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Duchene, Turris: The day after the non-trade

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From the sound of things, the trade that wasn’t involving Matt Duchene, Kyle Turris, picks, prospects, the Ottawa Senators, Colorado Avalanche, and maybe the Nashville Predators, might some day mutate into an actual transaction.

For more on that unusual situation, check out Adam Gretz’s post, which includes an interesting comparison between Turris and Duchene.

If you’re looking for some concrete updates on what needs to happen and/or what didn’t happen, a few things cropped up since then.

The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun reports that things didn’t progress with Turris and the Predators to the point that extension talks happened. That’s highly relevant, after all, with Turris in a contract year and his value somewhat difficult to gauge.

Now, if you’re a fan of Duchene, the Avalanche, and/or trades, you might want an idea of what’s holding things up. It’s no secret that GM Joe Sakic seeks a considerable haul in return for Duchene, with TSN’s Darren Dreger providing more meat to chew on:

If nothing else, you have to credit Joe for shooting high (and knowing Sakic, while keeping his head up and not looking down).

Whether Turris sticks with the Senators for a while and the Duchene pain continues in Colorado or one/both get a change of address, the bottom line is that both forwards were asked to perform on Saturday, less than 24 hours after word broke of the near-trade.

Give each player some credit for taking a “business as usual” approach.

Turris plays reasonably well, Sens say the right things

The Athletic’s James Gordon reports (subscription required), the Senators more or less said all the right things about Turris’ attitude and handling the situation.

Well, they mostly said all the right things, as some might be a little beaten down by seeing the phrase “fake news” break into the escapist world of sports. Either way, Alex Burrows made a reference to “the fake news world” while ultimately concluding that scuttlebutt doesn’t matter.

You could probably give Turris a little bit of extra credit, as he didn’t just play a day later, his (for now?) Senators fell 5-4 to the Vegas Golden Knights in an tilt that began in the afternoon. Turris collected one assist, fired three shots on goal, and won 65 percent of his draws.

The only Senators forwards who logged more ice time were Mark Stone and Mike Hoffman, as Turris played just under 20 minutes. It doesn’t really seem like Guy Boucher was gluing him to the bench.

Duchene has a nice game

The Avalanche are now on a three-game winning streak after edging the Philadelphia Flyers 5-4 via a shootout.

Duchene scored a timely goal in this one, making it 1-0 with about two seconds remaining in the first period. He also produced the lone assist on Nail Yakupov‘s fourth goal of the season, the Avs’ last tally of the contest beyond the skills competition.

Duchene wasn’t able to connect on a shootout attempt. Like Turris, he ranked third among his team’s forwards in ice time. He didn’t get a ton of reps on the power play, but that might have had something to do with Colorado going 2-for-3.

If nothing else, Duchene might be used to all that trade talk by now, even if he probably doesn’t enjoy it.

*ahem*

So, if there are any performance issues that stem from such distractions, they weren’t immediately obvious in either Duchene or Turris. We’ll see how many games they end up playing for their respective teams, assuming they get traded at all.

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

Ducks deny rally, end Penguins’ winning streak

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When Ondrej Kase cashed in on another breakaway opportunity for the Ducks to make it 4-1 in the second period, it looked like that goal would be icing on the cake for Anaheim. Even if it would be especially pretty frosting.

Instead, that stylish goal ended up being critical, as the Pittsburgh Penguins nearly rallied in the third period to at least send Wednesday’s game to overtime. John Gibson ended up holding down the fort, and with an empty-netter in the dying seconds, the Ducks ended up beating the Penguins 5-3.

You could call it a game of periods and close calls.

The Penguins entered the first intermission thanks to a 1-0 Evgeni Malkin goal, but the Ducks dominated the middle frame with their first four-goal period of 2017-18. The Penguins’ prolific power play helped them stay in the game (2-for-4, with both goals coming during that third-period comeback bid), but the rally fell short. Pittsburgh’s winning streak ended at four victories.

Some bounces went both ways, as Antoine Vermette nearly scored for the Ducks while Carl Hagelin suffered a near-miss. So maybe those missed opportunities cancel each other out?

