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Locked out NHLers complain of boredom, having to watch baseball

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It appears the players are getting stir crazy.

With the lockout nearing the 30-day mark, some NHLers are becoming a little too comfortable — and therefore, uncomfortable — with the prospect of having nothing to do.

For example, consider what Winnipeg Jets forward Bryan Little told the Free Press:

“It feels like we should have been playing a long time ago. Everything is going by slow. It’s hard to believe it’s the middle of October. It’s strange. I’ve found myself watching lots of baseball, which I don’t normally do. That’s all there is to do right now, watch baseball playoffs.

“That’s pretty upsetting when you’re supposed to be playing and you’re sitting at home.”

Or, what Patrick Kane told the Chicago Tribune:

“We just want to be playing hockey. As fun as it is to sit on the couch all day at home and do nothing, it starts getting boring after a while.”

Or, what Evander Kane told the New York Times:

“It’s definitely weird to not be in training camp right now. For me, it’s been a little bit too long for my liking not to be playing in the N.H.L.

“You get a little bored sometimes.”

Of the three, only Evander Kane has found work, signing with Dinamo Minsk of the KHL. (Where he reportedly showed up out of shape, drew the ire of his head coach, then watched his head coach get fired today — not so boring now!)

For Little and Patrick Kane, the goal will be to stave off further boredom and avoid the “nothin’ else to do, might as well eat” trap that ensnared Keith Tkachuk during the last lockout.

NHL on NBCSN: Rangers, Penguins renew acquaintances on Rivalry Night

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Tonight, there’s a big Metropolitan Division showdown at Consol as the Pittsburgh Penguins host the New York Rangers. You can catch the game on NBCSN (8 p.m. ET), or watch live online with NBC Sports’ Live Extra.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE

Some relevant linkage for tonight’s affair:

Rangers ‘are doing a lot of good things’

‘I wonder if that’s Crosby, what happens?’ — AV upset after McDonagh concussed by Simmonds

Malkin (lower body) to miss rest of week

Crosby, Karlsson and Trocheck are NHL’s three stars of the week

 

 

PHT Morning Skate: It’s not like they robbed a bank

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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.

Calgary Flames head coach Bob Hartley seems pretty chill about healthy-scratching Sean Monahan, Johnny Gaudreau and Lance Bouma. That goes for Monahan and Gaudreau in particular, noting that they’re “great kids.”

Besides … it’s not like they robbed a bank. (NHL.com)

Uh oh, did Nazem Kadri make the throat-slashing gesture to Mark Giordano? See for yourself in the video above. (Puck Daddy)

What should the New York Islanders do with unrestricted free agent Kyle Okposo, who’s enjoying a productive contract year? (The Hockey News)

What a playoff berth would mean to the Florida Panthers. (Sportsnet)

Checking in with various teams as the trade deadline looms. (NHL Numbers)

On the Canucks using those Pavel Bure-era jerseys. (Greatest Hockey Legends)

Despite tough fight, Stars hand Wild their sixth straight loss

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The Minnesota Wild put together the kind of effort that would beat a lot of NHL teams on Tuesday. Unfortunately for that beleaguered group, it wasn’t enough to edge the Dallas Stars.

Despite generating 40 shots on goal and generating 1-0 and 2-1 leads, the Wild lost to the Stars 4-3 in overtime. With that, they’ve lost six straight games.

(The view doesn’t get much prettier if you pull away a little further, either, as Minnesota’s only won once in the last month, going 1-9-2 in their last 12.)

Ultimately, the Stars’ big guns were too powerful. Tyler Seguin generated two assists and so did Jamie Benn, who set up John Klingberg‘s overtime game-winning goal.

Again, the effort sure seemed to be there for the Wild, even if they’re far beyond the point of accepting moral victories.

As frustrating as this must be, Minnesota’s not that far from a playoff spot. Still, it has to sting to see “Close, but not good enough” as a prevailing theme as of late.

Royal beating: Lucic, Kings crush Bruins 9-2

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The Boston Bruins welcomed Milan Lucic back on Tuesday. Maybe they shouldn’t have extended such a warm welcome to the Los Angeles Kings overall, however.

You won’t see many games as lopsided as this one, at least in 2015-16, as the Kings walloped the Bruins by a humbling score of 9-2.

Lucic wasn’t just there, either, as he scored a goal and an assist in his quite triumphant return to Boston.

Tuukka Rask had a short night in Boston’s net, yet it wasn’t as if Jonas Gustavsson enjoyed his time. It was a pretty sound beating by all accounts.

This dominant win is a heck of a way for the Kings to begin an imposing seven-game road trip, which continues against the New York Islanders on Thursday. The Bruins probably want to burn the tape on this one themselves, as they’re about to head on a six-game road trip.