Flyers coach ahead of Sabres game: ‘We can’t overlook anybody’


The Philadelphia Flyers have won four of their last five games. Tonight, they’ll be favored to win again when they host the last-place Sabres. And that’s exactly why head coach Craig Berube is wary.

“We’re not in a playoff spot, are we?” Berube said, per CSN Philly. “We can’t overlook anybody. I’ve said that before. You don’t overlook any team in the NHL anymore. Every game’s tough. Every single game.”

The Flyers need only look to what happened Tuesday in Vancouver, when the Canucks admittedly took the Florida Panthers too lightly and ended up losing, 3-2, in a shootout.

That performance led to coach John Tortorella ripping his team for doing exactly what Berube hopes his squad doesn’t do tonight.

“It’s lack of respect and we have no business to show a lack of respect to any hockey team,” said Tortorella. “In the situation we’re in going into tonight’s game, I just don’t know what we’re thinking as far as how we started the game.”

Speaking of starting the game, Berube has been stressing the importance of that for the Flyers.

“The start of games are huge,” Berube said. “Set the tone, forechecking, get your skating going, get on the forecheck, be physical. Doing things properly early in games. Getting the crowd into it. It’s all important. Same as the end of the games – start and finish are really important.”

After beginning the season 4-10-1, Philadelphia has climbed to within three points of a playoff spot in the Metropolitan Division. The Flyers also have at least a game in hand on every other team in the division.

“We’ve come a long way from where we were at the beginning of the year,” d-man Braydon Coburn said. “But we have a long way to go.”

Metro’s best? Capitals keep winning, pass Rangers for division lead

Jonathan Bernier; Matt Niskanen; Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau
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If you want to summarize the Capitals – Maple Leafs game in one sentence, you could do worse than:

“Washington is hot as Jonathan Bernier is cold.”

The Caps reeled off a 4-2 win against Toronto on Saturday, giving them five straight wins. They also jumped into first place in the Metropolitan Division today, as they keep climbing while the New York Rangers are experiencing some growing pains.

Again, James Reimer can’t get healthy and back in Toronto’s net too soon:

With this win, Washington is now 17-5-1, leading the Metro by one point with 35 standings points. They also hold a game in hand against the Rangers, and no other Metro team even has 30 right now.

Measuring stick stretch begins

Tonight’s game began a “prove-it” month-and-change for Washington.

This contest began a three-game road trip, and they’ll also play six of seven away from Washington.

It’s pretty rough through the start of 2016, really. The Capitals will only enjoy three home games through Jan. 9.

In other words, the Capitals seem like a convincing East contender, but look out if they remain hot through the next 5-6 weeks.

Video: Evgeni Malkin leaves Oilers spinning


Yes, there’s a lot of drama surrounding the Pittsburgh Penguins, whether it’s founded on serious problems or merely speculation.

It’s easy to get swept up in all of that and ignore the fact that, hey, they still have Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby. Those two can really heal wounds with their on-ice play, and in Saturday’s case, Malkin is taking over against the Edmonton Oilers.

His spin-o-rama goal above was a real jaw-dropper. He also scored Pittsburgh’s second tally:

These highlights feel like Malkin’s way of saying “It’s going to be just fine.”

Update: It wasn’t enough for a win, however, as the Oilers beat the Penguins 3-2 via a shootout.

Lightning’s first fight this season: Ryan Callahan vs. Kyle Okposo

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Fighting is down more or less across the board in the NHL, but the Tampa Bay Lightning might be the franchise least interested in dropping the gloves.

Ryan Callahan vs. Kyle Okposo already has some name recognition to it, yet it gets some bonus points for being the Bolts’ first fighting major of 2015-16.

It … probably loses those bonus points in being run-of-the-mill.

Hey, be fair; the Lightning are clearly out of practice.

Oilers GM doesn’t want to force a trade for the sake of a trade

Peter Chiarelli

It must be a helpless feeling to sit idly by while your team continues to flail, but such emotions are what opposing GMs love to prey on.

Edmonton Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli hasn’t been around through much of the suffering for this hapless franchise, yet that doesn’t mean he’s immune to the calls for improvement. To his credit, he’s not buckling under that pressure.

You can see and hear his full comments below:

If you don’t feel like playing the video, the message is simple enough.

Chiarelli isn’t happy with Edmonton’s record – he hasn’t “seen progression” in ways that he was expecting, but again … he doesn’t want to force moves.

Long story short, he can “sleep at night,” even if he’s disappointed.

Is he right to take a relaxed approach, though? Maybe it’s time to blow up a part of what isn’t working? Have some fun armchair GM’ing on this one.