John Tortorella’s most famous dealings with the media tend to be the ones with, let’s say an edge to them, but the new Blue Jackets bench boss was calm and reflective following last night’s 3-2 loss to Winnipeg.
The general theme was that the Blue Jackets need to rebuild their confidence.
“I know it’s in the room, I know they’re better players offensively. We’re going to try to allow them to play and hopefully something happens the right way and it snowballs,” Tortorella said.
Some might have hoped that event already happened when the Blue Jackets won back-to-back contests, ending their season-opening eight-game losing streak. However, they’ve lost two games since then, dropping to 2-10-0 this season.
All of Columbus’ recent contests have been close and that at least is a change. Still, the at best mixed results towards the end of the month emphasize just how deep a whole the Blue Jackets are in. After all, this is a team that’s already nine months behind in the playoff race.
Tortorella did briefly touch on something else during the presser: That this is a young squad. There was a fair amount of hype about Columbus going into the campaign, which makes what’s happened all the more painful, but the core of this squad is almost entirely compromised of players still in their 20s. Brandon Saad and Ryan Johansen are just 23 and they could end up being a great duo for years to come.
So there’s still reason for cautious optimism in Columbus, even if this campaign is already looking bleak.
You can see Tortorella’s full press conference here:
Nothing is official, but the Buffalo News’ sources don’t believe Patrick Kane is likely to face any criminal charges related to the allegations that he raped a woman.
Kane has been playing for the Chicago Blackhawks during the investigation.
This follows a report in mid-September that Kane’s DNA was found on the alleged victim’s shoulder and under her fingernails, but not on her genitals or undergarments.
There were also claims of evidence-tampering, which Erie County district attorney Frank Sedita refuted. With regards to the alleged evidence of tampering he said, “We believe the complainant’s mother has carried out an elaborate hoax.”
With regards to the latest report that Kane isn’t likely to face charges, Sedita said, “I am waiting for the investigation to be completed to my satisfaction and to confer with the assigned prosecutor, who is on her vacation six time zones away, before announcing anything further.”
The reigning Vezina and Hart Trophy winner will not be available to the Montreal Canadiens tonight.
The Canadiens announced that goaltender Carey Price is dealing with a lower-body injury. They’ve recalled Dustin Tokarski as a result.
After a commanding 2014-15 campaign, Price picked up where he left off by posting a 2.01 GAA and .936 save percentage in eight games last month. He got Friday’s contest off, so he likely would have played tonight against the Winnipeg Jets if he was healthy.
Montreal will instead go with Mike Condon, per TSN’s John Lu. Condon is a 25-year-old rookie with only three games worth of NHL experience under his belt, but he’s won all of those contests and has only allowed a total of five goals.
The Canadiens lead the league with a 10-2-0 record going into today’s action. Winnipeg earned a 3-2 win over Columbus last night to improve to 7-3-1.
Update: Price will be out for at least a week, per the Canadiens’ Twitter feed.
After missing the first month of the season with a blood clot near his collarbone, it seems Andrei Vasilevskiy is ready to play for Tampa Bay.
The Lightning announced that Vasilevskiy has been recalled from his AHL conditioning stint. They sent down netminder Kristers Gudlevskis in a corresponding move, reinforcing the perception that Vasilevskiy is good to go.
Vasilevskiy took part in two games with the AHL’s Syracuse Crunch and posted a 1.00 GAA and .966 save percentage.
The 21-year-old is coming off of an impressive rookie campaign, which led to the expectation that he would push Ben Bishop for playing time this season. During his absence, Bishop was asked to start in 11 of 12 games, but he’ll likely get days off significantly more frequently going forward.
The Lightning also summoned forward Tye McGinn and sent Jonathan Marchessault to the AHL.
Related: Bishop or Vasilevskiy? Lightning will go with ‘both’ for now
Auston Matthews, who is the leading candidate to be taken with the top pick in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, will not be able to represent the United States in the upcoming Deutschland Cup.
As previously reported, He got hurt on Oct. 23. We now know that the injury he sustained is to his back and that he’ll be out for several weeks, courtesy of a report from Sportsnet’s Damien Cox.
Matthews has been playing for Zurich of Switzerland’s National League A, which has allowed him to work under former NHL coach Marc Crawford. He has 10 goals and 17 points in 14 Swiss games.
The 18-year-old isn’t the first top prospect to get hurt so close to his draft year. Connor McDavid suffered a fractured bone in his hand during an OHL game in Nov. 2014, but that didn’t end up changing his status as the most desirable prospect of the 2015 draft.
Of course, McDavid was dominant after returning. We’ll see if Matthews follows a similar path.
Related: Marc Crawford says Auston Matthews has been ‘phenomenal’