Kyle Turris

Kyle Turris talks Coyotes return, contract negotiations

Phoenix center Kyle Turris, who signed a two-year, $2.8-million deal with the Coyotes this week, skated with teammates on Friday morning for the first time.

Dave Vest of Coyotes.com caught up with Turris following the skate for a quick Q&A. Some highlights:

Q: Can you talk about where you are in terms of conditioning and how long do you think it’s going to take for you to get back in the lineup for the Coyotes?

Turris: “I feel pretty good right now. I did all my tests yesterday (and) the day before yesterday. I feel really good. I’ve been skating everyday, I’ve been in the gym every morning and I feel like I’m in really good shape.”

Q: There were some, if you want to call it, harsh words, the fast few months on both sides. Is something like that just the business side of this?

Turris: “Yeah, like you said, it’s just the business side of things. I don’t think I really said anything. But like you said, it’s business, (and I’m) just getting back on the ice and getting comfortable again.”

Q: The prospect of not playing (this season), how did that set with you, beyond the business? It’s what you’ve been doing your entire life. You get up, you put skates on, you go to the rink, you play. But you weren’t, how hard was that?

Turris: “Definitely. I always want to be on the ice playing. The hour and a half, getting on the ice myself was definitely a relaxer for me and getting comfortable, but like I said, I’m comfortable getting back on the ice here and I’m looking forward to today and starting soon.”

My inner conspiracy theorist notes that while Turris said he was excited to play hockey again, he didn’t say he was excited to play for the Coyotes again. (Plus, the first question asked specifically when he’d be back in the Coyotes lineup…and he didn’t address it.)

That said, my inner realist knows a trade is sounding less and less likely. The Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch touched on that in his “Turris off Sens’ radar” piece:

“I don’t think he’s going anywhere. Hard to give up on a No. 3 pick for any organization,” said a league executive Wednesday, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

“Maybe before the trade deadline, but he’s going to have to play some games and contribute so teams are able to find out where he’s at.

“This wasn’t a well-thought-out plan by Turris and his camp.”

Turris will continue to skate with teammates for a few days and then report to the team’s American Hockey League affiliate for a conditioning assignment.

Pens coach praises Murray: ‘He doesn’t get rattled’

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Hot take: the Pittsburgh Penguins probably won’t deal with a goalie controversy going into Game 7.

(Ugh, that’s a failed hot take … you can’t use “probably” in those things, right?)

Matt Murray was fantastic at times during Game 6, much like his counterpart in the Tampa Bay Lightning’s net in a 5-2 win. Granted, there were some tense moments during the Bolts’ late-game push:

Much has been made about experience, especially from those calling for Marc-Andre Fleury earlier in this series. It’s telling that the praise Murray draws sure sounds like what you’d expect from a “veteran.”

“He has a calming influence,” Sullivan said. “He doesn’t get rattled. If he lets a goal in, he just continues to compete. That’s usually an attribute that usually takes years to acquire that, and to have it at such a young age is impressive.”

Thanks in part to Murray’s efforts in Game 6, he’ll get a chance to prove his resolve in something new: a Game 7 in the Eastern Conference Final.

Once again, his teammates seem pretty confident in this elimination situation.

Lightning lament Game 6 effort, Cooper doesn’t blame disallowed goal

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The Tampa Bay Lightning seemed to sleepwalk through the first two periods of Game 6, and waking up in the final frame wasn’t enough to edge the Pittsburgh Penguins.

On the bright side, at least the Lightning aren’t in denial about that weak first 40 minutes.

It seemed like everyone on the team more or less admitted as much in unison.

Brian Boyle added that he felt like the Lightning tiptoed around this game. Jon Cooper often provides great quips, yet he was pretty matter-of-fact in this case.

Many will linger on this disallowed goal for Jonathan Drouin, which would have provided a 1-0 lead for Tampa Bay in the first period.

Let’s face it; that moment came pretty early in the game. To Tampa Bay’s credit, they’re not pinning the loss on that setback.

Now they must set their sights on competing throughout Game 7 … and maybe earning some bounces of their own in the process.

Read more about Game 6 here.

Penguins force Game 7 after holding off Lightning rally

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The Pittsburgh Penguins played with fire late in Game 6, but they also showed plenty of fire in beating the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-2.

With that, this thrilling Eastern Conference Final will go the distance with Game 7 on Thursday.

There are at least a few “What if?” scenarios to consider, especially for the Lightning.

What if that offside goal counted?

Jonathan Drouin played some fantastic hockey on Tuesday, yet his most memorable moment came via something that ultimately “didn’t happen.” An offside call on a goal review kept a 1-0 lead from happening for Tampa Bay:

Instead, the Penguins poured it on during the first period and eventually went up 1-0. They then carried that momentum over through the second period, adding two more goals to go up 3-0 heading into the final frame.

What if Tampa Bay played more like they did in the third period?

The difference between the level of play in the first 40 minutes and the final frame were night-and-day.

Now, you can make a chicken-and-the-egg argument here. Did the Penguins take their feet off the gas with that lead? Maybe Jon Cooper finally unleashed the hounds when the Lightning were facing a big deficit?

Maybe it’s a combination of those factors; either way, the Bolts couldn’t come all the way back even after making it interesting. At one point the game was 3-2 before a Bryan Rust breakaway goal and an empty-netter put things out of reach.

Both Matt Murray and Andrei Vasilevskiy faced plenty of tough chances and came through more often than not. We’ll see if there are any goal controversy rumblings, but each netminder came through at times tonight.

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Now the series shifts back to Pittsburgh for Game 7 with a Stanley Cup Final on the line. Excited and/or nervous yet?

More: Great goals by Sidney Crosby and Phil Kessel.

Sidney Crosby scores a superstar goal

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With the Pittsburgh Penguins’ season on the line in Game 6, plenty of eyes are on big guns Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang and Phil Kessel.

Those marquee names are really coming through so far as they’ve now built a 3-0 lead through two periods against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

You likely already saw Kessel’s display of high-end hand-eye coordination (if not, check it here). Kris Letang scored his first goal of the series to make it 2-0 on a very tricky, well-placed shot.

The highlight really might be Crosby’s tally, though. He left multiple Lightning players baffled and beat a very-much-game Andrei Vasilevskiy to beef that lead up 3-0.