Kyle Turris

Q&A with Kyle Turris: “I don’t regret a thing that I did”

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As part of our efforts to corner the “Kyle Turris trade” Google search market, here’s an interview our very own Matt Reitz did with the Phoenix forward on Wednesday prior to the Coyotes’ game in Anaheim.

It’s interesting that Turris felt he played his best game Saturday against Minnesota, then the very next game (against the Ducks) he was made a healthy scratch.

ProHockeyTalk: How have things been going the first couple of weeks back?

Turris: It’s progressing every day. I came back, it’s taken a couple of games to get my feet under me, my timing back, and my comfort back, and everything.  But I’m starting to feel better every day. The game against Minnesota, I felt the best that I’ve felt so far. I’m just looking to take more steps forward.

PHT: You’ve bounced around lately. Some time on the top line, some time on the fourth line. Where do they have you tonight?

Turris: I don’t even think I’m playing tonight. Like I said, I’m just looking to move forward and that’s about it.

PHT: How much did missing camp hurt you as far as getting in with this team and getting involved?

Turris: [The] physical [part], being in shape, I feel fine. There’s nothing quite like ‘game shape,’ but at the same time I was working out pretty hard and felt like I was physically ready. Just the timing and the comfort level, and getting back into it, always takes some time to readjust and get back into the swing of things.

PHT: Do you expect to get to a certain point where you’d be past that?

Turris: Oh yeah. It’s been two weeks and I missed eight months—well, I didn’t play for eight months. Like I said, the game against Minnesota, I felt the best that I’ve felt so far and just looking to take another step forward and progress to where I know I can be.

PHT: You had high expectations this year and when you came into the league. Have you ever gotten to the point that you wondered where your future was going to be here?

Turris: That’s a question that was answered by what I did. It’s something in the past now. I’m here, so I’m working hard and just looking to move forward.

PHT: Everyone says that you were in great shape when you got here, what’s been the toughest part? Is it the hands that come back last, the chemistry with the guys, the feet?

Turris: Yeah, it’s everything that you just said. Like having your legs, I thought I was in really good physical shape and I think I was, but just that extra little jump to be in ‘game shape’ is something that I think will come back — I felt like I got it back in Minnesota. Your hands, getting your comfort level back with the puck. Your timing, swinging through the neutral zone as opposed to the D having the puck and hitting you. Just a bit of everything coming back. Chemistry with the guys. Playing with [Kyle] Chipchura and [Raffi] Torres most of the games I’ve been back. Those are two guys that I’ve never played with before. But just everything, coming back, it’s all culminated into one, but I’m starting to feel more comfortable in coming back.

PHT: You were talking about the guys, what was it like when you came back? It can be an awkward situation, but it’s also business.

Turris: They’ve been awesome. The guys in the room have been great. They’ve been really welcoming coming back and it was really nice of them. It’s good to be around the guys.

PHT: If you could do it over, would you have done anything different?

Turris: That is a tough question because I don’t regret a thing that I did. There’s obviously things that probably would have been done different. But the point of it wouldn’t have changed. So you can take what you want out of that, but like I said, I don’t regret what I did. Some things might have changed, but what I was trying to get across wouldn’t have changed.

PHT: How badly do you want to get that first goal out of the way?

Turris: Oh, once one comes, they’ll all come!

You can read more more PHT/Turris coverage here and here, if you’re so inclined.

Lehtonen only lasts one period in Game 2

Lehtonen
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Kari Lehtonen might have been more hit than miss in the playoffs going into today’s action, but Game 2 against St. Louis was certainly a start he’d like to forget.

Dallas outshot St. Louis 10-5 in the first frame, but the Blues still managed to take a 3-1 lead. Antti Niemi replaced Lehtonen for the second period which means, barring another goalie change, Lehtonen will actually end up with a sub-.500 save percentage this afternoon.

The numbers obviously look bad and it’s hard not to blame Lehtonen in the face of that, but the Blues deserve a lot of the credit for those goals. Patrik Berglund had a great shot on goal for the first marker, Joel Edmundson‘s first career playoff goal came after a nice setup by Troy Brouwer, and when Brouwer collected his own goal it was off of a rebound during a power play.

So to an extent, you could say Lehtonen looked bad due to circumstances that were very unfavorable to him. Nevertheless, the Stars needed to shake things up after what was unquestionably a bad period for them.

