Author: Jason Brough

Dmitry Kulikov, Carl Soderberg

Soderberg disagrees with Roy’s assessment of the Avs’ play

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Patrick Roy thought the Colorado Avalanche played well at five-on-five during last night’s 4-1 loss at Florida.

The Avs’ head coach — the same one who said his team did “a lot of good things” after losing the other night to winless Columbus — once again said his team “did a lot of good things” versus the Panthers.

Roy maintained that the difference in last night’s game was special teams. Florida capitalized on its man advantages. Colorado didn’t.

This time, however, one of his players shared a contrasting opinion.

“I don’t really agree,” forward Carl Soderberg told the Denver Post. “I think it’s the same thing every game.”

So, who was right?

According to the following Corsi chart, the Avs did not fare that well at five-on-five:

chart

The Avs did outshoot the Panthers, 21-19, at five-on-five, so that’s something. But late in the second period, the Panthers had taken almost two even-strength shot attempts for every one Avs attempt. That suggests a considerable possession deficit for the Avs in the first part of the game, with score effects taking over later in the game while the Panthers were protecting a multi-goal lead.

It’s hard to win games when you lose the even-strength possession battle — especially, as Roy rightly noted, when your power play goes 0-for-5 and your penalty killing goes 0-for-3.

The Avs are 2-5-1 after eight games. They play in Tampa tomorrow.

Related: Here’s what Patrick Roy doesn’t like about Corsi

Leading the league in scoring isn’t Krejci’s goal, but he’ll ‘take it’

David Krejci, Mike Smith
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For a team that struggled to score last year, the Boston Bruins have sure been racking up some impressive offensive statistics in early 2015-16.

After eight games, the B’s are averaging 4.13 goals per game, second to only Washington’s 4.14.

Four Bruins have scored at least a point per game.

At the top of the team is David Krejci. The 29-year-old center led the NHL with 14 points, after adding two more goals in last night’s 6-0 drubbing of Arizona, before Jamie Benn took the lead over later in the night.

“[Leading the NHL in scoring] is not really my goal, but obviously I’ll take it,” he told CSN New England. “It’s nice to be up there, who knows for how long, but it is what it is. It’s going to be fun to come to the rink tomorrow because we won tonight. It’s fun when you win, it’s kind of not fun when you lose. But when you win it’s good, so we have to build on that and make sure that we keep this atmosphere for as long as we can.”

After starting the season with three straight losses, the B’s have won four of their last five, their only blemish an overtime loss to the Flyers.

Even more encouraging, Tuukka Rask got the shutout last night. He’d allowed at least three goals in each of his last five starts.

“Keeping the goals-against down is always the goal,” Rask told the Associated Press. “We looked really tight defensively. I thought overall it was a good tight effort.”

The Bruins will have a couple of tough tests Friday and Saturday when they visit the Panthers and Lightning, respectively. Then it’s back home to play Dallas, before leaving on another road trip.

Ladd on Kane: ‘We’ve moved on. And maybe he should, too’

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The day after learning that former teammate Evander Kane had accused the Jets organization of not having his back, the Jets’ players were once again forced to comment on Evander Kane.

“It is frustrating to have to speak about somebody who’s no longer with us,” said Blake Wheeler, per the Winnipeg Sun.

Similarly, captain Andrew Ladd said: “We’ve moved on. And maybe he should, too.”

Dustin Byfuglien was not made available for comment. It was Byfuglien who reportedly threw Kane’s clothes into the shower last February, an incident that led to the end of Kane’s time in Winnipeg.

Coach Paul Maurice admitted today that he knew Kane had wanted out all along. 

“I was aware that Evander probably would like to have played somewhere else, and had a full understanding that when that contract expired he would be somewhere else,” Maurice said.

“In the end, I guess it was a difficult marriage that separated amicably.”

We’ll see how amicable Jets fans are actually feeling when the Sabres visit MTS Centre on Jan. 10.

Update:

Jan. 10!!!

Hanifin to be healthy scratch versus Wings

Noah Hanifin, Jaromir Jagr
AP

For the first time this season, Carolina rookie Noah Hanifin will be a healthy scratch. The Boston College product is expected to sit tonight in Detroit, according to FOX Sports’ Michelle McMahon.

Carolina coach Bill Peters explained his decision as just wanting to “freshen him up, that’s all it is.”

Hanifin was the fifth overall pick in the 2015 draft. The 18-year-old is one of four players from that draft (and the only defenseman) still playing in the NHL, the others being Connor McDavid, Jack Eichel, and Daniel Sprong.

McDavid and Eichel were always considered locks to stay up. Sprong was a surprise, but apparently has done enough to stick with the Penguins.

Hanifin has played eight games for Carolina, so the Hurricanes must decide soon whether to keep him or send him down to the AHL, a la Colorado’s Mikko Rantanen.

Hanifin has not looked out of place in the NHL. His possession stats are solid and his ice time has ranged from a low of 14:41 to a high of 20:30. He has two assists.

Hanifin could play his ninth game Thursday in Brooklyn. If he plays a 10th, his entry-level contract will officially kick in.

Canucks doubly motivated to beat undefeated Habs

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Tonight in Vancouver, the Montreal Canadiens can join the 1993-94 Maple Leafs and 2006-07 Buffalo Sabres by starting the season with 10 straight victories.

The Canucks would like to stop them, for two good reasons.

“You don’t want to go in the record books on the other side, so I think there always is motivation,” said coach Willie Desjardins.

“It’s our chance, too. We haven’t won at home. It gives us a chance to turn our season around a little bit as well.”

The Canucks (3-2-3) blew another third-period lead Saturday versus Detroit, eventually falling 3-2 in overtime. It was the third time in the young season that they’d led after two and failed to hold on for a victory.

On the bright side, Vancouver’s only lost twice in regulation.

At any rate, expect the Canucks’ individual ice time to once again be monitored closely tonight. Desjardins conceded this morning that the Sedins’ workload has been a bit more than he’d like.

As such, the so-called “kid” line of Bo Horvat centering Jake Virtanen and Sven Baertschi has been broken up. Every forward combination against the Habs will include at least one veteran.

“I like playing four lines,” said Desjardins. “I’ve always liked to. That’s something I want to do. I’m hoping that tonight, with the lines the way they are, I expect to play all the lines and gives guys a chance to show what they can do.”

Related: Desjardins defends benching of Canucks kids