‘Huge disappointment’: U.S. GM Poile (facial surgery) won’t go to Sochi

The architect of the American Olympic team won’t be on hand to see it play.

Nashville GM David Poile — who spearheaded the USA Hockey selection committee — won’t be traveling to Sochi due to multiple injuries suffered after taking a puck to the face in Minnesota last week.

“[It’s a] huge disappointment,” said American head coach Dan Bylsma.

Here’s more, from The Tennessean:

Poile was struck in the face with a puck prior to the team’s morning skate last Thursday before a game against the Wild. He was carted out of the arena on a stretcher and taken to a local hospital via ambulance.

According to a team release on Friday, Poile underwent two successful procedures on his nose and eye areas and had stitches to repair facial lacerations. He remained in the hospital in St. Paul over the weekend for observation.

According to the Preds’ Twitter feed, Poile is currently “resting comfortably” in Nashville. Pittsburgh GM Ray Shero, who had been working with Poile in selecting the American team, will serve as the country’s general manger in Sochi.

UPDATE: Poile has released a statement through the Preds website

“I first want to thank everyone who has reached out to me since suffering this injury. The outpouring of support and comfort has been overwhelming. My priority is to adhere to the advice and counsel of the medical team and, as a result, I will not be traveling to Sochi to be with Team USA during the Winter Olympics. Serving as GM of the U.S. Olympic Team has been the opportunity of a lifetime and I am forever grateful to USA Hockey.

“However, it is not possible for me to travel at this time, but I will remain in contact with Ray Shero, Brian Burke, Jim Johansson and our coaching staff during the Games. Team USA is in great hands and I will be there in spirit. I wish all the best for our players, coaches and entire group as they begin play in the 2014 Olympics and go for the gold.”

Scroll Down For:

    The Buzzer: Big milestone night for Patrick Marleau

    Big night for Patrick Marleau the buzzer
    Getty Images
    Leave a comment

    Three Stars

    1. Thatcher Demko, Vancouver Canucks

    All due respect to J.T. Miller‘s two goals, but Demko powered the Canucks to their ninth home win in a row.

    The Blues generated a significant 37-26 shots on goal advantage on Tuesday, yet could only beat Demko once. Demko’s save against Jaden Schwartz warrants consideration for highlight of the night.

    It’s unclear if the 24-year-old will pan out as the Canucks goalie of the future. Demko’s stats really have been all that impressive over the past couple seasons. Then again, as his creasemate Jacob Markstrom shows, sometimes goalies mature at unpredictable rates.

    Either way, Demko looked legit on Tuesday.

    2. Marcus Hogberg, Ottawa Senators

    Placing Hogberg’s night ranks as challenge.

    On one hand, Hogberg’s Senators lost to the Devils in a shootout. Hogberg also allowed three goals (not counting the shootout), which seems like a lot when you try to split hairs regarding best players of the night.

    But Hogberg managed 50 saves against New Jersey. NHL PR notes that Hogberg established a Senators record for saves by a rookie goalie in a regular season game. That’s impressive, as was this save of the night contender.

    3. Patrick Marleau (San Jose Sharks) enjoys a big night

    Marleau deserves his own section, as he qualifies as the third star, provided one of the highlights of the night, and earned his own mini-factoids collection.

    Marleau scored two goals on Tuesday. While his first one was the more symmetrical milestone (his 1,100 point with the Sharks), the second one was prettier.

    The pass was brilliant (and lucky). The call was great. Marleau burned the Ducks defense for that goal. That also marked his 109th career game-winner.

    There was a lot to like, and even without further context, Marleau reaching 10 goals at age 40 was already impressive. Especially since Marleau played his first game of 2019-20 on Oct. 10. Then add context and it’s a very pretty way to join rare company.

    Marleau became just the fourth player in NHL history to score 10+ goals for at least 22 consecutive seasons. NHL PR shared the list: Gordie Howe (24), Mark Messier (22), Alex Delvecchio (22), and Marleau (22).

    Just a big night overall by Marleau:

    One more option for highlight of the night

    Remove historical impact and Jamie Benn‘s two goals might stand taller than Marleau’s duo. Check out both of Benn’s impressive goals from the Stars’ OT win against Tampa Bay:

    Factoids beyond Marleau having a big night

    • Marleau’s teammate Erik Karlsson generated the 600th point in his 730th regular-season game. NHL PR points out that Karlsson became the 11th defenseman to reach 600 points in 730 games or less.
    • Steven Stamkos reached 20 goals for the 11th season. Sportsnet Stats notes that Vincent Lecavalier owns the Lightning’s most seasons with 20+ at 12. While Stamkos looks poised to set a new franchise record, Nikita Kucherov would need to hustle, as his 22 this season “only” give him six such seasons.
    • The Capitals reached 73 standings points in their 50th game. That’s Washington’s second-best point total through 50 GP, with 2015-16 (78) standing at number one, according to NHL PR.
    • Capitals winger Jakub Vrana scored a goal and an assist to push his point streak to nine games. NHL PR notes that Vrana now holds the league’s third longest active streak.

    Scores

    WSH 4 – MTL 2
    NJD 4 – OTT 3 (SO)
    TOR 5 – NSH 2
    DAL 3 – TBL 2 (OT)
    VAN 3 – STL 1
    SJS 4 – ANA 2

    James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

    Benn makes difference as Stars beat Lightning

    Leave a comment

    Jamie Benn made the difference as the Stars beat the rising Lightning 3-2 (OT) on Tuesday.

