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Pens getting back Dupuis after nearly year-long absence


Pascal Dupuis‘ nearly year-long absence from the NHL is about to end.

He’ll be in the lineup tonight against the Dallas Stars tonight, per the Pittsburgh Penguins’ Twitter feed. He last played on Nov. 15 because of blood clots and when Dupuis was finally ready to return for the 2015-16 campaign, he was furthered delayed by a lower-body injury.

Combined that with the knee injury that limited him to 39 contests in 2013-14 and it’s reasonable to say that Dupuis has endured far than his fair share of health issues over the last few years.

His services have been sorely missed in Pittsburgh. Before those health problems threatened to derail his career, Dupuis could excel in a bottom-six forward role, but he also meshed well with Sidney Crosby.

That kind of versatility would be a nice boost for the Penguins, although it’s not clear if the 36-year-old will be able to pick up where he left off after missing so much time.

In the short-term, he’s projected to play on the fourth line. That could naturally change in a hurry though.

Hot Duclair set to face Rangers for first time since trade

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Pundits had rock bottom expectations for Arizona going into this season and one of the reasons the Coyotes have turned some heads is because of Anthony Duclair‘s play.

He leads all rookies with five goals and is tied for first place with seven points. It’s gotten to the point where Coyotes GM Don Maloney isn’t sure where the team would be without the combination of Duclair and fellow rookie Max Domi, per TSN.ca.

It all made Arizona’s trade with the Rangers look very favorable for the Coyotes. In order to acquire Keith Yandle, Chris Summers, and a 2016 fourth-round pick in March, the New York Rangers had to send Arizona Anthony Duclair, John Moore, and 2015 second rounder (Oliver Kylington), and a first-round pick in one of the next two drafts.

That trade shocked Duclair, but it also gave him an opportunity after the Rangers’ unusual handling of him last season. With the team’s sights set on the Stanley Cup, the Rangers frequently made him a healthy scratch and when he was inserted into the lineup, his playing time was limited. Despite that, the Rangers kept him on their roster until December when they loaned him to Team Canada for the World Juniors. After he excelled in the tournament, he was returned to the QMJHL’s Quebec Remparts.

After doing everything he can to secure a role with his new team, he’ll have an opportunity to show the Rangers what they gave up tonight when Arizona plays in New York.

Related: Coyotes’ kids are beyond alright: Duclair notches first hat trick

Video: Ward robs Duchene with stunning stick save


Matt Duchene could have certainly used a break on that one.

After Carolina Hurricanes forward Kris Versteeg coughed up the puck in the Avalanche’s zone due to a fall, Jarome Iginla was able to charge to the other end of the ice and set up Duchene right in front of the goal. Duchene made the most of the juicy opportunity, but Ward managed to swat the puck out of midair with his stick, as you can see above.

“It’s absolutely painful. I’m probably going to have nightmares about that one,” Duchene said, per the Avalanche’s website.

Duchene was able to score his first goal of the season on Sunday, but he still has just one point in six contests, so scoring on that opportunity could have gone a long way towards putting his cold start behind him.

It also proved to be a pivotal moment in the game as Carolina and Colorado were scoreless through 60 minutes. The Hurricanes went on to win in overtime, leaving the Avalanche with a 2-3-1 record. Colorado will try to bounce back on Saturday against Columbus.

Carolina improved to 2-4-0 ahead of Friday’s game in Los Angeles.

PHT Morning Skate: Hartley predicts friendlier relationship with Tortorella this time


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.

Calgary Flames coach Bob Hartley thinks things will be friendlier between him and John Tortorella now that they’re in different conferences. (Wes Gilbertson)

While we’re on the subject of Tortorella, if you missed it before, here’s a look back at his greatest soundbites:

After being shutout by Montreal on Tuesday, St. Louis Blues forward Steve Ott remarked that the Canadiens “defensive system is Carey Price.” (Fox Sports)

GoPro released a video featuring U.S. Olympian Hilary Knight, which both discusses the importance of being comfortable with yourself and shows off her skills on the ice:

Here are the highlights from Philadelphia’s 5-4 overtime win against Boston last night:

Capitals coach Barry Trotz attended a practice that his two nephews were a part of and gave their excited teammates some pointers. (Calgary Sun)

Nathan Gerbe on the advantages of meditation. (The News & Observer)

Torts time: Jackets fire Richards and turn to Tortorella

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After a season-long absence from the NHL, John Tortorella is back.

This time, it’s with the Columbus Blue Jackets, who have fired coach Todd Richards after an 0-7-0 start to what was supposed to be a breakout season. The news was first reported by TSN’s Darren Dreger.

Richards was in his fifth season in Columbus, but had only led the team to the playoffs once and never won a postseason series.

By contrast, Tortorella brings a lengthy track record of success. He has won the Stanley Cup and is the winningest American-born coach in history with a 446-375-37-78 career regular-season record. At the same time, Tortorella was fired in both 2013 and 2014 by the New York Rangers and Vancouver Canucks, respectively.

Tortorella’s season with Vancouver went about as poorly as possible, as the Canucks failed to make the playoffs for the first time since 2008. The team scored just 196 goals, its lowest full-season total since 1998-99.

Tortorella is known for his clashes with the media, although he did feel that he made strides to improve that while in Vancouver. He was also suspended for 15 days during the 2013-14 campaign for attempting to confront Calgary coach Bob Hartley between periods after a line brawl at the start of a game.

Ultimately, Tortorella didn’t blame the Canucks for firing him. That being said, don’t expect him to be a totally changed man when he takes over the Jackets.

“Don’t blow your philosophy up because it was a tough year,” he said last month. “You still need to have confidence in yourself, and stay with your convictions and philosophy.”

Vancouver will receive a second-round pick from Columbus as compensation for the hiring, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.

The Blue Jackets start a four-game road trip Thursday in Minnesota.

Related: USA Hockey confirms John Tortorella will coach World Cup squad