Jarome Iginla

Eberle rumors swirl as Bruins’ offense struggles

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The Boston Bruins, when they’ve been at their best in recent seasons, have been one of the top defensive teams in the NHL.

Everyone knows that. (Lest we forget Claude Julien’s beloved “layers,” and how those layers helped the B’s stifle the high-scoring Pittsburgh Penguins in the 2013 playoffs and the high-scoring Vancouver Canucks in the 2011 Stanley Cup Final.)

What occasionally gets forgotten, however, is that the Bruins have been a pretty high-scoring team themselves. In that 2010-11 championship year, Boston finished the regular season with the NHL’s fifth-ranked offense. The B’s finished third in the league last season, averaging 3.15 goals per game.

Hence, the growing concern about the state of the current team, which ranks 22nd in offense, averaging just 2.41 goals per game.

While injuries to David Krejci and Zdeno Chara are surely to blame for some of the Bruins’ scoring woes, that’s not stopping the rumor mill from churning. The latest speculation involves a possible deal with the Edmonton Oilers for winger Jordan Eberle.

According to CSN New England’s Joe Haggerty, it’s believed that Eberle has “always been the desired top line target for the Black and Gold,” even if it didn’t sound today like the Oilers were on the verge of making a big trade.

Why Eberle?

Well, the salary cap-limited Bruins did not, if you’ll recall, bring in a replacement for departed winger Jarome Iginla this offseason, opting instead to hope Loui Eriksson could be “better than he was last year.”

And how’s Eriksson done?

Well, he has just three goals in 27 games, so…yeah.

Consider also: Boston’s leading goal-scorers are Brad Marchand and Reilly Smith, each with six. Currently, there are 92 players in the NHL with more than six goals.

The Bruins lost their third straight last night, falling 7-4 to the San Jose Sharks in a game where, let’s be honest, the offense was the least of their problems. But before that they were shut out by the Kings, 2-0, marking the third time this season that they’d been blanked.

Boston is in Arizona Saturday to play the Coyotes.

Related: (Video) PHT Extra: Why Bruins fans should be worried

Tanguay: Avs ‘keep finding ways to lose’

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Alex Tanguay’s highlight reel goal turned some heads on Thursday, but that wasn’t the replay on the minds of the Colorado Avalanche.

Instead, more than a few Avalanche members were unhappy about a disallowed Daniel Briere power-play goal in what ultimately became a 5-4 loss to the Calgary Flames, as the Denver Post reports.

“Apparently Sportsnet has an angle … the angle we had it was impossible whether it touched the glove or not,” Patrick Roy said.

Here’s video of the disallowed tally:

The NHL laid out its explanation in its Situation Room Blog:

At 3:49 of the second period in the Colorado Avalanche/Calgary Flames game, video review determined that Avalanche forward Daniel Briere used his left hand to bat the puck into the Flames net. According to Rule 67.6 “a goal cannot be scored by an attacking player who bats or directs the puck with his hand into the net”. No goal Colorado.

Ultimately, it counts as a loss. A disenfranchised Tanguay told the Denver Post that “we are finding ways to lose” while Jarome Iginla lamented the team’s many close losses.

A few bits to consider, then:

  • They have a .444 winning percentage when scoring first, tying them with the Edmonton Oilers for third-worst in the NHL. Their .822 mark in 2013-14 tied Montreal for the fourth-best percentage.
  • Conversely, they were the third-best at coming back from behind (40.5 percent) in 2013-14, but they’re middle of-the-pack in that area now.
  • They’ve only won a third of the one-goal games they’ve been in so far. Last season, they were the best in the league, winning 70 percent of their one-goal games.

Some might think it’s too simplistic, yet it really does seem like the Avalanche are rarely getting the bounces they enjoyed to an almost ridiculous extent last season. The team needs to find a way to force their luck to improve or their many critics will feel vindicated.

PHT Morning Skate: MacKinnon’s ‘Bubbles’ impersonation is a little too good

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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.

“Trailer Park Boys” is probably a little niche for some, but it’s not a stretch to say that the Canadian program has a lot of overlap with hockey players and fans. Nathan MacKinnon showed as much, as his impersonation of the character Bubbles borders on nightmare fuel. Check this out from his Instagram account:

source:

(MacKinnon’s Instagram, H/T to Sportsnet)

Breaking: Jonathan Toews has a really, really nice house. (Next Impulse Sports)

Will we ever see another Jean Beliveau? (Greatest Hockey Legends)

Editor’s Note: Pro Hockey Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting an $18,000 Fantasy Hockey league for Friday night’s NHL games. It’s just $2 to join and first prize is $2,000. Starts Friday at 7pm ET. Here’s the FanDuel link.

Jarome Iginla felt relaxed in his return to Calgary. (Denver Post)

It’s one thing to discuss who is most likely to land Connor McDavid … but who should get him? (Grantland)

This, more than the goaltending, is what most of us missed during Ilya Bryzgalov’s absence:

Video: Martin St. Louis scores goal for 1,000th point

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Martin St. Louis notched his 1,000th point today in Philadelphia, joining only 80 other current and former NHLers who’ve accomplished the feat.

Here’s the goal that put St. Louis, undrafted out of the University of Vermont, into that elite category, in addition to giving the Rangers a 2-0 second-period lead over the Flyers:

Among active players, only Jaromir Jagr, Joe Thornton, Jarome Iginla, Marian Hossa and St. Louis are in the 1,000-point club.

New Jersey’s Patrik Elias is six points away from 1,000.

St. Louis also earned an assist on the Rangers’ first goal, a power-play marker by Dan Boyle:

Flames GM Treliving in extension talks with coach Hartley

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Calgary Flames head coach Bob Hartley is in the final season of his contract, but GM Brad Treliving doesn’t want to let him go. The two have been discussing an extension, per the Calgary Sun.

“I want to keep this a non-issue but obviously I’ve been nothing but impressed with Bob,” Treliving said.

“For both of us, we had to get to know each other. We’ve done that and we are doing that, and I can’t say enough about the good things Bob has done here. I couldn’t have envisioned it going any better. I’m thoroughly impressed with him as a person and with the job he’s done.”

Hartley began his tenure with the Flames in the shortened 2013 campaign, which was also the team’s final season with Jarome Iginla and Miikka Kiprusoff. Hartley has guided the Flames through a rebuilding process and so far this season they’ve been surprisingly effective with a 10-6-2 record.

Calgary is the third team he’s served as the bench boss for after Colorado and Atlanta. He has a 393-297-61-47 record and won a championship with the Avalanche in 2001.