From the Ducks’ perspective, this is the latest argument in favor of this team being a threat now that key pieces have returned to the lineup. This win begins what they hope is a successful five-game homestand, as Anaheim still needs to battle for its own playoff hopes.

The Penguins can’t ruminate on this loss for very long. They head to Los Angeles to face what must be a frustrated Kings team (four straight defeats, only two wins in their last eight games) on Thursday, with little reason to expect any mercy.

This last stretch of wins improved the Penguins’ outlook, but dropping games in back-to-back nights could make things tense again in a hurry. You can check out that Penguins – Kings game on NBCSN Thursday.

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

Willie O’Ree celebrates 60th anniversary of debut with Bruins

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BOSTON (AP) Hockey pioneer Willie O’Ree was honored in Boston on Wednesday on the 60th anniversary of the Bruins forward breaking the NHL’s color barrier.

At a news conference at the TD Garden before the Bruins game against the Montreal Canadiens, Mayor Marty Walsh declared Jan. 18, 2018 to be “Willie O’Ree Day”. O’Ree made his debut in 1958 during a 3-0 victory against the Canadiens at the Forum in Montreal.

Walsh called O’Ree a Boston legend who changed the city for the better and thanked him for his courage. As part of the celebration, the city dedicated a new street hockey rink in the Allston-Brighton neighborhood to be known as Willie O’Ree Rink.

A native of Canada, O’Ree, 82, had four goals and 10 assists in 45 games over parts of two NHL seasons. He spent a total of 21 years in pro hockey.

For the past two decades, O’Ree has served as the NHL’s Diversity Ambassador, spreading the message that hockey is for everyone.

More AP NHL hockey at https://apnews.com/tag/NHLhockey

Bruins cruise vs. Canadiens in Julien’s return to Boston

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Don’t blame Claude Julien if Wednesday made him think of better times, and not just because it was his welcome back night in Boston.

Coming into this one, it was a tale of two teams going in opposite directions, and the teams stuck to their scripts. The Boston Bruins remain red-hot with a 4-1 win, while the Montreal Canadiens are mired in mediocrity .. or worse?

When you’re as disappointing as the Canadiens have been, plenty of things are going wrong. It was a weak start even with a 1-0 lead and 1-1 first period in mind, and it obviously didn’t get any better.

Nights like these have to sting for Julien, a coach known for his sophisticated systems and eye for defensive detail.

There are questions about Max Pacioretty possibly being trade bait. People wonder if Jonathan Drouin or Alex Galchenyuk fit as centers, or if neither work that way. Yet, these performances make you realize that as exasperated as management must be, they may also appreciate more specific distractions.

Because, frankly, this was a team … non-effort.

Then again, the Bruins are a red-hot squad, so maybe they shine an especially harsh light on the Habs’ haplessness?

Boston generated a 32-22 shots on goal advantage in this one, with multiple contributors stepping up. Big guns came through (Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak were among the goal scorers, Patrice Bergeron collected two assists), while David Backes and others added to the fun.

It was the kind of effort Julien would have been very happy with, if it didn’t come at his expense.

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

WATCH LIVE: Pittsburgh Penguins at Anaheim Ducks

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PROJECTED LINEUPS

Pittsburgh Penguins

Dominik SimonSidney Crosby — Daniel Sprong

Carl HagelinEvgeni MalkinPatric Hornqvist

Conor ShearyJake GuentzelPhil Kessel

Tom KuhnhacklRiley SheahanRyan Reaves

Brian DumoulinKris Letang

Olli MaattaJustin Schultz

Matt HunwickJamie Oleksiak

Starting goalie: Tristan Jarry

[NHL on NBCSN doubleheader: Canadiens vs. Bruins; Penguins vs. Ducks]

Ducks

Rickard RakellRyan GetzlafCorey Perry

Derek GrantRyan KeslerJakob Silfverberg

Nick RitchieAdam HenriqueOndrej Kase

Chris WagnerAntoine VermetteJ.T. Brown

Cam FowlerKevin Bieksa

Hampus LindholmJosh Manson

Francois BeaucheminBrandon Montour

Starting goalie: John Gibson