has not been very happy with the Wild lately.  In fact, one could go so far as to say he’s been acting pretty “pissed off.”

For example, at today’s practice:

The Star Tribune has more on what went down today.

Yeo, you may recall, went a little “nuts” during a Wild practice last season.

Goalie nods: Sparks to make NHL debut for Leafs

Garett Sparks

We already knew this yesterday, but in case you missed it, Garret Sparks will make his NHL debut in goal for the Toronto Maple Leafs tonight against Edmonton.

Sparks, 22, has been excellent in the AHL this season, going 8-2-1 with a .938 save percentage. He spent most of last season in the ECHL, where he also posted good numbers.

Sparks is getting the nod tonight because James Reimer is hurt and Jonathan Bernier has been struggling badly.

“He’s got an opportunity like lots of kids have had before him and it’s up to him to grab it,” Leafs coach Mike Babcock said, per “He’s got the [second-best] save percentage in the AHL and he’s winning all the time down there. Obviously we’re in need of some saves and we’ll have to play well in front of him for sure. But it’s an opportunity for him.”

Bernier, meanwhile, will have to sit and watch. The 27-year-old has allowed at least four goals in four of his last five starts. His save percentage has fallen all the way to .888.

Anders Nilsson will be in net for the Oilers.


Cam Ward for the Hurricanes. Henrik Lundqvist for the Rangers, who will try not to rely on him so much.

Semyon Varlamov for the Avs. Thomas Greiss for the Isles.

— The Canucks aren’t saying if it’ll be Ryan Miller of Jacob Markstrom. For the Ducks, it’ll be John Gibson.