Author: Joe Yerdon

Zack Kassian

Torts on Kassian: ‘Good at times. Crappy at times. But he’s coming.’


Vancouver Canucks forward Zack Kassian is off to a rough start this season. After serving a suspension for a high-sticking incident in the preseason, he has just two goals in nine games this year including one on Monday night against the Washington Capitals.

Canucks coach John Tortorella was asked for his assessment of Kassian’s play and was his usual blunt self as Jim Jamieson of The Province shares.

“Zack Kassian? Good at times. Crappy at times. But he’s coming. He’s coming. He still has to work on his consistency, having the puck, protecting the puck. So he wasn’t too bad,” Tortorella said.

There’s no real beating around the bush on that one.

Kassian has been playing an average of over 12 minutes per game this season so that means he’s got to make the most of his opportunities when he’s out there. Turning the puck over won’t help him endear himself to his new coach, but more goals and hits would do the trick.

On the upside for Kassian, at least Tortorella didn’t give him the full Carl Hagelin treatment.

NHL on NBCSN: Penguins and Bruins renew hostilities

Dennis Seidenberg, Sidney Crosby, Zdeno Chara, Paul Martin

Throughout the season, NBCSN will feature the NHL’s fiercest rivalries on Wednesday nights. Tonight the Boston Bruins will head to CONSOL Energy Center to take on the Pittsburgh Penguins at 8:00 p.m. ET. In addition to NBCSN, you can also watch the game online.

When the Boston Bruins and Pittsburgh Penguins faced off in the Eastern Conference Final last season, many expected it to be a knock-down, drag-out war on the ice. Instead, the Bruins gave the Penguins the bum’s rush, sweeping them out in four straight.

Now that they’re meeting for the first time this season, both teams have seen plenty of changes. Jarome Iginla switched sides, signing with the Bruins over the summer after choosing to be traded to Pittsburgh instead of Boston from Calgary last season.

Gone are Tyler Seguin, Rich Peverley, and Nathan Horton and new guy Loui Eriksson is out with a concussion, although that’s getting better. Boston’s favorite player to hate, Matt Cooke, left Pittsburgh for Minnesota in the offseason, taking some of the heat of this rivalry with him.

Editor’s Note: Pro Hockey Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $2,500 Fantasy Hockey league tonight (Wednesday). It’s just $10 to join and first prize is $500. Starts at 8pm ET. Here’s the link.

The Penguins return home coming off a win against the Carolina Hurricanes. Before that, however, they had lost three in a row. Kris Letang’s return to action helped get their defense back to full speed for all of a game and a half before Rob Scuderi went out with an ankle injury.

Scuderi isn’t alone on the injured list. James Neal is still out with an upper-body ailment and Chuck Kobasew will be out for Pittsburgh with a lower-body injury. Beau Bennett is still day-to-day.

The Bruins would like to forget all about their loss to the New Jersey Devils on Saturday night. Boston held a 3-1 lead after the first period only to see the struggling Devils chip away and score twice in the final two minutes en route to a 4-3 win. You’d never know the Bruins had won four in a row previous to that with how disappointed they were in losing to the Devils.

This game boils down to its stars though. David Krejci and Milan Lucic lead the way on offense for Boston while Sidney Crosby has 20 points in 12 games to lead the NHL. Patrice Bergeron may have his hands full in trying to shut down Crosby the way he and Zdeno Chara did in the playoffs.

In goal, Tuukka Rask is off to a great start for Boston and Marc-Andre Fleury is playing strong in his own right for the Penguins.

PHT Morning Skate: Matt Duchene walks tall, carries short stick

Matt Duchene

PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Matt Duchene’s hot start for the Colorado Avalanche is much in part thanks to the size of the stick he’s using. Here’s a hint: It’s not the size of the stick, it’s how you use it. (The Denver Post)

Editor’s Note: Pro Hockey Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $2,500 Fantasy Hockey league tonight (Wednesday). It’s just $10 to join and first prize is $500. Starts at 8pm ET. Here’s the link.

Nikolai Khabibulin isn’t having the greatest of starts this season for the Chicago Blackhawks, as he proved again on Tuesday night, but his teammates have his back. (,

John Tortorella wasn’t too pleased with Zack Kassian’s play the other night and didn’t pull any punches about it. (The Province)

Writers are starting to get really down on the Winnipeg Jets piling up losses. At least this one was to the St. Louis Blues, right? (Winnipeg Free Press)

Jordan Leopold is still scoreless and on the Blues defense that’s kind of a big deal. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Finally, check out Ray Whitney photo-bombing (video-bombing?) a Tyler Seguin interview on TSN. (

Calgary unveils new third jersey

Flames third jerseys

The Calgary Flames unveiled their new third jerseys Sunday afternoon at their inaugural Fan Fest in Calgary and, without further ado, here’s what they look like.

It’s a retro look that has reminders of the Minnesota Wild’s current green third jersey and the Buffalo Sabres third jersey from the last two seasons.

“We are looking forward to playing in front of the C of Red in the new jersey which represents the City in a new unique way with the word ‘Calgary’ on the front,” says Flames Captain Mark Giordano.

There is a shoulder patch that you can’t really see in that photo, but it’s a nice added touch to the look.


Creative use of the “C” and “F” in that design, right?

All right fashion critics, what do you make of it? Let us know in the comments, we know you will.

Report: Rinne says bacterial infection ‘very serious’

Pekka Rinne

Pekka Rinne’s bacterial infection that will keep him out for up to a month isn’t just a big deal for keeping him off the ice, but also for putting his health in danger.

Josh Cooper of The Tennessean shares a translated report from a Finnish magazine, Urheilulehti,  in which Rinne says the infection in his hip was deemed “very serious” and some of the details of how it came about may sound familiar.

“It started aching during the evening. I had a fever and my other leg began to swell up,” Rinne said. “The next day I was sent to the operating surgeons . From there they took samples, and they were sent to a laboratory. They found a bacterial infection.”

“I will be taking antibiotics for a while now. I have a cannula in my arm for four weeks.”

What Rinne is dealing with sounds eerily similar to what Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Tomas Vokoun has with his blood clot issue that put him on the shelf for 3-6 months. Fortunately for the Predators, Rinne is only slated to miss a month.