Referees get in the way of Vancouver Canucks head coach John Tortorella as he screams at the Calgary Flames bench during first period NHL hockey action at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia Saturday Jan. 18, 2014. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jonathan Hayward)

‘Yellers and screamers’ need not apply for Canucks coaching job


New Canucks general manager Jim Benning spoke with Team 1040 radio this afternoon in Vancouver (audio). Here are the bullet points:

— There have already been “a couple of interviews” for the vacant head-coaching job, and there will be a “bunch more” next week.

— Benning was asked about the picture of him and former Canucks coach Marc Crawford having a coffee that’s floating around the interwebs, but didn’t say anything definitive about Crawford’s chances of getting the job. In all, six to eight candidates will be interviewed before a decision is made.

— Benning is looking for a “teaching style” coach and doesn’t believe that coaches who are “yellers and screamers” can be successful in the NHL anymore. No, he did not mention John Tortorella specifically.

— Benning also said that much of the due diligence on a coach has been done “before the guy shows up for the interview.”

My take? If I had to bet, I’d say Willie Desjardins — currently coaching AHL Texas in the Calder Cup finals — is the favorite. Desjardins likes to “move the puck and attack,” and Benning has said he wants his team to “play an up-tempo, fast-skating, skilled game.” Desjardins is also a teacher, not a yeller-and-screamer. Seems like a match there.

Kings assistant coach John Stevens and Portland Winterhawks coach Mike Johnston could also be in the mix.

PS — On the subject of Ryan Kesler, Benning said that he speaks with Kesler’s agent on “a daily basis.” (It’s expected that Kesler will be traded this offseason.)

PPS — Here’s a fun clip of Crawford yelling and screaming:

Video: Evgeni Malkin leaves Oilers spinning

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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.”

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.

Slump busters: Simmonds, Couturier end long scoring droughts in win over Rangers


It’s been a good few days to be a fan of the Philadelphia Flyers, as their team delivered not once, but twice during Thanksgiving weekend.

The Flyers picked up a 3-2 OT win over the Predators on Friday before shutting out the New York Rangers, 3-0, on Saturday.

It was a good afternoon for three players in particular.

Both Wayne Simmonds and Sean Couturier ended long scoring slumps.

Simmonds’ two goals were his first in seven games, while Couturier scored for the first time in his last 13 contests.

Goaltender Steve Mason also had a solid outing against the Rangers.

The 27-year-old turned aside all 24 shots he faced including this great save on Dominic Moore:

The Flyers lost defenseman Nick Schultz to an upper-body injury in the first period after he took a big hit from Dylan McIlrath.

Luke Schenn defended his fallen teammate by dropping the gloves with McIlrath, which didn’t go unnoticed by his teammates.

The Rangers are now on a season-high three-game losing streak. Their lack of effort has to be concerning for their head coach Alain Vigneault.

The Flyers outshot the Rangers 30-14 over the final 40 minutes.