Dupuis, Jagr, Zuccarello are Masterton Trophy finalists

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 18:  Pascal Dupuis #9 of the Pittsburgh Penguins in action against the New York Rangers during their game at Madison Square Garden on December 18, 2013 in New York City.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
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Pittsburgh’s Pascal Dupuis, Florida’s Jaromir Jagr, and the Rangers’ Mats Zuccarello have been selected as the three finalists for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy.

The Masterton Trophy recognizes “the National Hockey League player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.” In 2015 it went to Devan Dubnyk, who struggled mightily in 2013-14, but dramatically turned his career around the following season and led the Minnesota Wild to the playoffs in the process.

Dupuis attempted to play in the 2015-16 campaign while taking blood thinners, but on Dec. 8 he announced that he would stop playing “because of a medical condition related to blood clots.”

Jagr celebrated his 44th birthday in February, but despite his age he managed to score 27 goals and 66 points in 79 contests this season. With that, he became the oldest player to reach the 60-point mark in a single NHL campaign.

Zuccarello played in 81 games and set career-highs with 26 goals and 61 points this season after suffering a skull fracture and brain contusion during the 2015 playoffs that left him temporarily unable to speak.

Can there be parallels drawn between the 2016 Ducks and 2014 Sharks?

Anaheim Ducks center Ryan Kesler (17) takes the puck up ice on a breakaway with San Jose Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic, center, and Ducks center Nate Thompson, right, trailing on the play during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Anaheim, Calif., Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2016. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)
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The Anaheim Ducks might not have suffered a reverse sweep at the hands of one of their biggest rivals, but they seem to have reached a breaking point when it comes to playoff disappointments.

After firing head coach Bruce Boudreau, GM Bob Murray was highly critical of the team’s core, even noting that at this point he’s not a fan of long-term contracts. That was perhaps a swipe at how he feels Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf‘s eight-year $69 million and $66 million contracts have worked out thus far. Meanwhile Ryan Kesler‘s six-year deal worth roughly $41 million is about to begin.

After San Jose suffered its first round loss to the Los Angeles Kings in 2014, Sharks GM Doug Wilson said they were now becoming a “tomorrow team” and they began a cultural shift that included Joe Thornton losing the captaincy.

There are differences of course between the two situations. One notable one is that the Sharks’ guard was already starting to change hands in 2013-14. Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau were entering their mid-30s, but Joe Pavelski and Logan Couture were on the rise. Anaheim’s core of Getzlaf and Perry is significantly younger, but while Anaheim also has some promising forwards like Jakob Silfverberg, that generation of players doesn’t seem ready to carry the torch for the Ducks.

“We don’t have a lot of young guys in the lineup. … Today’s a much different feeling leaving the rink,” Ducks forward Andrew Cogliano said, per the Los Angeles Times. “In those [previous] years there’s been a sense of hope. Today, there’s zero feeling like that.”

Perhaps the Anaheim Ducks will find hope by watching the rest of the 2016 playoffs. If the San Jose Sharks continue to succeed, they will be an example of a team that once underachieved, hit a critical low, but then managed to fix that in a relatively short time without a massive turnover in terms of on-ice personnel. While we’re at it, you could make a similar argument for the Washington Capitals.

Maybe Murray will look to those franchises for inspiration as he moves forward.

Capitals, Penguins nearly perfect at stopping third period comebacks

Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby (87) and Washington Capitals defenseman Matt Niskanen (2) chase down the puck during the first period of Game 2 in an NHL hockey Stanley Cup Eastern Conference semifinals Saturday, April 30, 2016 in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
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Pittsburgh only won by a single goal in Game 2 on Saturday and that deciding marker came with 4:28 minutes remaining in the third, but that contest had the potential to be far more one-sided.

The Capitals were outshot 28-10 through 40 minutes and were consequently leaning on goaltender Braden Holtby to keep things close.

“First two periods, I thought they were way better than us,” Washington coach Barry Trotz told CSN Mid-Atlantic. Or has Justin Williams put it, the Capitals “were getting embarrassed out there” during the first 40 minutes.

Washington did rebound in the third period, though it wasn’t enough to prevent the Penguins from evening this series at 1-1. That puts the pressure on Washington to take at least one game in Pittsburgh before the second round’s over.

Starting the game off strong is always going to be important, but that’s particularly true when talking about the Penguins and Capitals. Pittsburgh was 39-0-0 in the regular season when leading after 40 minutes while Washington was 37-0-1. So far in the playoffs, both teams are 4-0-0 when they have the lead after two periods.