Keith Yandle didn’t just keep ironman streak going, he scored his 100th goal

Keith Yandle didn't just keep ironman streak going, he scored his 100th goal
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There was a lot of drama swirling around the Florida Panthers possibly ending Keith Yandle‘s ironman streak with a healthy scratch. Maybe that explains why Keith Yandle celebrated his goal against the Chicago Blackhawks so boisterously on Sunday?

Keith Yandle scores 100th goal, ironman streak continues

Granted, that goal was also Keith Yandle’s 100th in the NHL. So there’s that. Enjoy the goal, but most of all, that celebration:

The bottom line with any ironman streak is that you still need to earn your spot in the lineup. Even if Rick Pitino disagrees.

Now, it’s no secret that Yandle’s defensive game draws criticism. It has for years, and sometimes with players like these, the narrative eventually becomes true (we’ve seen this with Phil Kessel lately).

The main question was always: is it worth it? Can Keith Yandle bring more to the table than he took away from it? With 45 points last season, and 62 in 2018-19, the instinct might be to say “of course.”

Again, though, you have to weigh the good vs. the bad. Take a look at how his defense graded out last season, based on Evolving Hockey’s handy player cards:

Keith Yandle ironman 100th goal Evo player card
via Evolving Hockey

So, yeah, there’s some reason to wonder if Keith Yandle could justify keeping his ironman streak going.

Then again, the Panthers’ defense was pretty bad across the board lately. There’s even some evidence that Aleksander Barkov‘s two-way play might be a little overrated.

On a better defense, it would be that much tougher to force Keith Yandle’s streak to keep going. But on Florida’s? He might be worth keeping in the mix. At least if he’s scoring. (Act like you’ve been there before though, eh?)

Of course, there are factors outside of where he ranks in the Panthers’ defense. Management might want to move on from Yandle’s contract, and may have noted that the previous regime’s softer techniques didn’t get the veteran to budge. For those who crave drama, there could be more to come with Yandle and his ironman streak.

Oh, and as a reminder of the give-and-take with Yandle, note that the first Blackhawks goal came after a Yandle penalty. Just saying.

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.

Islanders agree to terms with Mathew Barzal on 8-year extension

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Mathew Barzal has agreed to terms with the New York Islanders on an eight-year extension, a move that keeps the franchise’s top forward under contract for the balance of his prime.

The deal is worth $73.2 million with an annual salary cap hit of $9.15 million, according to a person with knowledge of the contract. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the team did not announce terms.

Barzal has led the team in scoring, or been tied for the lead, every season since he became a full-time NHL player in 2017-18. He has 349 points in 411 regular-season and playoff games for the defensively stingy Islanders, who qualified for the postseason three consecutive times before an injury- and virus-altered last year.

“We feel recharged,” Barzal said recently. “We feel like everybody had good summers and worked hard, and we got that excitement back.”

Barzal, now 25, is coming off putting up 59 points in 75 games. The offensive star will now be asked to round out his game.

“I’m a fan because Mat has the ability to raise his game and to be a special player,” general manager Lou Lamoriello told reporters at the team’s practice facility on Long Island. “And now, with this contract and our faith in him, (it) puts that responsibility on him. We’re trusting that. It’s up to him to respond to that.”

Senators goaltender Cam Talbot out 5-7 weeks with injury

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OTTAWA, Ontario — Ottawa Senators goaltender Cam Talbot is expected to be out five to seven weeks with what the team called an upper-body injury.

The Senators initially called Talbot day to day with what they hoped was a minor injury. Instead he’s now expected to miss at least the first month of the NHL season.

Ottawa claimed goalie Magnus Hellberg off waivers from the Seattle Kraken upon announcing Talbot’s expected absence. Hellberg, who played for Sweden at the Beijing Olympics could split time with countryman Anton Forsberg while Talbot is out.

The Senators acquired Talbot from Minnesota during the offseason to make him their starter after the Wild opted against bringing him back along with Marc-Andre Fleury. Talbot, 35, had a 2.76 goals-against average and .911 save percentage this season.

Losing Talbot is a blow to the Senators, who also acquired winger Alex DeBrincat from Chicago and signed longtime Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux as part of a move toward contending and ending their playoff drought.

Blackhawks’ Boris Katchouk sidelined by ankle sprain

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CHICAGO — Blackhawks forward Boris Katchouk will be sidelined for four to six weeks with a left ankle sprain, the team announced.

The 24-year-old Katchouk played almost 12 minutes during a 3-0 preseason loss to Detroit on Saturday night. He was acquired in a multiplayer trade with Tampa Bay in March.

The Blackhawks open the season on Oct. 12 at Colorado.

The team also said forward Jujhar Khaira is day to day with a right ankle injury.

Ducks’ Urho Vaakanainen crashes into boards, leaves on stretcher

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ANAHEIM, Calif. — Ducks defenseman Urho Vaakanainen was taken off the Honda Center ice on a stretcher after he crashed into the end boards in the first period of Anaheim’s preseason game against the San Jose Sharks.

The Finnish defenseman was conscious and alert with full movement in his extremities at UCI Medical Center, the Ducks said.

The frightening incident occurred midway through the opening period when Vaakanainen smashed into the boards at a dangerous speed behind the Sharks’ net. Vaakanainen appeared to be concentrating on the pass he had just made to Derek Grant, who scored the Ducks’ opening goal on the assist.

Vaakanainen’s teammates came onto the ice and gathered around him as he was taken away on the stretcher.

The Ducks acquired the 23-year-old Vaakanainen from Boston last March in the deal that sent longtime Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm to the Bruins. After recording two assists in 14 games for the Ducks last season, Vaakanainen is attempting to win a top-six role on Anaheim’s defense this fall.