Florida Panthers v Colorado Avalanche

Stephen Weiss on verge of playing most games in Panthers history


One of the bullet points of the slew of Rick Nash trade rumors is that he’s been stuck with a sad sack franchise for his entire NHL career.

Then again, at least he’s been to the playoffs (albeit in a humiliating sweep) in his time with the Columbus Blue Jackets. The same can’t be said for Stephen Weiss, who’s been through thin and really thin with the Florida Panthers.

The 28-year-old center is amid his 10th season in the league, with every single minute coming with the Panthers. To some, that might be considered the equivalent to a hockey prison sentence, but Weiss is striving to make a difference for the team. He’s also on the verge of a nice little milestone, as the Miami Hearld’s Robbie Levin points out that Weiss is one appearance away from playing more games (614) than any player in franchise history.*

Much like his idol Steve Yzerman, the fourth overall pick of the 2001 NHL Entry Draft hopes to stick with the same franchise for his entire career.

“It’s been a long road,” Weiss said. “But for the most part, I’m very happy to still be here and seeing this team get closer to where it needs to be.”

With all the prospects that GM Dale Tallon has stockpiled, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Weiss get rewarded for his patience with a steady stream of playoff appearances. In fact, that could even start in 2011-12.

Weiss’ career

Games Played: 613; Goals: 137; Assists: 237; Points: 374; -4 with 274 penalty minutes and 21 game-winning goals.

Zero playoff games.

* – Weiss is set to break his tie with Radek Dvorak for the franchise mark.

Vatrano presence: Bruins edge Red Wings in overtime

Frank Vatrano David Krejci
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The Boston Bruins keep flipping the script.

In Wednesday’s case, it swerved to a “Cinderella” story, as little-known forward Frank Vatrano scored two of Boston’s three goals – including the overtime clincher – as the B’s beat the Detroit Red Wings 3-2 (OT).

Here’s his first goal of the night:

While this is his overtime game-winner:

It wasn’t a perfect night for the 21-year-old, yet it may have been a convincing one.

The Bruins continue to begin a month on a sour note before ending up with impressive sprees.

October: 0-3-0 start, finished month with four straight wins and victories in six of seven contests.

November: 0-3-0 start, losses in four of five; currently on a four-game winning strek with victories in five of six.

Boston faces a challenge in closing this month out against the Rangers on Friday, and it’s possible that this trend may continue, as they begin December with a three-game road trip through Western Canada.

More than anything else, the safest bet with the Bruins is for ups and downs.

Crosby roars, Malkin scores in OT for Penguins win

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Controversy just seems to find the Pittsburgh Penguins. Credit Sidney Crosby & Co. for responding with a win on Wednesday.

Crosby generated two pretty goals, including this slam-dunk slapper:

… While Evgeni Malkin‘s overtime-winner stood as the Penguins managed a 4-3 overtime win against the St. Louis Blues tonight.

(You can see Malkin’s OT-clincher in the video above this post.)

Will this win and strong performance from Crosby silence murmurs about his relationship with Mario Lemieux? Probably not, yet it likely turns the volume down in some ways, including killing the “Is he struggling because of distractions” storyline.

You know, at least for a little while. Maybe.

Fight video: Claude Giroux vs. Nick Leddy

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Claude Giroux isn’t the nastiest, most physical captain the Philadelphia Flyers have employed. Even so, he can be feisty at times.

Wednesday showed that, as he clearly wasn’t happy with an earlier Nick Leddy hit, and eventually got the New York Islanders defenseman to drop his gloves.

You can see the fight and the check that inspired that scrap in the video above.

It’s the fourth fight Giroux has been a part of, with his most recent adversary being may his most bitter rival.

Not a heavyweight bout between Giroux and Leddy, mind you, but sometimes it’s amusing to soak in such a rare sight.

Update: The fight may have inspired the Islanders more than the Flyers, as they bested Philly 3-1 on Wednesday.

Carter Hutton gets flipped, stays in game

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Carter Hutton is getting something that might make fellow Nashville Predators goalie Pekka Rinne jealous: goal support.

Still, there was at least one moment where Rinne was likely happy to be on the bench, as Hutton was left flipping during this collision with Buffalo Sabres forward Marcus Foligno:

Remarkably, Hutton remained in the game.

If you’re the type who loves adding to your “hockey players are tough” files, put this under the goalies section.

Check out this incredible shot of that moment:

Update: The Predators held off the Buffalo Sabres to win 3-2.