Alex Burrows

Associated Press

The Buzzer: McElhinney with the McShutout, Schenn scores again

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Players of the Night: 

Curtis McElhinney, Toronto Maple Leafs:

McElhinney turned aside all 41 shots that came his way as the Leafs shutout the Edmonton Oilers 1-0. The Leafs backup improved to 3-2-0 on the season and his save percentage jumped from .900 to 9.25. Toronto has now won three straight and six of their past 10.

Brayden Schenn, St. Louis Blues:

Schenn notched his sixth goal in his past four games and extended his goal-scoring streak to four games with a goal 40 seconds into the game. The Blues are now winners of four straight and six of their past 10.

Eric Stall, Minnesota Wild & Brent Burns, San Jose Sharks: 

Both scored twice for their respective teams in an entertaining 4-3 win for the Wild in overtime.

Highlight of the Night: 

Vladimir Tarasenko catches the Sabres defense sleeping in overtime, scoring his first non-empty net goal in nine games:

Factoid of the Night: 

Patrick Kane didn’t score, but his two assists were instrumental in giving the Chicago Blackhawks a victory on Sunday.

Scores: 

Blackhawks 3, Coyotes 1

Blues 3, Sabres 2 (OT)

Maple Leafs 1, Oilers 0

Wild 4, Sharks 3


Scott Billeck is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @scottbilleck

Alex Burrows fined $5,000 for roughing

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Alex Burrows won’t be on Dylan DeMelo‘s Christmas card list this year.

Not after Burrows swiped DeMelo in the face with the butt-end of his stick on Saturday night.

Burrows got slapped with a $5,000 fine for roughing on Sunday night, the maximum permissible under the CBA. The money is one thing, but Burrows and the Senators have bigger issues at the moment.

It didn’t help the little incident happened in the third period and the game all but over for the Senators. Here’s the slow-mo shot of the infraction:

DeMelo suffered a scratch cornea and narrowly missed a major eye injury, according to Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer. 

DeMelo was in the lineup for the Sharks on Sunday against the Minnesota Wild.

Burrows’ $5,000 goes to the player’s Emergency Assistance Fund.


Scott Billeck is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @scottbilleck

How Duchene, Turris are doing with new teams

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If Matt Duchene wanted immediate revenge against the Colorado Avalanche, he couldn’t have asked for a better opportunity.

In his first two games as a member of the Ottawa Senators, Duchene faced his former team in a back-to-back set against the Avalanche. Funny how things work out, right?

Well, when you dig deeper, the situation is a little less scripted. He didn’t face his former teammates once in Ottawa and once in Colorado; instead, the two teams went all the way to Sweden for overseas games in November. One can imagine that this experience cut down on some of that awkwardness – that “first game in Colorado in the road locker room” will have to wait – but it also made it less-than-perfect.

Still, you might be wondering how it went for Duchene.

In his case, it’s something of a good news/bad news situation.

The Good

Duchene’s team won in both cases. The Senators took Friday’s contest 4-3 in OT and 4-3 on Saturday.

After going even (7-7) in the faceoff dot on Friday, Duchene reminded that he has quietly become one of the better guys at winning draws, going 11-3 during Saturday’s win. That second contest also gave the impression that he’s starting to settle in with the Sens, as he fired eight shots on goal in 16 minutes and 19 seconds of ice time.

Following the win – and also considering the travel – Duchene joked that he might “sleep for five days” when he gets home:

So far, it looks like Duchene is lining up with Alex Burrows and Mike Hoffman. Considering the amount of space Duchene could open up with his speed and the shooting talent of Hoffman, that duo is particularly intriguing for the Sens.

The Bad

Duchene wasn’t able to score a goal or an assist in either of the two games. If you’re the type who seeks instant gratification (or gambled on him big in Daily Fantasy), then that has to have been frustrating.

Plus/minus is a borderline obnoxious stat at times, but some will harp on his combined minus -3 in the two games against the Avalanche in Sweden.

On a personal note, he looks kind of weird as number 95. Agree/disagree?

***

While Duchene’s duo of debut games were a mixed bag, Kyle Turris enjoyed a more straightforward good time during his first game with the Nashville Predators.

Turris was named the first star of the Predators’ 5-4 shootout win against the Pittsburgh Penguins, and it wasn’t just because locals are so excited about how Turris can boost scoring. The 28-year-old scored a goal and an assist in that high-scoring, exciting game in Nashville.

Peter Laviolette wasn’t shy about deploying Turris. While overtime naturally enhances his ice time, it’s worth noting that Turris logged 21:38 TOI. About the only bummer was that he only received 1:18 of his time on the power play, and he might not be on the top unit for a while. (That could change if Laviolette decides to go with a four forward setup on the PP, but that would make for the bold move of choosing one of P.K. Subban or Roman Josi.)

Here’s the first goal of Turris’ Nashville tour:

A second line of Turris, Craig Smith, and Kevin Fiala seems awfully intriguing. Both Smith and Fiala could really benefit from Turris’ presence, as each guy already generates chances. Turris might just be able to add that “finishing touch” to their games.

***

The beauty of the Turris – Duchene – Avalanche trade is that everyone, to an extent, came out a “winner” on paper. Just considering the bouquet of futures Colorado GM Joe Sakic managed under all that duress.

Still, the big names involved will be judged by both individual and team factors. Each showed signs of doing well on a personal level, and their teams must have been delighted to go 3-for-3 so far.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering: Samuel Girard logged big minutes in his first two games with the Avalanche, collecting an assist.

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.

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.

Report: NHL trade deadline will be Feb. 26

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Set the date.

The 2017-18 NHL trade deadline, one of the most highly anticipated days of the hockey calendar, will take place on Feb. 26, according to Renaud Lavoie of TVA Sports.

The lead-up to last year’s trade deadline saw a number of high profile deals.

The struggling Canucks went into sell mode by trading Alex Burrows and Jannik Hansen. Bolts netminder Ben Bishop was sent to the L.A. Kings,  and Kevin Shattenkirk went to Washington as the Capitals attempted to bolster their lineup for what they were hoping was going to be a lengthy Stanley Cup run.

Of course, this year’s trade deadline will include the Vegas Golden Knights and general manager George McPhee. They have nine players that will be eligible for unrestricted free agency at the end of next season.