Anything could happen, but the Calgary Flames are expected to be bad this season. They have young and new players and while that gives them hope for the future, it might not make the fanbase feel much better in the short term.
Still, St. Louis Blues coach Ken Hitchcock thinks it’s important for those fans to let this process play out.
“Folks in Calgary have to understand that in order for this to build, patience in the fan base is going to have to be great because it’s going to be frustrating at times,” Hitchcock said, according to the Calgary Sun. “But when it gets built, it can stay built for a long time. Look at Chicago or L.A. – teams built for a cause that will be championship-caliber teams for at least the next five or six years.”
Of course, not every rebuild leads to a Stanley Cup championship, but Hitchcock sees promise in Calgary. He thinks highly of Flames bench boss Bob Hartley. Finding a player that the Flames can rally around will be a key part of the process, but he sees the Flames being a very competitive team in three years.
That might be a tough pill for fans that have already endured four straight seasons of futility, but the team’s focus has shifted and their future may be brighter for it.
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: