The point production — five assists in his last five games — hadn’t been a problem. But Max Domi had gone nine games without a goal prior to Friday.
Well, the talented 20-year-old rookie forward snapped that scoring drought in style, going backhand, top shelf on Buffalo Sabres goalie Chad Johnson to give the Arizona Coyotes a 1-0 lead late in the first period of Friday’s game.
Domi was somehow left all alone in the neutral zone to receive the breakaway pass, before speeding in and going to his backhand for goal No. 9 of his young NHL career.
He now moves into sole possession of second place among NHL rookies for goals, one behind Dylan Larkin and Oscar Lindberg.
The Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens will add another chapter to their historic rivalry when they clash in the 2016 Winter Classic at Gillette Stadium in Boston on New Year’s Day.
It appears the Lake Erie Monsters, minor league affiliate of the Columbus Blue Jackets, are about to get another veteran player added to their roster, only a few days after Manny Malhotra signed a PTO with that club.
The Columbus Dispatch is reporting that defenseman Jan Hejda is close to signing a PTO with the Monsters, and will be rooming with Malhotra at an apartment in Cleveland. Between the two of them, Malhotra is the youngest at 35 years old. Hejda is 37. So, this arrangement could make for a few age-related jokes among teammates as both get settled.
All kidding aside, both have experience within the Blue Jackets organization. Malhotra and Hejda were teammates in Columbus for two season — 2007-08 and 2008-09 — before their careers took different paths.
Hejda spent the last four seasons with the Colorado Avalanche, but his time there ended in the summer when he became an unrestricted free agent. He skated with the Chicago Blackhawks in training camp on a tryout.
Now, does he have a realistic shot at getting back into the NHL with the Blue Jackets? He has only 627 games and 135 career points in the league, and, as Aaron Portzline reports, would need to first sign a new contract in order to be recalled to Columbus.
Last month, the NHL might’ve taken steps to try to reduce the number of games decided by the shootout by introducing three-on-three overtime, however commissioner Gary Bettman remains steadfast in keeping the deciding skills competition.
“I think to the extent some people wanted to see fewer shootouts, this will get us there, and that’s fine. The shootout isn’t going anywhere,” Bettman told the Boston Globe.
“You go to a building during a shootout, everybody’s on their feet, nobody is leaving, which is what it was designed to do. It’s exciting, it’s fun, it’s entertaining, and so if we’re going to try and reduce the number of shootouts, this may do it.”
The league’s board of governors in late-June approved three-on-three overtime for the full five minutes of the extra period, opting not to use the AHL method, which was to begin OT at four-on-four before moving to three-on-three if there was no winner decided after three minutes.
With the three-on-three method, the AHL saw 75 per cent of games that went beyond regulation time decided in overtime, which was a substantial increase from the previous season, according to NHL.com.
Still, the shootout remains a polarizing way to decide a winner and loser in the NHL. While its been blasted in the past by coaches — John Tortorella hates the shootout — and executives, Bettman has maintained that fans like the shootout.
It’s been a busy summer for the San Jose Sharks, as they look to get back to the playoffs after failing to qualify this past spring.
The Sharks and general manager Doug Wilson acquired goalie Martin Jones and then signed him to a three-year contract extension. They also signed veteran forward Joel Ward and defenseman Paul Martin.
However, with the new additions, it’s the core group of players, including Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau, that forward Logan Couture seems to believe in as San Jose looks to get back to the post-season, despite what has been an overall lack of success that time of year.
“I talked to Doug a couple times throughout the summer, and we want to win,” Couture told The Hockey News.
“San Jose does. That’s our goal. We realize our best players, Jumbo and Patty, are getting a little bit older. I think we have the core to win, and Doug went out and got some very good players. Paul, Martin Jones, Joel, they’re just going to help us.”