Kevin Bieksa

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PHT Morning Skate: Youth hockey coach fired for giving profanity-filled pre-game speech

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–The Ottawa Senators will be visiting Erik Karlsson‘s home country of Sweden this week, as they prepare to play the Avalanche on Friday and Saturday. Karlsson is pretty pumped about being able to show his teammates the country he grew up in. (Ottawa Sun)

–After he lost his good friend Rick Rypien to suicide, Kevin Bieksa started a website called mindcheck.ca, which is dedicated to raising awareness about mental health. On Nov. 5, Bieksa got a message from a fan on Twitter that told him she was able to see the signs that suggested her daughter was planning to kill herself, because of the information made available on the website. (Vancouver Sun)

–The Carolina Hurricanes are remarkably bad in overtime. Over the last two season, they rank third in the NHL in games played in overtime, but rank 27th in OT winning percentage. Why are they so bad in the extra frame? Head coach Bill Peters has to shoulder a lot of the blame. (canescountry.com)

–The Los Angeles Kings made an interesting hire when they added Pierre Turgeon as an offensive coordinator. He’s been a valuable addition to the team. “Your ability to connect with him as a human first and foremost is his strongest asset,” Kings forward Brooks Laich said. “He’s very personable, very light, always keeps it very enjoyable around the rink and making sure guys are having fun and then his knowledge obviously pours out from that connection.” (NHL.com/Kings)

–Since his holdout ended, Josh Anderson has been an important piece of the puzzle for the Blue Jackets. Anderson has been able to do a number of important things for his team, which means that other veterans on the roster could become expendable. (thehockeywriters.com)

–The San Jose Sharks were giving up a ton of chances to their opposition on the penalty kill last season, but they’ve been able to improve that aspect of their game dramatically in 2017-18. Not only are they better on the penalty kill, they’ve leaned on it so far. (NBC Sports Bay Area)

–Is this the year Alex Pietrangelo finally wins the Norris Trophy? People in the Blues organization hope so. “He’s one of the best defenders,” former Blues defenseman Al McInnis said. “I don’t know if there is a better defender from the top of the circles down. He plays with a long stick. He’s got great reach defending and getting pucks out of battles with that stick, getting it to the forwards.” (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

–Flyers defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere is about to set a new franchise record, as he’s about to reach 100 points faster than any defenseman in franchise history. (Philly.com)

–In previous season, players that have made the jump from the KHL have had success. Guys like Artemi Panarin and Alexander Radulov turned their stellar play into big contract extensions. This season, the Russians that have made the leap to the NHL (Andrei Mironov, Vadim Shipachyov, and Victor Antipin) haven’t been able to stick with their respective teams. (fanragsports.com)

–Vice Sports’ Dave Lozo makes a case to move each one of Canada’s NHL teams to the United States. For example, here’s what he had to say about moving the Maple Leafs: “The longer the Leafs stay in Toronto, the more likely it is the media creates a scandal about Auston Matthews staying out too late or William Nylander eating too much falafel or Morgan Rielly spelling his last name incorrectly all these years out of protest against Justin Trudeau.” (Vice Sports)

David Pastrnak is a very useful player for the Boston Bruins, but he made some questionable decisions with the puck in the third period of Monday’s game against Minnesota. It’s something they have to figure out in the near future to take his game to the next level. (NBC Sports Boston)

–International women’s hockey has been dominated by Canada and the United States, and heading into next year’s Olympics, the two teams will see a lot of each other. Both sides do everything they can to get every little advantage over each other. (New York Times)

–A youth hockey coach was fired after giving his team a profanity-filled pre-game pep talk. The whole thing was caught on video. (Denver Post)

–Lightning defender Victor Hedman came up clutch for his team in a game against Columbus, but not in the way that you might think. Hedman actaully managed to win a face-off against Nick Foligno in a crucial moment of the contest. (Rawcharge.com)

Joey Alfieri is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @joeyalfieri.

Fight: Pavelski vs. Johansen; Not much fight: Predators against Sharks

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The Nashville Predators’ 5-5-2 record isn’t pretty, and their effort in a 4-1 loss to the San Jose Sharks wasn’t so pretty either.

Nashville couldn’t get much going against the Sharks tonight, who improved to 7-5-0 on the season. The two teams combined for just 48 shots on goal, so it’s not surprising that a fight and a debatable hit ended up stealing the show.

(You could safely use the eye-roller “These teams don’t like each other” with this one, too, as there were 12 power plays and 54 total hits. Maybe it’s fitting that Joe Thornton ended a milestone night where he scored his 1,400th point [on an assist, of course] by getting thrown from the fray.)

The Predators and Sharks were already playing a physical game, but things started to get nasty when Ryan Johansen hurt Marc-Edouard Vlasic. We’ll see if anything comes of this beyond the contest; in the moment Johansen merely received a boarding minor:

Actually, something did come of it, as Johansen and Joe Pavelski engaged in a rare fight later in the third period:

NBC Sports California’s Brodie Brazil notes that it kind of looked like a pro wrestling move happened during the fight:

This continues the recent trend of WWE-inspired bouts, as Kevin Bieksa delivered a “superman punch” that would have made Roman Reigns proud in a recent fight.

