The Calgary Flames rode a TJ Brodie overtime goal to a 5-4 (OT) home win against Chicago on Tuesday, giving the defending champions their fourth loss in a row.
That might not sound like a big deal, but it’s at least unusual; this is their longest losing streak since the ‘Hawks dropped nine in a row back in 2012 (according to the Chicago Sun-Times’ Mark Lazerus).
Worse yet, this loss combined with the St. Louis Blues’ 3-0 win against the New Jersey Devils leaves both teams with 77 points, which means the Central Division is tied at first. (Technically, the Blues have the lead, as they’ve played three fewer games than Chicago.)
Tough times ahead … at least until March
Now, it’s not time for the Blackhawks to panic, but this streak might get a little uglier before things turn around.
The Blackhawks continue this road run with five more away games, then send a slew of players to Sochi for the Olympics. After that, they open the post-Olympic break with a game at Madison Square Garden against the New York Rangers.
In all, they’ll wait more than a month between home games (Jan. 26 to March 1), though the Olympics obviously skew that.
In other words, you might want to expect a few “What’s wrong with the Blackhawks?” articles … at least until they play a ton of home games in March.
Ken Appleby never got drafted, but his efforts during the New Jersey Devils’ training camp have earned him an entry-level contract, per the Bergen Record.
Although no team saw it fit to take him before the preseason, the 20-year-old is coming off of a very strong season. He had a 2.08 GAA and .924 save percentage in 50 games with the OHL’s Oshawa Generals. He went on to lead them to a Memorial Cup championship and earned the the Hap Emms Memorial Trophy as the tournament’s top goalie.
Appleby is the fifth goaltender the Devils have under contract after Cory Schneider, Keith Kinkaid, Scott Wedgewood, and Yann Danis. He’ll likely begin the season in the ECHL.
Alexandre Goulet and Jacob Sweeney also participated in the Devils’ training camp on an amateur tryout basis, but both of them have been released.
PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.
Some of the NHL’s top players discuss Connor McDavid‘s potential and the hype surrounding him. (Toronto Sun)
While we’re on the subject, Wayne Gretzky recalls what it was like for him going into the NHL and what’s in store for McDavid. (Edmonton Sun)
Sam Gagner is about to start a key season in his career. (Philadelphia Inquirer)
It’s time for the Washington Capitals to make some tough calls, particularly when it comes to Derek Roy. (CSN Mid-Atlantic)
With Raffi Torres hearing scheduled for today, here’s a look back at his suspension history. (San Jose Mercury News)
The Chicago Blackhawks have gotten their championship rings. (NHL.com)