Teemu Selanne, Corey Perry, Saku Koivu

How long before Anaheim’s power play becomes lethal again?

Randy Youngman of the Orange County Register notes that, while it’s still early in the season, Anaheim can’t be happy with its power play.

“The Ducks’ power play, which has ranked among the league’s best in the past few seasons, has produced three goals in 25 chances (12 percent) with a manpower advantage,” Youngman writes. “That’s not acceptable for a team whose first power-play unit features the firepower of Teemu Selanne, Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and Lubomir Visnovsky.”

It’s a good point. Anaheim ranks 24th with the man advantage after finishing third, fifth and fifth over the last three years. And while things appear to be improving — the Ducks have scored on the PP in three straight games — there’s still a problem with wasted opportunities.

Having read that, you’re probably thinking “it’s only six games in…relax.” Which is fair, but not our fault. We’re very stressed people. Blogging is tough.

But there might actually be the slightest cause for concern. In the Youngman piece is another interesting point — Ducks coach Randy Carlyle thinks it could take 100 points to make the playoffs in the West this year. Chicago snuck in with 97 last season and the sixth place team, Phoenix, had 99. As such, teams are more and more concerned about slow starts (here’s looking at you, Columbus) as points lost in October are costlier than ever.

“Obviously for us, we lost our last game last year, and that’s why we didn’t make the playoffs,” Stars defenseman Stephane Robidas told Youngman after Dallas snapped the Ducks’ four-game winning streak on Friday. “So every point that we can get is huge. … It’s a very tough division; there’s a lot of parity.”

Robidas’ right — the Pacific division is a minefield. Dallas and Los Angeles are the top two teams in the Western Conference while San Jose’s won two straight after getting off to a slow start. Phoenix is in the basement, but has been a playoff team in consecutive seasons.

Speaking of the Coyotes, they’ll face Anaheim tonight in Sunday’s lone NHL game. It’ll be interesting to see how Phoenix handles the Anaheim PP as the ‘Yotes have the league’s 20th-ranked road penalty kill (81.2 percent).

Hey look: Flyers reel off three straight wins for first time in 2015-16

Sean Couturier
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When you’re talking about bright sides, most people believe that they boil down to the light at the end of the tunnel for the Philadelphia Flyers.

Sometimes it’s nice to enjoy a little success in the present while waiting for that bright future, though.

The Flyers are providing at least a burst of sunshine lately, as Tuesday’s 4-2 win against the Ottawa Senators gives them … (drum roll) their first three-game winning streak of this season.

Joy abounded.

Even in recent darker moments, Philly’s been pretty impressive on offense, so Flyers fans are likely relieved to see a relative offensive outburst.

Sure, it wasn’t all rainbows and unicorns – Radko Gudas might have gotten himself into some trouble, for instance – yet this is still a nice sign of life for a team expected to finish in the draft lottery.

If that fails … hey, the future may require shades.

This own-goal captures the start of Dougie Hamilton’s Flames career

Dougie Hamilton
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Here’s an understatement: things haven’t gone very well for Dougie Hamilton early in his first season with the Calgary Flames.

(It must feel like the opposite of Tyler Seguin in Dallas for Boston Bruins fans, but feel free to disagree in the comments.)

You could look at Hamilton’s meager offensive stats and break down his disappointing work through a very of “fancy” and traditional metrics …

… Or you could just fire up a projector and show this own-goal on a loop.

Senators lose Michalek, Zibanejad to injuries vs. Flyers

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It remains to be seen if the Ottawa Senators can avoid losing against the Philadelphia Flyers tonight, but either way, it’s been a costly night.

The Senators saw two forwards leave the game with injuries, as Milan Michalek and Mika Zibanejad were banged up on Tuesday.

Michalek may have gotten hurt blocking a shot while a Radko Gudas hit on Zibanejad left the Senators forward with an upper-body injury.

Gudas may get a call from the league for his infractions.

Update: Michalek’s issue could be significant.

The Flyers ended up beating the Senators 4-2, so a tough night for Ottawa.

Patrick Kane gets so much time, extends streak to 20 games


In hockey terms, Patrick Kane was like a star basketball player left alone for an almost strange amount of time to score. Sometimes you miss that opportunity out of the sheer shock of getting that much time and space.

Devan Dubnyk wasn’t so lucky, however, as Kane beat him to score a 1-1 goal.

You can watch the whole sequence in the video above, including an absolutely fantastic play by Duncan Keith.

With that tally, Kane’s scoring streak is now at 20 games, leaving him one game behind Bobby Hull’s Chicago Blackhawks record.

PHT discusses Kane’s streak and his place among the all-time great runs in the clip below.