New York Rangers v Phoenix Coyotes

TCOB: Coyotes to host CanadaFest concert in March


From the Phoenix Coyotes:

Phoenix Coyotes Co-Owner, President and CEO Anthony LeBlanc announced today that the Coyotes and 100.7 KSLX will be holding CanadaFest, a concert featuring three Canadian classic rock bands including Bachman & Turner, Loverboy and special guest Trooper on Saturday, March 8 at Arena. The bands will perform starting at 7:30 p.m. following the Coyotes at the Washington Capitals game which will be shown on the video board from 5:00 – 7:30 p.m.

“We are excited to bring these great Canadian rock bands to the Valley to perform for all of our Coyotes fans and the many Canadians that will be in town that week for our games against Vancouver and Montreal,” said LeBlanc. “We hope that fans will take advantage of this great opportunity to come and watch two great hockey games and three fantastic classic Canadian rock bands.”

At the very least, you have to give the new ownership group points for creativity. As long as Loverboy promised to play “Heaven In Your Eyes,” as heard on the Top Gun soundtrack, we’d totally go to this.

The Coyotes’ average attendance this season is just 12,885, the lowest in the NHL. And if they don’t pull out of their slump soon, that number might not go much higher.

Related: Coyotes encouraging fans to tailgate before weekend games

Bruins’ second line officially goes under the microscope

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While much has been written about the Boston Bruins’ depleted defense, there’s also a good amount of intrigue about the forward group, which will look dramatically different tonight compared to last year’s season opener.

Here are the Bruins’ expected lines versus the Jets:

Brad MarchandPatrice BergeronLoui Eriksson
Matt BeleskeyDavid KrejciDavid Pastrnak
Jimmy HayesRyan SpoonerBrett Connolly
Chris KellyJoonas KemppainenZac Rinaldo

The line most under the microscope may be that second one. In today’s Boston Globe, there’s a lengthy story on Krejci. The 29-year-old center with the big contract only played 47 games last season due to injuries. He finished with just 31 points.

So, where is Krejci’s game now?

Then there’s free-agent addition Matt Beleskey, a.k.a. Milan Lucic‘s replacement. Prior to scoring 22 times last year for the Ducks, the 27-year-old Beleskey had never tallied more than 11 goals in a season.

So, is Beleskey a legitimate top-six forward?

On the other wing, it’s David Pastrnak, the 19-year-old who, somewhat surprisingly, emerged as one of the top rookies in the league last year.

So, can Pastrnak take another step forward?

“It’s been a good three plus weeks where we’ve been able to kind of work individually, as a group, as a line, with different players and different personalities,” said coach Claude Julien. “We’re pleased with it. We’re optimistic and we just have to let things work themselves out too.”

Lucic: If I wanted to hurt Couture, ‘I would have hurt him’


Last night in Los Angeles, Kings forward Milan Lucic received a match penalty after skating the entire width of the ice to give San Jose’s Logan Couture a two-hand shove to the face.

Lucic didn’t hurt Couture, who had caught Lucic with an open-ice hit that Lucic didn’t like. Couture’s smiling, mocking face was good evidence that the Sharks’ forward was going to be OK.

This morning, Lucic was still in disbelief that he was penalized so harshly.

“I didn’t cross any line,” Lucic said, per Rich Hammond of the O.C. Register. “Believe me, if my intentions were to hurt him, I would have hurt him.”

While Lucic knew he deserved a penalty, he said after the game that he didn’t “know why it was called a match penalty.” His coach, Darryl Sutter, agreed, calling it “a borderline even roughing penalty.”

And though former NHL referee Kerry Fraser believes a match penalty was indeed warranted, Lucic said this morning that he hasn’t heard from the NHL about any possible supplemental discipline.

Nor for that matter has Dustin Brown, after his high hit on Couture in the first period.

In conclusion, it’s good to have hockey back.

Related: Sutter says Kings weren’t ‘interested’ in checking the Sharks