It was all smiles, hugs and handshakes on Wednesday as Nashville GM David Poile re-introduced Alexander Radulov to the media at Bridgestone Arena:
After Poile and Radulov talked about their excitement levels, reconciliation and shared desire to win, the two got down to brass tacks — namely, rumors that Radulov’s NHL release was contingent upon returning to the KHL.
More, from NHL.com:
There have been reports Radulov might head back to the KHL after playing in Nashville’s final nine games and the playoffs. Poile said his understanding is Radulov has no obligations to his KHL team to return.
Radulov said the same.
“There’s been a lot of talking about it,” he said. “I didn’t say anything. I didn’t promise anything to anybody. I got an opportunity to move from Russia this summer, so that’s about it.”
Poile said his goal is to have “this relationship last longer than these last nine games and the playoffs.”
“Probably the story’s not over because we don’t know,” he said. “We don’t know how good he’s going to be, how good he’s going to fit in, how long it’s going to last.”
As for where Radulov will fit in — Predators head coach Barry Trotz skated him alongside David Legwand and Patric Hornqvist, essentially Nashville’s first line. Gabriel Bourque had previously been the LW next to Legwand (15 points in his last 17 games) and Hornqvist (Nashville’s leading goalscorer, with 24.)
According to Josh Cooper of The Tennessean, Bourque will drop to the third line, skating with Andrei Kostitsyn and Nick Spaling.
For a while, the story of the Florida Panthers – Toronto Maple Leafs game would be the remarkable march of Jonathan Marchessault.
As great as his story remains (he gave Florida 1-0 and 2-1 leads), those pesky young Maple Leafs keep stealing the headlines.
In tonight’s case, it was Mitch Marner who was raising eyebrows as he assisted on all three of Toronto’s goals in a 3-2 victory.
His third assist was just sublime:
After the game, Tyler Bozak pondered the two goals Marner helped him score and deemed the youngster “an elite player,” according to the Globe & Mail’s James Mirtle.
Considering the growing discomfort regarding Frederik Andersen‘s play, this tweet should help to make Maple Leafs fans smile:
Ehhhhh, Marner might deserve that first star, but the gesture means almost as much as the win.
Devan Dubnyk already showed signs of having a hot start to 2016-17, but Thursday made that point abundantly clear.
For the second straight game, Dubnyk generated a shutout, with the Minnesota Wild beating the Buffalo Sabres 4-0 in this instance.
It’s not as if Dubnyk is just leisurely turning aside the occasional chance, either; he made 38 saves to blank Buffalo and needed to stop 65 shots on goal considering the 27 he turned aside in a 5-0 win vs. Boston.
Ryan Suter said that Dubnyk bailed his teammates out during the second period, as the Minneapolis Star-Tribune’s Michael Russo reports.
He’s now allowed just 10 goals in six games so far in 2016-17, with Taylor Hall‘s overtime-winner being the last shot to beat him. That came on Sunday:
More often than not, Dubnyk’s been making those saves so far in this young season.
There are plenty of differences between Alex Ovechkin and Patrik Laine, including obvious things like one being from Russia and the other from Finland.
Still, there are moments when Laine inspires comparisons to his idol, even this early in his rookie season.
Thursday presented one of those moments. It wasn’t just that Laine fired a 3-0 goal home for the Winnipeg Jets against the Dallas Stars with such moxie; it was also that he showed some swagger with a celebration afterward.
This GIF captures the moment brilliantly, while you can also watch the goal in video form.
Sure, there will be some grumbles from the “act like you’ve been here before” crowd, but this is brilliant stuff for the rest of us.
Early this season, Dmitry Orlov delighted onlookers and angered Matt Duchene with a mind-blowing, throwback hip check. People really seemed to enjoy it.
While you’d struggle to top that hit, Philadelphia Flyers forward Sean Couturier must have sensed the void in checks that almost seem to flip opponents, doing so against Anthony Duclair during Thursday’s contest.
Rate this as you will:
Want another look at the Orlov one for comparison’s sake or to chuckle in disbelief? Why not: