Roberto Luongo

Devils’ Schneider is ‘prepared’ to play 70+ games


During his incredible career with the New Jersey Devils, Martin Brodeur played at least 70 games 12 different times. The NHL still has its fair share of “workhorse” goalies, yet we haven’t seen someone shoulder the burden of 70+ games since 2011-12.*

In his first season as an unquestioned No. 1, Cory Schneider told the Newark Star-Ledger that he’ll gladly aim for such a haul.

“I’m very prepared,” Schneider said. “You try to take it game by game, or in smaller segments. If you think about it as an 82-game season it gets pretty overwhelming and you sort of lose focus on what’s coming up next. For me it’s more about the next game than trying to figure out what I’m going to feel like 30, 40 50 games in.”

That’s a pretty ambitious goal for a netminder who set a career-high with 45 games played last season.

Granted, the 28-year-old transitioned from a playing time tug-of-war with one potential Hall-of-Famer (Roberto Luongo) in Vancouver to a certain one in Brodeur, so it’s not as though we can openly question his conditioning.

Schneider discussed the “mental and physical side of things,” yet the team’s schedule will be the biggest hurdle.

“The schedule is going to dictate a lot,” Schneider said. “We’ve been fortunate to have a pretty broken-up start here where I’m able to handle it. But I know next month things get pretty hectic. Clemmer has been working hard and we have a lot of faith in him to step in there and play games when he has to. I’m sure we’ll find times to manage the schedule almost mores than managing myself.”

Indeed, it might be tough to pull this off, even ignoring NHL trends. The Devils came into 2014-15 tied for the second-most back-to-back sets with 18, and they’ve only knocked one of those out (Schneider went 1-0-1 this past Friday and Saturday).

As far as backups go, the Devils have two interesting-if-flawed options in veteran Scott Clemmensen and young goalie Keith Kinkaid.

Many believe that the Devils could be a “bubble team” this season, which means that they might need to lean on Schneider quite a bit more than what’s become the norm in the NHL. At least he sounds like he’d prefer it that way, though.

* – Three goalies did so then: Pekka Rinne (73 games played), Jonas Hiller (73) and Miikka Kiprusoff (70).

PHT Morning Skate: More hockey Halloween oddness, preferably for charity


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.

Expect some really outrageous/humorous/maybe occasionally tasteless Halloween costumes from NHL players this week. Roberto Luongo already checked some/all of those boxes with his creative outfit. It’s going to be difficult to top the Boston Bruins’ Halloween-themed visit to the Boston Children’s Hospital for the sheer joy they provided, goofy costumes and all:

As someone out of the “Frozen” loop, I’ll leave the references to the comments, but fantastic stuff from the Bruins.

Check out more on their visit here and on the Bruins’ Twitter feed. (And seriously, Dougie Hamilton deserves kudos.)

This one’s a little older and maybe not quite as self-effacing, but still, the New York Rangers were among the other teams combining hockey players in costumes and charitable gestures:

Editor’s Note: Pro Hockey Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $20,000 Fantasy Hockey league for Tuesday’s NHL games. It’s $25 to join and first prize is $3,000. Starts Tuesday at 7pm ET. Here’s the FanDuel link.

Transitioning from heartwarming to … just weird, we have the Reading Royals’ special Halloween duds:

Um, what?

True or false: The “puck in the head” costume is played out.

The Anaheim Ducks shared some fan pumpkin carvings on Twitter, adding more evidence to the mounting case in favor of their original logo:

Jonathan Huberdeau’s “Joker” costume seems a little off. Is it more like Joker with a little “Mad Hatter,” or what?

One bit that’s not really Halloween-related, even if it almost feels like it. Here’s a look at the Columbus Blue Jackets’ quirky “Cannonball Wall” promotion:

The Blue Jackets scored 128 goals at home last season, so if that’s any indication, they might need to clear a lot of wall space.

PHT Morning Skate: Roberto Luongo shares his halloween costume


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.

There’s never a dull moment when you follow Florida Panthers’ goaltender Roberto Luongo’s popular @Strombone1 Twitter account. On Sunday night he posted his halloween costume. In case you can’t make it out, Luongo is posting alongside a woman, who appears to be his wife Gina, in a “deer in headlights” ensemble.

