VANCOUVER, BC - DECEMBER 13: Goalie Roberto Luongo #1 of the Vancouver Canucks reaches out to poke check the puck away from Ales Hemsky #83 of the Edmonton Oilers during the first period in NHL action on December 13, 2013 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Taylor Hall #4 of the Edmonton Oilers nad Chris Tanev #8 of the Vancouver Canucks look on during the play.

Luongo shuts out Oilers, Canucks win sixth straight


The Edmonton Oilers could only muster 19 shots on goal against Vancouver’s Roberto Luongo as the Canucks earned a 4-0 victory Friday night.

Although it certainly wasn’t his busiest effort, it was enough for Luongo to tie Marc-Andre Fleury, Josh Harding, and Ben Scrivens for the lead in shutouts with three. Since being pulled against the Rangers on Nov. 30, Luongo has allowed just four goals in four starts.

The Edmonton Oilers certainly wish they had a goaltender that was doing remotely as well. Devan Dubnyk did have his moments tonight and this loss can’t be put squarely on his shoulders. At the same time, he now has a 3.75 GAA and .888 save percentage in seven contests this month.

Vancouver’s six-game winning streak has improved their record to 19-10-5, but they’re still not comfortable in the highly competitive Western Conference. Right now they have just a two point cushion on the Phoenix Coyotes and Minnesota Wild in the battle for two Wild Card spots. With that in mind, the Canucks have another critical game Saturday night in Boston.

Luongo has already been confirmed for that start.

On the other end of the spectrum, the Edmonton Oilers became just the second team in the NHL to suffer 20 regulation losses.

Sens demote former first-rounder Puempel

Matt Puempel
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Looks like Matt Puempel won’t be making the leap after all.

Puempel, the subject of Ottawa’s “looking to make the leap” profile during our Team of the Day series, has been sent down to AHL Binghamton one day prior to the Sens’ opener against Buffalo.

Puempel, taken by Ottawa in the first round (24th overall) at the ’11 draft, made his big-league debut last season and looked as though he’d stick around — only to suffer a high ankle sprain after 13 games, and miss the rest of the season.

The 22-year-old came into this year’s camp looking to secure a full-time position at the big league level, but was beaten out by Shane Prince for the final forward spot on the roster.

To be fair, contract status probably played a role. Prince would’ve had to clear waivers to get down to Bingo, whereas Puempel didn’t.

A former 30-goal scorer in the American League, Puempel is expected to get another look with Ottawa this season.

Report: Torres won’t appeal 41-game suspension


Sounds like Raffi Torres is accepting his punishment.

Per Sportsnet, Torres won’t appeal his 41-game suspension for an illegal hit to the head of Anaheim’s Jakob Silfverberg.

The report comes just days after the NHL’s Department of Player Safety levied one of the longest disciplinary rulings in league history, citing both the severity of the Silfverberg hit and Torres’ lengthy history of suspensions, fines and warnings.

There was some thought, however, that Torres would try to challenge the ruling.


He does have a history of success in that department. In 2012,Torres successfully appealed his suspension for a headshot on Chicago’s Marian Hossa, and had his punishment reduced from 25 games to 21.

Torres also isn’t considered a “repeat offender” under the current collective bargaining agreement, as his last suspension came in 2013.

Of course, part of that clean record is due to the fact he hasn’t played much. Torres has largely been sidelined by injury for the last two seasons, missing all of last year with knee problems.

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman delved further into the repeat offender thing in his latest 30 Thoughts column:

If you read the relevant sections of the CBA, the league takes the position that the repeat offender status is only applicable to fines. Repeaters are fined on a per-game basis, non-repeaters on a per-day basis. (The former is more expensive, because there are fewer games than days in an NHL season.) However, if you go to Section 18.2, among the factors taken into account are, “the status of the offender and, specifically, whether the Player has a history of being subject to Supplementary Discipline for On-Ice Conduct.”

So, in the NHL’s view, a player’s history is relevant, even if longer than 18 months ago.

Should the report prove accurate and Torres doesn’t appeal, he will be eligible to return to action on Jan. 14, when the Sharks take on the Oilers.