It went dark at The Joe again this morning

7 Comments

The lights went out again this morning at Joe Louis Arena, as what’s being called a “widespread power outage” hit Detroit.

As a result, the morning skates ahead of tonight’s game between the Red Wings and Panthers were canceled.

While the lack of light didn’t stop Florida goalie Roberto Luongo from hitting the ice…

…this was the second such incident in a short time at the rink, after Sunday’s afternoon game between the Wings and Canucks was delayed by a power outage.

It’s not clear if the two incidents are related. Today’s outage appears more extensive, with DTE Energy spokesman telling the Detroit News, “it looks like the entire Detroit Public Lighting system is down. Affecting about 100 buildings, places like The Joe, Frank Murphy Hall of Justice, fire stations, schools. We were notified about 10:30 a.m. We’re working with them to help resolve the situation. We’ll help investigate the problem and make repairs. It’s too early yet to determine what has caused the shutdown.”

Panthers assign Ellis, Luongo ready to go

2 Comments

Panthers goaltender Roberto Luongo appears recovered from his upper body injury as Florida assigned goaltender Dan Ellis to its’ American Hockey League affiliate in San Antonio on Sunday.

Luongo was injured midway through the Panthers 1-0 win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Wednesday night.

The 35-year-old appeared to injure his left shoulder as he stretched out to rob Hurricanes forward Viktor Rask of a sure goal.

In 17 games this season Luongo is 7-5-5 with a 2.33 GAA and a .927 save percentage.

Ellis was recalled to backup Al Montoya in Friday’s win over the Ottawa Senators.

In 12 AHL games this season Ellis is 8-4-0 with a .918 save percentage and a 2.13 goals-against average.

Florida visits Columbus and Detroit on Monday and Tuesday. Luongo is expected to be ready to start one of those two games.

Miller’s second straight shutout puts Canucks in NHL lead

36 Comments

The Vancouver Canucks didn’t sound like a team that just secured a 5-0 victory over Columbus to claim to a NHL-leading 16-6-1 record.

“We scored timely goals, but there wasn’t much to be happy about out there,” Chris Higgins, who scored the winning goal, noted per the team’s Twitter account. “It could have went their way tonight.”

“This wasn’t a good game, but (goaltender Ryan Miller) was good and he helped us win this one,” Alex Burrows added.

There’s no question that Miller was the hero tonight for Vancouver. He turned aside all 30 Blue Jackets shots he faced to earn his second consecutive shutout. His decision to sign with Vancouver over the summer made the franchise look good for trading away talented netminders Cory Schneider and Roberto Luongo in separate deals because even after all of that, the Canucks still have strong goaltending.

The Canucks have offensive depth too, which was on display tonight as five different players found the back of the net (Higgins, Henrik Sedin, Shawn Matthias, Brad Richardson, Burrows). Nick Bonino assisted on three of those markers to give him 19 points in 23 contests.

Even if this wasn’t the blowout that the final score suggests and even if the Canucks weren’t in the mood to pat their own backs after this one, the fact remains that they are the league leaders, which is a remarkable turn of events after they missed the playoffs entirely in 2013-14.

With Luongo hurt, Panthers recall Ellis

1 Comment

The injury that forced Roberto Luongo from last night’s 1-0 win over Carolina doesn’t sound serious, but it is significant enough that Florida recalled Dan Ellis from AHL San Antonio on Thursday.

Luongo exited Wednesday’s contest 10:22 into the second period after stopping all 11 of the shots he faced. It didn’t look as though he injured himself on a specific play and, today, details were few about what the ailment might be. (Earlier speculation suggested a shoulder injury; club is saying upper-body.)

Al Montoya came in to relieve Luongo against the ‘Canes and was stellar, stopping all 22 shots.

As for Ellis, the 34-year-old veteran will head back to the bigs after a fairly solid stint with the Rampage. He’s 8-4-0 on the year with a .918 save percentage and 2.13 GAA, but has yet to play in the NHL this season after losing the backup gig to Montoya during training camp. Ellis will back up Montoya for Friday’s game against Ottawa, head coach Gerard Gallant confirmed.

Luongo has been one of the NHL’s busiest workhorses this year, having played in 17 of Florida’s 20 games. To make room for Ellis on the active roster, Florida put Scottie Upshall (ankle) on IR.

PHT shares #WhyImThankful

8 Comments

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! James O’Brien, PHT’s American writer, shares his list of five hockey-related things for which he’s thankful. Feel free to add yours in the comments section, and we hope you enjoy the holiday, as well as tomorrow’s Thanksgiving Showdown between the New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers, which airs on NBC at 1 pm ET.

1. Many hockey connections – Despite a snow-related power outage, I’m able to write this post thanks to a my hockey-loving wife, who thought ahead to get battery backup and a WiFi hot spot. She’s the most important person I’ve met through my fascination with the sport, but the list of interesting oddballs and/or kind souls I’ve come across thanks to a shared love of all things puck is as large as it is eclectic.

I’m certain many of you have enjoyed similar (and otherwise unlikely) friendships and relationships thanks to hockey, too.

2. Jaromir Jagr love – I remember a time when No. 68 was reviled for what seemed like some pretty dubious reasons (although Washington Capitals fans probably had a leg to stand on). Maybe chalk it up to his elder statesman status, but most of that disdain has dissolved into Teemu Selanne-style love for a veteran with staying power. Jagr gets bonus points for his unusual mix of self deprecation and self-aggrandizement. Not many people would embrace the Traveling Jagrs by showcasing a sense of humor and dropping the line, “They know who the man is.” Here’s hoping he pushes 50 at this level.

3. Knowledge is power – Finally, the game is starting to get a little smarter.

While we can quibble about “advanced stats,” subtle changes make the 2014-15 season more entertaining on a game-by-game basis. The phrase “less dump and chase and more controlled zone entries” sounds boring until it means more opportunities for players to showcase their skills and less monotony. There are still fights, yet there aren’t as many bland “staged” ones. That means the fights that do happen are more likely to actually be passionate, which will make them more entertaining too. (It also means that teams are shifting from fight-only enforcers to more talented fourth-liners, which means better hockey, too.)

All in all, this age of hockey enlightenment should mean that entertainment values will improve, which is good even for cranky traditionalists.

4. Patrick Roy vs. the world – Speaking of “old guard thinking,” few things have been as fascinating as watching Patrick Roy’s stubbornly insist that the Colorado Avalanche can survive employing their current strategies. Just search his name on Pro Hockey Talk and you’ll be treated to a delicious stream of delusions. It’s a real treat.

5. Roberto Luongo’s Twitter feed – It’s really the gift that keeps on giving.

This one really goes out to all NHL players who add a little humor and flavor to proceedings. We all appreciate any time you step out of “we need to take it one game at a time”-type quotes.

***

As far as O’Brien family-specific Thanksgiving food goes, I’d also like to express gratitude for pierogies. They’re just glorious.

There have been plenty of great #WhyImThankful submissions, including NBC’s own Mike Milbury:

Before we go, here are a few of the highlights from that #WhyImThankful series: