He’s already ripped up the AHL; now Justin Schultz is drawing rave reviews at his first NHL training camp.
“I see a hockey player who has moxie, who has the ability to step up into the play when needed, he has the ability to play strong defensively, he skates strong, he loves the game,” said Oilers assistant coach Steve Smith, per the Associated Press.
“From all accounts from the coaches I’ve talked to he wants the puck, he wants to be on the ice, he wants to be a game-changer. There’s just so many positives I’ve seen to this point.”
Schultz signed a free-agent contract with Edmonton this summer, though not for a lack of interest from other teams.
Playing for AHL Oklahoma City during the NHL lockout, the 22-year-old defenseman piled up 48 points in 34 games, second in league scoring behind teammate Jordan Eberle.
But despite those impressive stats, Schultz knows the NHL isn’t the AHL.
“I’ve got to be a little smarter,” he said, per the Edmonton Journal. “Down in the AHL, I was maybe jumping up into the play at some bad times. Guys are better up here and they’re going to capitalize on odd-man rushes.
“I’m not going to change my game; but I’ll definitely be a little smarter.”
It looks like the Boston Bruins will be without their captain again on Saturday night.
Head coach Claude Julien told members of the media that Zdeno Chara is considered doubtful for tonight’s game against the Montreal Canadiens.
Chara suffered an upper-body injury during the preseason and he’s already been forced to miss Boston’s season opening loss to the Jets.
Per CSN, Chara says he’s improving but he won’t return to the lineup until he’s as close to 100 percent as possible.
“Every area of the injury is improving,” said Chara. “Hopefully it’s not long before I’m free of any kind of discomfort. That’s what we’re doing right now…we’re being patient. For sure you don’t want to come back, and be half of what you are…and basically hurting yourself and the team. And you’re putting yourself in a position where you could be missing more time. At this time of the season, I think it’s important to be as close as you can be to 100 percent.”
Based on the number of defensive mistakes they committed on Thursday, the Bruins need Chara back as soon as possible:
Former NHL defenseman Mike Commodore may have been coached by Mike Babcock, but that doesn’t mean he’s a fan of Mike Babcock.
Commodore played in just 17 games for the Detroit Red Wings during the 2011-12 season and that was enough for him to muster up some pretty harsh feelings toward his old coach.
As Babcock’s new team, the Toronto Maple Leafs, were being embarrassed in Detroit on Friday, Commodore took to Twitter to show fans just how much he was enjoying his former coach’s struggles.
Things got especially interesting after Red Wings rookie Dylan Larkin scored just 20 seconds into the second period to give Detroit a 3-0 lead.
“3-0 nothin Babs you posing arrogant piece of (bleep),” said Commodore via his Twitter page. “Welcome back to the rink where everyone that met you hates you.”
Commodore wasn’t done there:
And there was much, much more.
To get a look at all of Commodore’s Babcock-bashing tweets, click here.