P.K. Subban

P.K. Subban experiences growing pains in second year

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To some people, P.K. Subban might be experiencing a “sophomore slump.”

Such criticisms seem fairer for forwards than defensemen, especially ones as young as 22-year-old blueliner Subban. One can equate his struggles with those of Tyler Myers; they’re two youngsters who were asked to play big minutes on somewhat thin rosters rather than develop in more natural increments.*

Of course, the big difference between Subban and Myers is that the former happens to bring a whole lot more heat – from both the media and his opponents – than his nearly Chara-sized counterpart. Subban received a fine for his slew foot on Chris Kunitz and has butted heads with the Montreal Canadiens’ coaching staff as well as teammate Tomas Plekanec.

Some might be worried about these moments but Subban thinks it’s part of the growing process, as he told The Canadian Press.

“I’m young and I’ve made mistakes and I’m going to make more,” Subban said. “The coaching staff have got their work cut out. But hopefully I’ll do more positive things than negative. As long as I’m willing to learn.”

To some, that’s just typical cliched speak, and that might be partially true. Still, if you ask any hockey person, they’ll say that defense presents the steepest learning curve of an position, so Subban deserves some time.

Even if the mistakes never completely leave – an undeniable possibility – that’s simply part of the equation with some attacking blueliners. It’s all about making the good outweigh the bad and the Habs hope that Subban’s pros tower over his cons in the long run.

* – Subban leads the Montreal Canadiens in ice time with almost 24 minutes per game, averaging almost a minute and a half more than second place Josh Gorges.

BREAKING: Flames fire head coach Bob Hartley

Calgary Flames head coach Bob Hartley gives instructions during the third period of an NHL hockey game against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Pittsburgh, Saturday, March 5, 2016. The Flames won 4-2. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Associated Press
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The Calgary Flames have decided to move on from head coach Bob Hartley. The team made the announcement via their Twitter account on Tuesday morning. Associate coach Jacques Cloutier has also been informed that he won’t be back next season.

Hartley and the Flames surprised many last year when they won 45 games and made the postseason. Hartley was awarded the Jack Adams Trophy as the league’s top coach.

What a difference a year makes. Unfortunately for the Flames, they won just 35 games in 2015-16 and finished 26th in the overall standings. They were also the NHL’s worst defensive team, and that doesn’t reflect well on the coaching staff.

The Flames have called a press conference at noon ET.

More details to come.

Kris Letang will have a hearing for hit on Marcus Johansson

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Many expected it to happen and now it has. The NHL’s Department of Player Safety confirmed that Penguins defenseman Kris Letang will have a hearing for his hit on Caps forward Marcus Johansson in Game 3.

After Brooks Orpik was suspended three games for this hit on Olli Maatta in Game 2, many people are expecting a similar outcome for Letang. It’s important to note that there are certain similarities between the two hits, but there are also some key differences.

Both victims definitely took shots to the head, there’s no doubt about that, but to say that the hits are identical isn’t accurate. First, although Letang’s hit appears to be late (0.6 seconds after the puck is gone is considered late), it isn’t as late as Orpik’s hit on Maatta. Another key factor to consider is that unlike Maatta, Johansson returned to the game.

Letang was given a two-minute penalty for interference on the play.

TSN hockey insider Bob McKenzie breaks it down perfectly:

A decision is expected to be made later on today.

Here’s your Stanley Cup playoffs schedule for tonight

Stanley Cup
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The Stanley Cup playoffs continue with three games on Tuesday night. You can catch tonight’s games via the NBC Sports Group’s television and digital platforms.

Tampa Bay at NY Islanders (7:00 p.m. ET)

The TV broadcast of Game 3 will be on NBCSN. To stream the game using the NBC Sports Live Extra app, click here.

San Jose at Nashville (9:00 p.m. ET)

The TV broadcast of Game 3 will be on the USA Network. To stream the game using the NBC Sports Live Extra app, click here.

Dallas at St. Louis (9:30 p.m. ET)

The TV broadcast of Game 3 will be on NBCSN. To stream the game using the NBC Sports Live Extra app, click here.

Here’s some reading material to get you ready for tonight’s action:

Lightning strikes: Bolts even series with Islanders

The Sharks are the only team to grab a 2-0 series lead in the second round

Seguin resumes skating in Dallas, Ruff notes ‘they have flights to St. Louis every day’

PHT Morning Skate: Adam Henrique wants to make NHL 17 great again

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PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Martin Jones is a calming presence in the Sharks’ net. (Sports Illustrated)

–The Rangers should go after Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk. (The Hockey News)

–Some people have pretty wild hockey tattoos. (BarDown)

–Watch the highlights of last night’s game between the Penguins and Capitals. (Top)

–A great piece on how Bruce Boudreau impacted the Ducks and Capitals. (Sportsnet)

–It should be an interesting off-season for the Anaheim Ducks. (Daily Breeze)

Adam Henrique is a funny guy. He took to Twitter to try and get himself on the cover of NHL 17: