Alexander Steen #20 of the St. Louis Blues is introduced prior to playing against the Detroit Red Wings at the Scottrade Center on January 19, 2013 in St. Louis, Missouri.
(January 18, 2013 - Source: Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images North America)

Steen staying humble through incredible start


In the shortened 2013 campaign, Alexander Steen had eight goals in 40 games and his career-high is 24 markers set in 2009-10. This season the 29-year-old forward already has 10 goals in nine games.

That hot start matches what Brett Hull accomplished early in 1989-90 and 1990-91 when he went on to net 72 and 86 goals respectively.

“I don’t think we should be comparing myself to Brett Hull,” Steen told reporters, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Clearly, Steen isn’t going to score 70 or more goals this season. He’s going to cool down at some point and have some goal scoring slumps over the course of the season. He also has a 38.5 shooting percentage, which in all likelihood isn’t even close to the realm of sustainability.

At the same time, what he’s accomplished already is remarkable and raises questions about if the former first round pick has managed to take his game a notch higher.

For his part, Steen is giving linemates David Backes and T.J. Oshie a lot of the credit for his accomplishments.

“I’m enjoying playing with those two,” Steen said. “They work extremely hard. It’s been a pleasure for me to play with those two. Osh’s efforts on the forecheck, Backes’ reads and hits is what is creating all these situations for me.”

On top of that, just being allowed to stay on one line as opposed to being shuffled around has boosted Steen’s confidence.

That trio is likely to stick together tonight against the Winnipeg Jets.

Report: Islanders cut first-rounder Barzal from camp

Mathew Barzal
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It seems Mathew Barzal has played in his last game in a New York Islanders’ uniform for a little while.

Barzal took part in the Islanders’ preseason finale against the Washington Capitals on Sunday, but after that contest the Islanders decided to return him to WHL Seattle, per Newsday’s Arthur Staple.

He was taken with the 16th overall pick in 2015 NHL Entry Draft. That selection was well-traveled as it originally belonged to the Pittsburgh Penguins, but was involved in the David Perron trade and then moved to the Islanders as part of Edmonton’s deal to get Griffin Reinhart.

Barzal is noteworthy for his skill and speed, but he may have slipped in the draft due to a knee injury he sustained during the 2014-15 campaign.

The Islanders also reassigned Kirill Petrov, Kevin Czuczman, Scott Mayfield, and Adam Pelech to the AHL’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers.

Torres offered in-person hearing, potentially setting up long suspension

Torres hit

What will Raffi Torres get this time?

The 33-year-old forward that has become known primarily for his controversial hits has once again put himself in the sights of the NHL’s Department of Players Safety. They confirmed that he was offered an in-person hearing following his hit on Jakub Silfverberg Saturday night. He declined the opportunity to meet with them face-to-face, but the offer itself is an important detail because it gives the league the option to suspend him for more than five games.

It certainly seems like the stage is set for a lengthy suspension. While Torres is not considered a repeat offender as his last suspension came more than 18 months ago, the NHL still retains the right to consider his history when deciding on this matter.

Among other incidents, he was once was banned from 25 games for his hit on Marian Hossa in 2012, although it was later reduced to 21 contests after an appeal. The NHL found that Torres was guilty of breaking three rules for that hit; namely interference, charging, and illegally hitting the head. The NHL is reviewing Torres’ latest incident for the same three violations.

You can see the hit below:

And here it is slowed down:

Torres got a match penalty and Silfverberg left the game. Fortunately, Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said that Silfverberg could have returned, but was kept out for precautionary reasons.