Indeed, that run of violence overshadowed much of the play.

It’s up to the Predators to bring the spotlight back to the scoreboard, as so far they’re struggling with Ryan Ellis on the shelf and bigger targets on their backs.

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.

Puck to face lands Getzlaf on IR as Ducks’ bad luck continues

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The Anaheim Ducks have already been dealing with injury issues this season, and now an errant puck to the face lands Ryan Getzlaf on injured reserve.

He’ll be reevaluated on Monday, according to the team, which means that Getzlaf will miss at least the next three games for the Ducks. They host the Maple Leafs on Wednesday, the Predators on Friday, and then face the Sharks in San Jose on Saturday. After that, they’ll begin a five-game homestand on Tuesday, Nov. 7.

Here’s that unfortunate moment from the Ducks’ eventual 4-3 shootout win against the Carolina Hurricanes:

Give the Ducks credit; they won that game, and head coach Randy Carlyle is taking a matter-of-fact approach:

True, but it’s understandable if the Ducks are a little frustrated.

They finally got Ryan Miller into the mix on Sunday. Sami Vatanen is back to some extent, as he played on the weekend but didn’t suit up for back-to-back games. Cam Fowler‘s knee injury looks foreboding, and it remains to be seen when Ryan Kesler can return (and how long it will take the hard-working two-way center to approach full health). Kevin Bieksa is banged-up, while Patrick Eaves deals with a legitimately frightening ailment.

Speaking of frightening aliments, John Gibson seemed to avoid anything, um, too severe:

Despite these injuries, the Ducks have won four of their last five games to improve to 6-4-1. That’s resilient work, yet you wonder if they’ll cave under the pressure with their captain sidelined for at least the next three contests.

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.

Injury-addled Ducks monitor Getzlaf after puck to face

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The Anaheim Ducks already had plenty of injuries to deal with heading into Sunday’s game against the Carolina Hurricanes. Now they must be concerned about captain Ryan Getzlaf after he was clearly shaken up by a puck to the face.

The Ducks used the phrasing that Getzlaf “continues to be evaluated” regarding an upper-body injury. To little surprise, they also noted that he would not return to Sunday’s match against the Hurricanes.

Sportsnet tweeted a GIF of the unfortunate bounce for Getzlaf and the Ducks:

Getzlaf, 32, came into Sunday on a high note. He generated three assists in the Ducks’ somewhat-surprising win against the Tampa Bay Lightning, and had seven points in his last four contests.

On the bright side, the Ducks have an opportunity to rest, as their next game doesn’t come until Wednesday. They play nine of 11 games in Anaheim to begin November, so having Getzlaf on hand certainly would help them make the most of that stretch.

Again, this is far from the only issue for Anaheim. Sami Vatanen was believed to be ready to play, but that fell through tonight. Cam Fowler and Ryan Kesler aren’t expected to play again anytime soon, Kevin Bieksa is day-to-day with an issue, and Patrick Eaves is dealing with some frightening health problems. Ryan Miller just made his debut tonight.

The Ducks seemed aware that this might be a tough start to the season thanks in part to injuries, so potentially losing Getzlaf for some time could be a problem. We’ll see if there are any updates tonight, as the game is currently in the third period.

Update: Anaheim managed to fight back for a win in this one, edging Carolina 4-3 via a shootout.

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 receive good and bad news on injury front

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First, the good news: Sami Vatanen is expected to make his season debut on the Ducks’ blue line tonight against the surging Tampa Bay Lightning, per Eric Stephens of the Orange County Register.

The 26-year-old Vatanen had shoulder surgery in May after his team was eliminated from the Stanley Cup playoffs by the Nashville Predators and was initially expected back in the lineup some time around November, along with Hampus Lindholm.

The latter has already returned to game action for the Ducks, making his debut Tuesday against the Philadelphia Flyers. To get Vatanen and Lindholm back is a boost for Anaheim’s blue line, as this team looks to get on a hot streak after a 4-4-1 start to the season.

Another positive development is the fact Ryan Miller has also reportedly been activated from the injured reserve list and is expected to back up John Gibson tonight.

That’s the good news.

The bad news? It once again has to do with another injury to another key member of the Ducks defensive group.

Per the Ducks, Cam Fowler is expected to miss the next three to seven weeks because of a knee injury, which has already kept him out of the lineup for the last week. He initially suffered the injury on Oct. 20 versus the Habs, playing less than two minutes of that game before leaving.

That’s a significant loss for Anaheim considering Fowler leads the team in ice time, averaging just under 23 minutes per game, including duties on the penalty kill and power play.

The club also added that Kevin Bieksa will be re-evaluated for a hand injury he suffered Tuesday in Philadelphia. Bieksa was involved in a quick fight with Radko Gudas, though he caught the Flyers defenseman with a right hand, ending the scrap.

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Cam Tucker is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @CamTucker_Sport.