    Dallas created several broken plays and breakaways in this one. Benn and Denis Gurianov created the first two Dallas goals on breakaways, while Benn created havoc to win it for the Stars in overtime.

    Benn entered the All-Star break with modest numbers (23 points in his previous 48 games). Maybe this performance can propel Benn to a strong finish? A better Benn could make a huge difference for a Stars team that sometimes deals with tiny margins for error.

    While the Stars beat the Lightning, Tampa Bay can thank Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov for grabbing a point. Stamkos scored both of the Bolts’ goals, including the one that sent it to OT. Kucherov collected assists on both of those goals.

    The Stars beat the Lightning in what was mostly a tightly-played game. Both teams failed to score on four power-play opportunities, while Dallas managed a 35-25 shots on goal advantage.

    Considering how closely played this game was, it’s fitting that they boast fairly similar records. The Stars improved to 28-17-4 (or 60 points in 49 games played). The Lightning, meanwhile, finished Tuesday at 29-15-5 (63 points in 49 GP). This makes the Stars 11-6-1 since Rick Bowness took over.

    James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

    Fight: Brady Tkachuk vs. P.K. Subban (video)

    Leave a comment

    Matthew Tkachuk drew a lot of attention during All-Star weekend for his brewing feud with the Oilers. His (fellow All-Star) brother Brady Tkachuk got into a fight before Matthew, though, dropping the gloves with P.K. Subban.

    (Does anyone else want a tag team match involving maybe Malcolm Subban as well? No? OK …)

    As you can see in the video above, the two players started to mix it up in front of the net before fighting. Brady certainly seemed to get the better of P.K., who is just having one of those years. (Hearing a Tkachuk brother yap at you after an unsuccessful fight must sting.)

    By Hockey Fights’ measures, Subban engaged in 13 career NHL fights, with this being his first as a Devil. Brady is at five so far, and judging by the agitating powers of the Tkachuks, you’d expect him to finish with more than Subban once they’re both done.

    James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

    WATCH LIVE: Stars host Lightning on NBCSN

    Getty Images
    Leave a comment

    NBCSN’s coverage of the 2019-20 NHL season continues with Monday’s matchup between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Dallas Stars. Coverage begins at 7 p.m. ET on NBCSN. You can watch the game online and on the NBC Sports app by clicking here.

    The Lightning and Stars meet for the second and final time this season as each club is coming off an extended break. Both Tampa Bay and Dallas enjoyed their bye weeks last week leading into All-Star Weekend. Tampa last played on Jan. 17 (a 7-1 at WPG), while Dallas last played on Jan. 18 (a 7-0 at MIN).

    Both the Lightning and Stars enter the second half of the reg. season locked in tight division races. In the Atlantic, Tampa is second with 62 points, eight points behind the Bruins but with three games in hand. Behind the Lightning though are the Panthers (61 pts) and Maple Leafs (57 pts) – each within striking distance of Tampa’s spot. In the Central, Dallas is thirrd with 58 points, four points behind Avalanche in second and 10 points behind the Blues in 1sr . Below the Stars though, the Central is tight. Just seven points separate Dallas in third and Nashville in seventh. Fortunately for the Stars, they have games in hand on the three teams immediately behind them in the division.

    Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy was one of the two Lightning players in the All-Star Game this past weekend. The honor was well deserved as he leads the NHL with 24 wins to go along with a 2.54 GAA and .917 SV%. While he’s been great all year, the 25-year-old comes into Monday’s game as hot as any goalie in the NHL.

    Dallas’ lone All-Star representative Tyler Seguin tallied a goal and assist in the Central Division’s loss in the All-Star Game. The Stars are hoping their top centerman will bring the scoring back home when they take the ice Monday. Seguin has zero goals in the last nine games. With 11 goals through 48 games, he is on pace to score just 18 goals this season, which would be his fewest in a non-shortened season since 2010-11, his rookie year.

    The Stars average just 2.56 goals/game, which is tied for the fourth-fewest in the NHL. But they also allow just 2.46 goals/game, which is best in the league. Seguin maintains his lack of offensive output has to do with the team’s defensive frame of mind rather than a lack of production.

    [COVERAGE BEGINS AT 7 P.M. ET ON NBCSN]

    WHAT: Tampa Bay Lightning at Dallas Stars
    WHERE: American Airlines Center
    WHEN: Monday, Jan. 27, 7 p.m. ET
    TV: NBCSN
    LIVE STREAM: You can watch the Lightning-Stars stream on NBC Sports’ live stream page and the NBC Sports app.

    PROJECTED LINEUPS

    LIGHTNING
    Steven StamkosBrayden PointNikita Kucherov
    Ondrej PalatAnthony CirelliTyler Johnson
    Alex KillornCedric PaquettePatrick Maroon
    Yanni GourdeMitchell StephensCarter Verhaeghe

    Ryan McDonaghErik Cernak
    Mikhail SergachevKevin Shattenkirk
    Braydon CoburnJan Rutta

    Starting goalie: Andrei Vasilevskiy

    STARS
    Jamie Benn – Tyler Seguin – Alexander Radulov
    Denis GurianovJoe PavelskiRoope Hintz
    Andrew CoglianoRadek FaksaBlake Comeau
    Mattias JanmarkJason DickinsonCorey Perry

    Esa LindellJohn Klingberg
    Miro HeiskanenRoman Polak
    Jamie Oleksiak – Stephen Johns

    Starting goalie: Ben Bishop

    Brendan Burke will handle play-by-play duties alongside analyst Pierre McGuire at American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. Tonight’s studio coverage will be hosted by Liam McHugh with Anson Carter and Keith Jones.