This is how I feel on game days…. #happyhalloween

A post shared by Roberto Luongo (@thestrombone1) on

Good news for fans of the movie Dumb and Dumber and Cam Neely – the Boston Bruins executive is reprising his role of Sea Bass in the upcoming sequel Dumb and Dumber To. (TSN)

Seattle has long been rumored a destination for either NHL expansion or relocation. According to a report, expansion fees for a Seattle-based team would be in the $400 million range based on the recent sales of the New York Islanders and Arizona Coyotes. (Seattle Times)

Montreal Canadiens P.K. Subban and Brendan Gallagher compete in bobbing for apples – there’s a lot of cheating going on here:

Until Sunday’s games, the NHL was enjoying a suspension-free start to the season; however, thanks to the Sharks’ John Scott, who appeared to leave the bench to start a fight Sunday night, that could be all over. As Greg Wyshynski points out, until last night, more beat writers had been suspended. (Puck Daddy)

There’s an old running joke that players in a contract year tends to produce at a higher pace than a player in the middle of a deal. Well now there’s some numbers to break it down. (The News & Observer)

Markstrom nearing AHL record


Utica Comets goaltender Jacob Markstrom is less than two periods away from the all-time American Hockey League shutout record (268:17) set by Barry Brust in November 2012.

Markstrom, playing for the Vancouver Canucks AHL affiliate, posted his third consecutive shutout Saturday night making 27 saves in a 4-0 win over the Toronto Marlies.

The 24-year-old has gone 232 minutes and 13 seconds without allowing a goal. Markstrom last allowed a goal on Oct. 11 in the first period of a 2-1 win over the Marlies. He then shutout San Antonio on Oct. 17 and Adirondack Oct. 22 prior to Saturday night’s blanking of the Marlies.

Markstrom is 4-0-0 this season with a 0.25 GAA and a .991 save percentage. The three shutouts matches a personal best for Markstrom, who previously set the mark during the 2012-13 season while with San Antonio.

Originally a second round pick of the Florida Panthers (31st overall in 2008), Markstrom was dealt to the Canucks last season as part of the trade, which landed the Panthers Roberto Luongo.

Quick hits: Habs, Price get a little revenge vs. Rangers


There are 11 games on the schedule, so to keep you up to date on the action, it seems wise to put the results in one spot.

First, PHT posts on some of the individual results:

Sabres embarrass Sharks 2-1; Marc-Edouard Vlasic isn’t too worried

Bruins bump Jonathan Bernier out, leave Leafs soul-searching following 4-1 loss

Islanders win track meet against the Dallas Stars 7-5

The Blues beat the Blackhawks and left Dan Carcillo limping

Penguins blank Predators

Wild chase Nabokov, blast the Lightning 7-2

OK, that takes care of three of Saturday’s contests, but there are plenty of important ones that we’ll cover here.

Canadiens 3, Rangers 1

Are the Montreal Canadiens the best team in the East? It’s way too early to say, but they got a little revenge against the team that beat them in the 2014 Eastern Conference finals, topping the Rangers thanks in large part to Carey Price’s strong play. /Cues “What if Price didn’t get injured?” talk …

Price is on quite the streak lately, by the way:

The Canadiens are 7-1-0 even though there have been sloppy moments.

(Chris Kreider had a quiet evening, in case you’re wondering.)

Flyers 4, Red Wings 2

The Detroit Red Wings fired 37 shots on goal to Philly’s 17, but Ray Emery stole one for the Flyers. Could Emery find himself stealing some starts from Steve Mason as the season goes along? That’s a discussion for another day.

Flyers head coach Craig Berube admits it wasn’t the greatest performance … but he’ll take it:

Devils 3, Senators 2 (OT)

New Jersey Devils head coach Peter DeBoer illustrates how important this win was:

Naturally, Jaromir Jagr was the one to score the overtime-winner:

Coyotes 2, Panthers 1 (OT)

Roberto Luongo played very well in net, making 39 saves, but Florida was unable to provide him enough goal support. Bobby Lou’s likely hoping that such a common recap blurb from his original tour with the Panthers doesn’t remain a trend this time around; so far, that’s not looking too promising.

Justin Hodgman took quite a journeyman’s path to his first NHL game, yet it only took him that long to score his first career goal:

Oliver Ekman-Larsson ended up winning the game in OT (to Luongo’s chagrin):

Capitals 3, Flames 1

This is probably the type of win the Washington Capitals envisioned when they hired Barry Trotz.

Things didn’t go well for Alex Ovechkin – he didn’t get a point and broke two sticks on opportunities late in the third period alone – yet the Capitals were able to grind out a solid win.

Nicklas Backstrom was fantastic, scoring the insurance goal and nearly collecting another one before being thwarted by a game Karri Ramo.

Fittingly, a player who once played under Trotz with Nashville enjoyed arguably the best night, as Joel Ward scored two of Washington’s three goals.

One more stat that would probably make Trotz smile: the Capitals didn’t allow an even-strength goal tonight. Overall, Braden Holtby made 20 out of 21 saves to build back some confidence, too.

All in all, it’s a win by the Trotz blueprint. Washington hopes to see many more.