Discuss: Coyotes baffle Rinne, Predators to take 2-0 series lead


Raise your hand if you thought the Phoenix Coyotes and Nashville Predators would score 15 goals between them. Keep that hand up if you thought that would happen within the first two games of the series.

The opening pairing of contests has been a surprise track meet and the Coyotes are leaving the Predators in the dust. After scratching and clawing to win Game 1, Phoenix absolutely dominated Nashville 5-3 in Game 2 to take a 2-0 series lead.

Let’s get chatting.

  • It’s one thing for Mike Smith to outshine Corey Crawford, but what about Pekka Rinne? It’s not fair to single Rinne out totally when his defense cratered in front of him, yet it’s still shocking. Can Rinne get it back together?
  • Is Barry Trotz getting out-foxed by Dave Tippett? Should Trotz consider going with talented but rarely used backup Anders Lindback in Game 3?
  • What, exactly, happened to the Predators defense?
  • Subjective city: is Phoenix better than we thought or is Nashville weaker than expected?
  • The one plus is that the series shifts back to Nashville. Can they get it back together considering the fact that the Coyotes have their first 2-0 series lead since they were the Winnipeg Jets in 1987?
  • Alex Radulov, David Legwand and Kevin Klein rank as some of the most-blamed players in Game 2. What must be done to turn their games around? Should any of them watch Game 3 from the press box?

Lucic: If I wanted to hurt Couture, ‘I would have hurt him’


Last night in Los Angeles, Kings forward Milan Lucic received a match penalty after skating the entire width of the ice to give San Jose’s Logan Couture a two-hand shove to the face.

Lucic didn’t hurt Couture, who had caught Lucic with an open-ice hit that Lucic didn’t like. Couture’s smiling, mocking face was good evidence that the Sharks’ forward was going to be OK.

This morning, Lucic was still in disbelief that he was penalized so harshly.

“I didn’t cross any line,” Lucic said, per Rich Hammond of the O.C. Register. “Believe me, if my intentions were to hurt him, I would have hurt him.”

While Lucic knew he deserved a penalty, he said after the game that he didn’t “know why it was called a match penalty.” His coach, Darryl Sutter, agreed, calling it “a borderline even roughing penalty.”

And though former NHL referee Kerry Fraser believes a match penalty was indeed warranted, Lucic said this morning that he hasn’t heard from the NHL about any possible supplemental discipline.

Nor for that matter has Dustin Brown, after his high hit on Couture in the first period.

In conclusion, it’s good to have hockey back.

Related: Sutter says Kings weren’t ‘interested’ in checking the Sharks

Torres apologizes to Silfverberg and Sharks


A statement from Raffi Torres:

“I accept the 41-game suspension handed down to me by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety. I worked extremely hard over the last two years following reconstructive knee surgery to resume my NHL career, and this is the last thing I wanted to happen. I am disappointed I have put myself in a position to be suspended again. I sincerely apologize to Jakob for the hit that led to this suspension, and I’m extremely thankful that he wasn’t seriously injured as a result of the play. I also want to apologize to my Sharks teammates and the organization.”

A statement from San Jose GM Doug Wilson:

“The Sharks organization fully supports the NHL’s supplementary discipline decision regarding Raffi. While we do not believe there was any malicious intent, this type of hit is unacceptable and has no place in our game. There is a difference between playing hard and crossing the line and there is no doubt, in this instance, Raffi crossed that line. We’re very thankful that Jakob was not seriously injured as a result of this play.”

Silfverberg says he expects to play Saturday when the Ducks open their regular season Saturday in San Jose.