Roberto Luongo

PHT shares #WhyImThankful


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:

Video: Panthers’ Luongo leaves game due to injury (Updated)

Roberto Luongo left the Florida Panthers’ game against the Carolina Hurricanes tonight midway through the second period with what appears to be a shoulder injury.

Luongo stretched out to make a save on Victor Rask. During the next TV timeout he talked things over with the team trainers and left the game soon after.


Luongo stopped all 11 shots he faced in just over 30 minutes of action.

He was replaced by Al Montoya.

Goalie nods: Sharks to start Niemi, looking to hire emergency backup


All the latest from the blue paint…

San Jose needs a No. 2

The San Jose Sharks are in a dilly of a pickle (insert Marc-Edouard Vlasic joke here) — they don’t have a backup for Antti Niemi tonight against Calgary.

The current No. 2, Troy Grosenick, was injured during today’s skate and the guy Grosenick replaced on the active roster, Alex Stalock, is out with an injury of his own. That’s left San Jose scrambling for an emergency ‘tender in time for the 10 p.m. ET puck drop… so if you’re in the Bay Area and ever had aspirations of dressing for a NHL game, well, it’s your move.

Oh yeah, Karri Ramo will get the start in goal for Calgary.


Jets at Sabres: Ondrej Pavelec vs. Jhonas Enroth

Caps at Isles: Braden Holtby vs. Jaroslav Halak

Flyers at Wings: Steve Mason vs. Jimmy Howard

Rangers at Bolts: Henrik Lundqvist for New York, Ben Bishop likely for Tampa Bay.

‘Canes at Panthers: Cam Ward vs. Roberto Luongo

Leafs at Pens: Jonathan Bernier vs. Marc-Andre Fleury

Kings at Wild: Jonathan Quick likely for L.A., Darcy Kuemper likely for Minnesota.

‘Hawks at Avs: Corey Crawford vs. Calvin Pickard

Goalie nods: Luongo starts again after facing 50 shots vs. Preds


All the latest from the blue paint…

Florida sticks with Luongo

No rest for the weary.

That’s the story for the Panthers tonight when they host the Wild at Sunrise, as Roberto Luongo will start for the fourth straight game, just 48 hours after his busiest game of the season.

On Saturday, Luongo faced a whopping 50 shots in a 3-2 shootout loss in Nashville. It marked the first time Luongo faced 50 or more shots this season; the last time saw a similar workload was in March of last season, when he stopped 52 of 54 shots in a 3-2 win over San Jose.

Overall, the 35-year-old veteran has been tremendous for Florida this season and is arguably the club’s MVP. He’s 6-4-5 with a 2.36 GAA and .926 save percentage, with one shutout.

For the Wild, Niklas Backstrom will start in goal.


Pens at Bruins: Marc-Andre Fleury likely for Pittsburgh, Tuukka Rask likely for Boston.

Flyers at Isles: Steve Mason vs. Jaroslav Halak

Sens at Wings: Craig Anderson vs. Jimmy Howard

Goalie nods: Clemmensen’s first Devils start since 2009

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All the latest from the blue paint …

A long time coming

A fun nugget from the New Jersey Devils PR staff: this is Scott Clemmensen’s first start with the team since Feb. 21, 2009.

If you want to make an easy joke about Cory Schneider playing a team-record 20 straight games, that stat’s a great place to start. Of course, the truth is that Clemmensen left New Jersey to be a backup with the Florida Panthers before signing with the team once again this past summer. On the rare evenings that the Devils have rested Schneider, they’ve tried to groom Keith Kinkaid as a future backup with some NHL reps.

The 37-year-old actually has made two appearances so far in relief duty for the Devils, however, and it’s probably unfair to beat him up too much for his numbers (four goals allowed on 17 shots in about 37 minutes of game time over two evenings).

On the bright side, Clemmensen at least offers something Kinkaid doesn’t: experience. He may have a tired New Jersey bunch in front of him, as they beat the Edmonton Oilers last night.

Clemmensen faces Karri Ramo and the Calgary Flames tonight.

Elsewhere …

Blues at Senators: Brian Elliott vs. Robin Lehner

Canadiens at Bruins: Carey Price vs. (likely) Tuukka Rask

Red Wings at Maple Leafs: Jimmy Howard vs. Jonathan Bernier

Wild at Lightning: Darcy Kuemper vs. Ben Bishop

Penguins at Islanders: Thomas Greiss vs. Jaroslav Halak

Blue Jackets at Flyers: Nothing set yet, but probably Sergei Bobrovsky vs. Steve Mason

Sabres at Capitals: Jhonas Enroth vs. Braden Holtby

Panthers at Predators: Not confirmed, but lean toward Roberto Luongo vs. Pekka Rinne

Kings at Stars: Probably Jonathan Quick, almost definitely Kari Lehtonen

Hurricanes at Avalanche: Cam Ward (likely) vs. Reto Berra

Blackhawks at Oilers: Antti Raanta vs. Ben Scrivens

Coyotes at Sharks: Not certain, but expect Devan Dubnyk vs. Antti Niemi