I am a contributing editor/writer/troublemaker for NBC's Pro Hockey Talk blog.
While the Tampa Bay Lightning passed their first test post-Steven Stamkos injury, the Buffalo Sabres offense once again failed in a 4-1 loss on Thursday.
Just ask Evander Kane.
“It must be a joke floating around the league: You score two goals against the Buffalo Sabres and you’re going to win the hockey game,” Kane said, according to the Buffalo News.
On one hand, Kane has a point. Just look at Buffalo’s output in November, even in wins:
Nov. 1: 2-1 win at the Wild
Nov. 3: 2-1 loss vs. Maple Leafs
Nov. 5: 2-1 win at Senators
Nov. 7: 4-0 loss at Bruins
Nov. 9: 2-1 shootout loss vs. Senators
Nov. 11: 2-1 OT loss vs. Devils
Nov. 12: 4-2 loss at Devils
Tuesday: 4-1 loss at Blues
Thursday: 4-1 loss vs. Lightning
Kane’s assessment is literally correct, at least during this specific month; they’ve scored two goals or less in every game so far in November.
Of course, the young power forward can’t really deny that he’s part of the problem.
His assist on Thursday’s lone Buffalo goal is the only point he’s mustered in six games this season. It’s not just a matter of bad luck, alone, as he’s only managed 11 shots on goal during that span.
It’s no secret that there are trade rumors surrounding Kane, and it’s tougher and tougher to dismiss the notion that both sides might benefit from a fresh start.
That said, as low as things sink for the Sabres on this six-game losing streak, Kane hasn’t exactly driven his trade value through the roof, either.
Scary scene from the Arizona Coyotes – Vancouver Canucks game on Thursday: Brad Richardson was taken off on a stretcher after the awkward hit he received.
He’s been taken to a Vancouver-area hospital with what’s currently labeled a lower-body injury, according to Dave Vest of the team’s website.
To little surprise, Richardson won’t return to Thursday’s game. It’s unclear how serious his injury is beyond that.
You can see that unfortunate hit – Richardson was caught at an inopportune time – in the video above this post’s headline.
Update: After the Coyotes’ 3-2 overtime loss to the Canucks, Dave Tippett said he expects to know more about Richardson’s status as soon as Friday, but believes “we’re looking at a pretty significant injury.”
After rattling off three wins to begin a six-game road trip, the San Jose Sharks have gotten off track lately.
They were shut out by the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday and then fell to a slightly banged-up St. Louis Blues by a score of 3-2 on Thursday.
Speaking of injuries, the Sharks have a situation to monitor now, as Tomas Hertl was injured and did not return to tonight’s game.
Jaden Schwartz made life difficult at times for the Sharks with two goals:
Assuming that Hertl isn’t dealing with anything too serious – CSN Bay Area’s Kevin Kurz reports that there was no update after the game – then it’s not all doom and gloom for San Jose.
The Sharks wrap up this road run against the Coyotes in Arizona on Saturday. After that, they’ll play five straight and seven of eight at home.
Remember the talk about how Tuukka Rask was in Carey Price‘s zip code as far as red-hot goalies go? On Thursday, Devan Dubnyk argued that he’s at least in the same state.
It’s easy to dismiss what is a modest 7-5-1 record for Dubnyk even counting the Minnesota Wild’s 1-0 win against Rask and the Bruins on Thursday, but that mark hides what’s been a remarkable start to 2016-17.
To refresh your memory, Dubnyk generated a three-game shutout streak from Oct. 25-29, including a night where he blanked the Bruins.
With his fourth shutout of the season, he now leads the NHL in that category. He broke a tie in that league-leading regarding with … you guessed it, Tuukka Rask.
Maybe more impressively, Dubnyk’s save percentage climbs to .952, better than Rask (.947) and Price (.948). No doubt, those three are putting together outstanding work, even if Dubnyk isn’t enjoying the same level of support from teammates.
The 1-0 margin hinted at this already, but it wasn’t that far from at least going into overtime with a scoreless tie. Mikael Granlund scored the game’s only goal with just 45 seconds remaining.
Rask hasn’t been upstaged very often so far in this redemptive run, but this time around, it was advantage: Dubnyk.
In more than 200 regular season games with the Toronto Maple Leafs, James Reimer enjoyed some great moments. Even so, many look back at his time with mostly bad memories.
His first game against the Maple Leafs with the Florida Panthers did little to erase such thoughts in Toronto.
Reimer absorbed all six Leafs goals as his former team ruined his Toronto reunion 6-1 on Thursday. With that, Reimer is now 2-3-1 as Roberto Luongo‘s highly paid understudy in Florida.
Connor Brown scored twice and flirted with a hat trick. Mitch Marner‘s tremendous “triple-deke” goal can be seen here, his seventh of 2016-17. James van Riemsdyk might be on an even hotter streak, connecting for his eighth of the season.
On the other end of the ice, Frederik Andersen continues to get his bearings in Toronto’s net, only allowing a single tally.
If Maple Leafs fans wonder what could have been with Reimer, they at least likely weren’t daydreaming about that too wistfully on Thursday.