Kyle Turris

PHT Oddsmaker: Let’s gamble on the NHL

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PHT Oddsmaker will be a regular feature where we set pretend odds and pretend to gamble on them. If you’d like to bet real money, meet us in the alley and we’ll talk.

Odds Kyle Turris will be traded by Dec. 1 (+200)

Turris wants to be traded. The Coyotes want to keep him. If he doesn’t sign an NHL contract by Dec. 1, he can’t play for the rest of the season. The question is, will either side fold by then? Here’s Coyotes GM Dan Maloney: “Under no circumstances whatsoever – and I’m not sure what language I have to (use) – we will not trade Kyle Turris this season.” Doesn’t sound like Maloney’s bluffing. Then again, every man has his price, and he’d be doing his club a disservice if he didn’t listen to offers. I just don’t think he’ll get one he can’t refuse. Maloney isn’t about to be browbeaten into anything by a 22-year-old kid that’s done nothing in the NHL. Not unless the return is massive.

Odds no player will score 100 or more points in 2011-12 (+300)

The last time nobody reached the century mark was 2003-04, when Martin St. Louis won the Art Ross Trophy with 94 points. Current scoring leader Phil Kessel is on pace for 120 points, but I don’t see him reaching 100. The most likely to hit the mark are Daniel Sedin (on pace for 98), Henrik Sedin (98) and Nicklas Backstrom (120). All three have done it before. But…I just can’t pass up +300. Those are great odds considering Daniel Sedin was the only player to break the 100-point barrier in 2010-11, and he only got 104.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins to win the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year (-110) versus the field (-110)

Nugent-Hopkins is the most recognizable name of the first-year players. He’s also the current scoring leader with 12 points in 14 games. If the vote were today, he’d win. That said, I can’t pick RNH over the field. Not at this point in the season, and not with so many other candidates. Among the other 18-year-olds in the running, Gabriel Landeskog, Adam Larsson and Sean Couturier are each playing big roles on their teams. Then there are the older rookies. Buffalo’s Luke Adam is 21 with a full season of pro hockey under his belt. Philly’s Matt Read is 25. Never drafted. Played four years of college hockey. Classic late bloomer. I’ll take all those guys versus one guy, even if he’s really good.

Capitals accuse Letang of leaving his feet, hitting Johansson in head

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Get this: the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins seem divided on the legality of Kris Letang‘s hit on Marcus Johansson.

(Take a moment to gather your thoughts amid this shocking revelation.)

You can watch the hit over and over in the video above. This post features some takes on that check, which the NHL’s Department of Player Safety is reportedly reviewing.

Generally speaking, the three things people discuss regarding the check is how late it might be, if Letang used his feet and if Johansson’s head was the principal point of contact.

Letang told his side of the story:

The Capitals disagree:

While Barry Trotz pleads the Fifth after his previous comments about Brooks Orpik‘s suspension:

No doubt about it, Letang’s status is the top story to follow in this series between Games 3 and 4. We’ll find out soon enough how it all shakes out.

Penguins ride Murray’s masterpiece to 2-1 series lead vs. Capitals

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If Marc-Andre Fleury suiting up bothers Matt Murray, then the rookie goalie channeled those feelings into a masterful performance on Monday.

The Washington Capitals absolutely dominated Game 3, but Murray was even better, stopping 47 shots as the Penguins stole one 3-2 to take a 2-1 series lead.

(Capitals fans might see some parallels to Washington’s Game 5 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers; they fell 2-0 despite a 44-11 shots on goal edge thanks to Michal Neuvirth‘s heroics.)

Murray stopped chance after chance before Alex Ovechkin finally broke through for his first goal of this series. Justin Williams then brought the Penguins’ lead down to 3-2 to make for a hold-your-breath final minute.

A driven Ovechkin and strong overall play from the Capitals (despite this defeat) aren’t the only reasons why Game 4 might present some twists.

First things first: Kris Letang might get suspended for Game 4 (if not for more than one game) thanks to this controversial check on Marcus Johansson.

Beyond that, there could be some bumps and bruises from this contest.

Bryan Rust left during the first period and didn’t return to the game after blocking a shot. Brian Dumoulin seemed shaken up after an Alex Ovechkin hit in the third period. The Capitals might have a player or two to look at, as well.

In other words, the Penguins could really lack for quality defensemen with Letang possibly suspended and possible injury absences for Dumoulin and Olli Maatta.

This series is living up to the hype … and really building up the hate.

Yes, NHL is reportedly looking at Letang’s hit on Johansson

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It remains to be seen if Kris Letang will get suspended for his hit on Marcus Johansson … and if he does, for how long.

(You can read initial reactions and some analysis about the specifics of the check vs. the one that got Brooks Orpik suspended here.)

There are a few things we do know already.

For one thing, the NHL’s Department of Player Safety is reportedly looking into it.

Another factor that could help Letang avoid a suspension or limit the duration of supplemental discipline: Marcus Johansson returned during the second period.

In fact, Johansson delivered some hits on Letang.

There have been some nasty moments in Game 3, and more might be coming. The Penguins lead 2-0 with a few minutes remaining in the middle frame.

Kris Letang may face suspension for hit on Marcus Johansson

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Update: Reports indicate that the NHL’s Department of Player Safety is indeed looking into the hit.

***

As thrilling as this Pittsburgh Penguins – Washington Capitals series has been, it seems like every game presents another controversial hit.

Game 3’s most noteworthy entry (so far?) came when Kris Letang was whistled for interference on Marcus Johansson.

Penguins fans griped that Brooks Orpik didn’t get a major penalty for his hit on Olli Maatta … now Capitals fans likely feel the same about the check Letang delivered.

Watch it in the video above. Also, Stefanie “My Regular Face” has it in GIF form:

Things could get ugly in Game 3:

One factor in a suspension happening – or at least the duration of the suspension – would be what the point of contact was:

Also, lateness of the check:

The Penguins ended the first period up 2-0 against the Capitals, even though Washington played one of its best 20 minutes of the series. Expect more drama.

Update: The Penguins won the game 3-2.

Read reactions to the check here.