Author: Joe Yerdon

T.J. Tynan, Steven Summerhays

NCAA on NBCSN: No. 15 Notre Dame hosts Lake Superior St.


NBCSN continues its coverage of the 2013-14 college hockey season tonight when the No. 15 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (12-8-1) host the Lake Superior State Lakers (11-10-1) at the Compton Family Ice Arena with coverage starting at 7:30 p.m. ET. You can also catch the game online at NBC Sports Live Extra

Notre Dame Fighting Irish coach Jeff Jackson knows Lake Superior State quite well. Not only were the Irish and Lakers conference opponents in the CCHA, but Jackson coached the Lakers from 1990-1996 leading them to two national championships in 1992 and 1994.

Since then, the Lakers have faded from the national picture while the Irish have been a perennial threat to win it all since Jackson took over in 2005. This season, the Lakers are holding steady led by freshman forward Alex Globke whose eight goals and 21 points leads the team in both categories. Senior forward Colin Campbell and junior defenseman Kevin Czuczman are also guys to watch.

If Czuczman’s name seems familiar, it’s because you may have first heard about him in Elliotte Friedman’s 30 Thoughts this week (point No. 24) as a potential guy NHL teams are looking at. His seven goals and 15 points put him second on the team in each category but it’s his added toughness that’s getting teams to notice him as he leads the team with 48 penalty minutes.

The Lakers head into this weekend’s set against the Irish losers of six of their past eight games and were swept at home by Bemidji State last weekend.

Saturday night’s game between these same teams will be streamed on NBC Live Extra on at 7 p.m. ET.

The Fighting Irish, on the other hand, disposed of Alabama-Huntsville quietly last weekend by scores of 7-1 and 5-0. It was a big weekend for senior Bryan Rust as he had four goals and two assists in the two games. Senior T.J. Tynan also came up big with a goal and five assists.

Piling up points against college hockey’s worst team is one thing, but they’ll have to buckle down to deal with the Lakers. Yes, they’re struggling themselves of late but with the conference schedules about to start up again for the second half of the season, everyone wants to be ready for the stretch run.

NHL Draftees

Notre Dame – Forwards: Vince Hinostroza (FR – Blackhawks), T.J. Tynan (SR – Blue Jackets), Austin Wuthrich (JR – Capitals), Bryan Rust (SR – Penguins), Jeff Costello (SR – Senators), Mario Lucia (SO – Wild), Steven Fogarty (SO – Rangers), Thomas DiPauli (SO – Capitals).

Defense: Robbie Russo (JR -Islanders), Stephen Johns (SR – Blackhawks), Kevin Lind (SR – Ducks)

Lake Superior St. — None

PHT Morning Skate: Devils’ woes in shootout rage on

Cory Schneider

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.

It was noble of Cory Schneider to take the blame for the Devils losing in a shootout to the Avalanche after making 37 saves through 65 minutes but giving up two goals in the skills competition. New Jersey is 0-8 this year in the shootout and if they miss out on the playoffs, they’ll know exactly why. (Fire & Ice)

The Penguins’ defensemen getting healthy was a bad thing for Simon Despres — he was sent back to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)

The Red Wings may have plenty of injuries, but rookie forward Tomas Jurco playing in the closing moments when trying to tie the game makes for a high compliment of his game. (Detroit Free Press)

Kyle Turris is thriving in Ottawa after escaping the desert and Phoenix Coyotes. (Senators Extra)

Dan Bylsma would love to help lead Team USA to gold and have his own “Miracle On Ice” type of moment. (Globe And Mail)

New Oilers goalie Ben Scrivens tore apart a writer via Twitter for jumping to conclusions about how his wife would hate moving to Edmonton. Using a player’s family to write something gossipy? That’s a paddlin’. (TSN)

NHL on NBCSN: Kings and Blues renew hostilities in St. Louis

St. Louis Blues v Los Angeles Kings

NBCSN continues its coverage of the 2013-14 campaign tonight when the St. Louis Blues host the Los Angeles Kings at Scottrade Center at 8:00 p.m. ET. In addition to NBCSN, you can also watch the game online.

Anytime the St. Louis Blues face the Los Angeles Kings it’s anything but nice.

By now we’re familiar with their meetings the past two seasons in the playoffs with the Kings knocking out the Blues in four games in 2012 and six games in 2013. This season has done nothing to quiet things down.

Each team has beaten the other this season with the Kings taking a 3-2 win at home on Dec. 2 and the Blues getting a blowout 5-0 win in St. Louis on Jan. 5. The game tonight in St. Louis is their final meeting of the regular season and should help set the table in case they meet again in the postseason.

The Blues enter the game on a tear having won 10 of their last 12 games. Goaltending has been a big part of that success lately with Brian Elliott doing most of the work instead of Jaroslav Halak. Elliott’s play has helped us remember how strong he was for the Blues two seasons ago.

More impressively, it’s been the offense that’s stood out for the Blues. During that 12 game stretch, St. Louis is averaging exactly four goals per game. T.J. Oshie, Jaden Schwartz, David Backes, Alex Pietrangelo, and Kevin Shattenkirk have had big seasons already and guys like Patrik Berglund, Vladimir Sobotka, and Vladimir Tarasenko are bringing plentiful scoring depth that brings a smile to coach Ken Hitchcock’s face.

The Blues’ issues against L.A. in the past were always centered around scoring goals. If this kind of output persists, they’ll be terrifying to deal with in the playoffs.

Editor’s Note: Pro Hockey Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a $5,000 Fantasy Hockey league for Thursday’s NHL games. It’s $25 to join and first prize is $1,200. Starts Thursday at 7pm ET. Here’s the FanDuel link.

Things in Los Angeles aren’t as pleasant lately. The Kings have dropped seven of their last 10 games and about the only good news there has been the return of Jonathan Quick in goal.

Since coming back on Jan. 4, Quick is 3-1-1 and has allowed seven goals in five games. He shutout Vancouver on Monday night making 28 saves. While the solid goaltending is all well and good, the offense has struggled.

Over their 10 game stretch, they’ve scored 16 goals. Scoring less than two goals per game is a recipe for frustration and that’s just what Darryl Sutter’s crew is dealing with now.

The offensive talent is there with Anze Kopitar, Mike Richards Jeff Carter, Dustin Brown, and Justin Williams they just have to find ways to produce more. That frustration likely isn’t anything new in L.A. but sending Tyler Toffoli (17 points in 33 games) back to the AHL didn’t do much to instill confidence in what they’re doing