Hampered by injury at forward, the Blues have decided to use the negative as a positive by giving highly-touted prospect Ty Rattie his NHL debut tonight against Dallas.
Rattie, the 32nd overall pick at the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, has been a dynamic scorer at both the junior and American League levels over the last three years. He put up back-to-back 100-point campaigns for WHL Portland — 121 points in 2011-12, 110 in 2012-13 — and this year, his first in the AHL, Rattie leads Chicago with 29 goals and 46 points.
St. Louis is ridiculously shorthanded up front tonight, as injuries have sidelined captain David Backes, T.J. Oshie, Vladimir Tarasenko, Derek Roy, Brenden Morrow and Vladimir Sobotka. Prior to those injuries, having the 21-year-old Rattie debut this year probably wasn’t in the cards — he only has 69 total games of professional experience — but it should be exciting to see what the kid can do at the NHL level.
Rattie did play on some extremely talented Portland teams and was ex-teammates with the likes of Ryan Johansen, Nino Niederreiter, Seth Jones, Derrick Pouliot and Sven Baertschi, many of whom have achieved early success in the bigs.
It wasn’t pretty, and they might have lost key defenseman Matt Niskanen to injury, but at least the Washington Capitals managed a win against the Boston Bruins.
For a while, it was looking pretty ugly.
After going up 3-0, the Capitals went more than a period’s worth of time without even managing a shot on goal. Whether you lean more toward giving the Bruins credit for fighting back or beating up the Capitals for “sitting on a lead,” it’s staggering that such a dangerous offense could be held in check for so long.
Luckily for Washington, Nicklas Backstrom salvaged the night with an overtime goal to give the Capitals a 4-3 overtime win.
Both teams have had a knack for extending games beyond regulation lately, by the way:
Capitals over the last three games:
Shootout loss to the Lightning
Overtime win against the Sabres
Overtime win tonight against the Bruins
Bruins over the last five games:
Shootout loss against Flyers
Shootout win against Hurricanes
Regulation win against Sabres
Overtime win against Panthers
Overtime loss to the Capitals
Maybe that’s what gets it done in 2016-17: finding ways to carve out wins and shake out rough patches, like the Caps did tonight.
Patrice Bergeron doesn’t have a reputation for dirty hits, but he drew the Washington Capitals’ ire for a hit on Matt Niskanen.
The Capitals consider Niskanen “probable” to return to Wednesday’s game against the Boston Bruins with what they’re calling an upper-body injury. Bergeron received a two-minute boarding penalty for the infraction.
(Check out video of the hit above.)
The Capitals’ Twitter acknowledged the brewing bad feelings.
Does Bergeron deserve supplemental discipline for that boarding hit?
Washington currently leads the game 3-2.
There are plenty of hazards on an NHL rink even if you’re not a player.
Barry Trotz ranks among the coaches who’ve been hit by pucks, though he’s one of the tiny sliver of humans who would shake off a puck to the forehead. It can be dangerous for officials, too, whether it means a wayward puck or wayward player.
The latest example comes in the form of linesman Steve Miller needing help off the ice after a puck hit him in the knee area. As you can see from the video, it looked like he was in serious pain.
It’s refreshing that hockey fans have, for the most part, moved on from debating Tyler Bozak‘s merits.
The general feeling is that the Toronto Maple Leafs use him in appropriate ways these days, so we can simply enjoy his work as a pretty spiffy hockey player.
Speaking of spiffy, check out the sweet moves he made against the Minnesota Wild for the goal above. Feels like you could dub over a Chris Berman “whoop” or two in there, right?
(If you’re into that kind of thing.)
Here’s that gaudy move in isolation and in GIF form: