Cam Tucker


Video: Clayton Keller continues to shine during Coyotes gloomy start


The Arizona Coyotes are nearing the end of a five-game road trip through the Eastern Conference, still searching for their first win of the season.

It’s been a disaster for the Coyotes this month. Last night’s defeat in New Jersey dropped their record to 0-10-1, which puts them in forgettable company. This isn’t a piece of history any team ever wants to be associated with.

There has been one bright spot though, and it’s the play of 2016 first-round pick Clayton Keller.

Taken seventh overall that year, Keller had a nice start to this season and has continued that, particularly during this most recent five-game stretch with five goals and eight points in that time, putting the 19-year-old center atop the rookie scoring race.

Keller scored another terrific goal on Saturday — albeit in another disappointing loss for the Coyotes — as he stripped the puck from Nico Hischier inside the New Jersey zone, then walked in and beat Cory Schneider through the five-hole.

“He’s a guy who has some swagger,” Coyotes general manager John Chayka told USA Today. “He has real confidence in him, bordering on cockiness. That’s a good thing because he is a respectful kid and a good teammate. He works well with coaches and he takes criticism well. He’s a big part of what we are trying to do here.”

The Coyotes visit the Philadelphia Flyers on Monday and the Detroit Red Wings the following night, so if they are to get their first win of the season this week, it will have to come in a back-to-back situation at the end of an already disheartening road trip.

Making matters worse is the fact that coach Rick Tocchet told reporters after the game that defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson went through concussion protocol late in the third period of last night’s game.


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

The Buzzer: Another Tavares hat trick; Coyotes lose … again


Player of the night: John Tavares (again)

Just another hat trick for Islanders star John Tavares.

After scoring three goals on Tuesday against Arizona, Tavares was back at it on Saturday, recording the natural hat trick in just over seven minutes early in the third period to help the Islanders to a 6-2 victory over the Nashville Predators.

Tavares is on quite a roll right now, with 10 points in his last four games, while the Islanders have won four of their last five. Now, the big test comes when they face the Vegas Golden Knights at home on Monday.

Honorable mentions go to Evgeny Kuznetsov, who scored twice in the third period, including the winner against the Edmonton Oilers, and teammate Alex Ovechkin, who had three assists. The Capitals erased an early two-goal deficit with five unanswered goals to defeat the Oilers.

Highlight of the night:

Tyler Toffoli gave the L.A. Kings an overtime victory with his second goal of the night, as he buried a shot from a set play on an offensive zone faceoff with less than a second remaining in overtime.


Factoid of the night:

The Arizona Coyotes are still searching for their first win of the season after a 4-3 loss to the New Jersey Devils on Saturday.


Washington 5, Edmonton 2

San Jose 3, Buffalo 2

L.A. 2, Boston 1 (OT)

Philadelphia 4, Toronto 2

Montreal 5, NY Rangers 4

Anaheim 4, Tampa Bay 1

Detroit 3, Florida 2 (SO)

New Jersey 4, Arizona 3

St. Louis 4, Columbus 1

NY Islanders 6, Nashville 2

Minnesota 2, Pittsburgh 1

Colorado 6, Chicago 3


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

Video: Toffoli’s incredible buzzer-beater OT goal defeats Bruins


Well, that was sudden.

Less than a full second remained on the game clock when the Kings lined up for an offensive zone faceoff in overtime against the Bruins.

In the end, that didn’t matter, though. With Jonathan Quick on the bench for the extra attacker during the three-on-three session, Anze Kopitar won a clean draw back to Tyler Toffoli, who wasted no time ripping his shot by Tuukka Rask, giving the Kings an incredible buzzer-beater overtime victory.

It was a faceoff executed to perfection, without a single flaw, as the Kings improved their record to 9-1-1 atop the Pacific Division.

“How long does it take to score a goal? Less than a second!” — Ted Orion, D3: The Mighty Ducks.


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

Oilers reportedly ‘disappointed’ in Strome-Eberle trade


When it comes to overall production, it’s been a slow start for Ryan Strome with his new team in Edmonton.

Beyond the play of Connor McDavid and a two-goal outing from Ryan Nugent-Hopkins on Thursday, it’s been a slow start for just about everyone on the Oilers roster.

That said, it was surprising to hear on Saturday, before we’ve even completed the first month of the NHL season, how the Oilers are apparently viewing the Ryan Strome-Jordan Eberle deal from this summer.

From Nick Kypreos of Sportsnet:

“The fact remains, they’re disappointed in the Ryan Strome for Jordan Eberle deal. I think they’re not married to even keeping Strome, if they can move him. I think probably would. The question is would he bring anything in return of significance? No question … it’s a priority for Peter Chiarelli to find some scoring on the right side.”


In trading Eberle, Edmonton moved a forward that may have had a disappointing playoff but is a proven 20-goal scorer, reaching 34 in his second full season back in 2011-12. Eberle does have a cap hit of $6 million per season, so in acquiring Strome and his $2.5 million cap hit, the Oilers were able to create more space in order to sign restricted free agent Leon Draisaitl.

Strome, taken fifth overall in 2011, had 50 points in 2014-15 but was up and down during his time with the New York Islanders before a change of scenery was given to him in this trade. The Oilers were certainly excited at the time to receive a player that could be used both at center or the wing.

Nine games into his tenure with Edmonton, though, and Strome — a pending restricted free agent at the end of the season — has one goal and three points. Eberle began tonight’s game versus Nashville without a goal (he had six assists in 10 games), but changed that early in the first period. He ended up scoring twice with a three-point night.

The Oilers entered this season with heightened expectations after making it to the second round of the playoffs, but they entered tonight’s game versus Washington sitting 29th in the league in scoring with only 2.22 goals-for per game. McDavid has either scored or assisted on 50 per cent of his team’s goals early on, and secondary scoring has become an issue.

There are currently six players on that roster — including Strome, Draisaitl and Milan Lucic — who began tonight with only one goal on the season. Edmonton currently sits with a 3-5-1 record.


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

Gostisbehere suffers upper-body injury versus Maple Leafs


The Philadelphia Flyers defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday, doing so without defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere for the entire third period.

The Flyers announced at the beginning of the final period that Gostisbehere would not return because of an upper-body injury, forcing an already young Philadelphia blue line down to five skaters for the duration. Still, they were able to hold off the Maple Leafs for a 4-2 victory, with 20-year-old Ivan Provorov leading the defensive group in ice time with 27:11 and Brian Elliott making 28 saves.

The injury to Gostisbehere occurred on a hard hit into the boards from Leo Komarov. There was no call on the play.

The Flyers already entered this game without Andrew MacDonald, who is expected to be out for at least four weeks after he was hurt blocking a shot versus Edmonton a week ago.

Philadelphia fell behind midway through the first period, but regrouped to score three straight goals to take the lead. The second goal was not without controversy, though, as the Maple Leafs appeared upset that there wasn’t an interference call against the Flyers in the neutral zone as the puck transitioned onto the stick of Jakub Voracek seconds before he scored on a slick move to the forehand.


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