Hockey News

  • Alexandre Burrows will have a long time to think about what he did to Taylor Hall. The Ottawa Senators forward has been suspended for 10 games after attacking Hall in Tuesday’s game against the New Jersey Devils. The length of the suspension reflects the violent nature of Burrows’ actions, as well as his status as a repeat offender.
  • Jaromir Jagr’s NHL days are over. While the 45-year-old future Hall of Famer hasn’t officially retired, he isn’t likely to see another opportunity following his recent stint with the Calgary Flames, and he returned to the Czech Republic after the Flames placed him on unconditional waivers last Sunday. Jagr leaves as one of the greatest scorers to ever play the game, and his legacy of longevity is one few could ever hope to match.
  • It has been more than a month since the Boston Bruins last lost in regulation, going 10-0-3 since losing to the Washington Capitals on December 14. Boston defeated the rival Montreal Canadiens for the second time in five days on Wednesday, cruising to a 4-1 win on the strength of five points from its top line and a defense that limited Montreal to just 22 shots in a typically dominant performance from the hottest team in the NHL.
  • Not everyone is happy with the surprising success of the expansion Vegas Golden Knights. Vegas’ rights to use the Golden Knights name and colour scheme are under scrutiny due to a trademark claim filed by the U.S. Army, which accuses the NHL franchise of ripping off the parachute team of the same name. The claim was filed on Wednesday, the final day to oppose the Golden Knights’ trademark.
  • Neither Canada nor Sweden had much trouble advancing to the gold medal game at the 2018 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship, but both teams look good enough to give each other a hard time when they meet on Friday. They were the two best teams throughout the group stage, and they have a long and lopsided history in the final game of the tournament, meeting five previous times to decide the gold medal with Canada winning every contest.
  • Alex Ovechkin scored the two biggest goals of Tuesday’s overtime victory against the Carolina Hurricanes. The Washington Capitals captain tied the game midway through the third period and ended it in overtime, scoring his NHL-leading 25th and 26th goals to give Washington its third straight victory. At 32 years old and nearing 600 career goals, Ovechkin doesn’t appear to be slowing down. And his best might be yet to come.
  • The Vegas Golden Knights continue to rewrite the book on what’s possible for an NHL expansion team. The Golden Knights have points in their last 10 games - a first for an expansion team - going 9-0-1 to rise to the top of the Western Conference. Once expected to be a basement-dwelling afterthought for the 2017-18 season, Vegas is looking more and more like a playoff contender with each game.
  • The New York Islanders appear to have found a new home fairly close to their old one. The Islanders have been struggling to attract fans to their games since moving to Brooklyn from Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, but a bid to develop the land around Belmont Park could give the franchise the stability it craves.
  • The past year has been mostly good to the St. Louis Blues. Their head coaching change from Ken Hitchcock to Mike Yeo has gone about as well as a franchise could hope, with a 43-17-4 regular-season record since promoting Yeo in February. And while the Blues were knocked out of the playoffs in the second round last season, they began the 2017-18 campaign looking like Stanley Cup contenders, grabbing an early lead in the Central Division. But two untimely injuries threaten to derail St. Louis’ progress and end the year on a down note.
  • The New Jersey Devils are the new Toronto Maple Leafs. Much like Toronto did last season, New Jersey is relying on a group of rookies to revive its slumbering offense, and so far it’s working. The Devils lead the Metropolitan Division and appear poised to snap a five-year playoff drought, finally emerging from the shadow of Ilya Kovalchuk’s departure.
  • Carey Price is back to normal. After an uncharacteristically shaky October and a lower-body injury that kept him out for most of November, Price has returned to give the Montreal Canadiens some life. Price has allowed just two goals on 102 shots in three starts since his return, giving Montreal three straight wins in regulation for the first time this season, and the offensively challenged Canadiens will need Price at his best if they want to climb back into the Eastern Conference playoff race.
  • Something is definitely wrong with the Edmonton Oilers. The Oilers appeared to turn a corner last season after making the playoffs for the first time since 2006, but a quarter of the way into 2017-18, they are once again one of the worst teams in the Western Conference. There is no simple answer to Edmonton’s struggles, which now include an ongoing illness affecting the team’s captain and best player, Connor McDavid.
  • The Tampa Bay Lightning have been unstoppable for the first six weeks of the NHL season, leading the league with a 14-2-2 record and a plus-25 goal differential. The Lightning are dominating opponents at both ends of the ice, and they look like a Cup contender again after stumbling in 2016-17.
  • The NHL’s Pacific Division has belonged to the Anaheim Ducks for the last five seasons, with two trips to the conference finals to show for it. But all that success could be catching up with the Ducks, who are struggling to win games with a very depleted roster that likely won’t return to full strength for a couple months.
  • Following months of speculation, Matt Duchene is on the move. The Colorado Avalanche dealt Duchene to the Ottawa Senators on Sunday in exchange for a package of picks and prospects and Kyle Turris, who was immediately dealt to the Nashville Predators for more picks and prospects.
  • The Vegas Golden Knights are off to a such a great start that they’re setting records, but they’re also about to get their first real taste of adversity. Vegas defeated the St. Louis Blues in overtime on Saturday to become the first team in NHL history to win six of its first seven games in its inaugural season, overshadowing the fact that the Golden Knights are now without their top two netminders.
  • Alex Ovechkin is proving once again that reports of his decline have been greatly exaggerated. Many people thought his days of dominating the scoreboard for the Washington Capitals were waning after a down year last season, but he’s silencing those concerns by scoring at a rate the NHL hasn’t seen in 100 years.
  • No one was very surprised when the Toronto Maple Leafs announced Joffrey Lupul had failed his medical examination and wasn’t cleared for training camp, setting him up for another season on the team’s long-term injured reserve (LTIR) list.
  • The Minnesota Wild avoided arbitration with team points leader Mikael Granlund by agreeing to a three-year extension on Tuesday with a $5.75 million cap hit. The deal comes two days after Minnesota re-signed Nino Niederreiter to a five-year, $26.25 million, and it is the culmination of more than a month’s worth of maneuvers by the Wild to stay under the salary cap while improving their roster.
  • No NHL team has stepped in to sign Jaromir Jagr since the Florida Panthers chose not to negotiate an extension with him, leaving the 45-year-old in free agency limbo. But Jagr, who is second only to Wayne Gretzky in all-time points, doesn’t appear anywhere near ready to retire yet.
  • The return of Alexander Radulov was one of the bigger success stories of the 2016-17 NHL season. After spending four seasons playing in the KHL, Radulov joined the Montreal Canadiens on a one-year deal and proved he was still an elite scoring threat in both the regular season and the playoffs. Unfortunately for the Canadiens, Radulov cashed in on his successful comeback by signing a five-year contract worth more than $31-million with the Dallas Stars, leaving Montreal with many of the same scoring problems it had before his arrival.
  • The Vegas Golden Knights probably aren’t going to be very good in their inaugural season, but the moves they made on Wednesday could make them great in a few seasons. Vegas general manager George McPhee used the expansion draft as a sort of instant rebuild, stocking the roster with a combination of youth and tradable assets while using the leverage of certain exposed players to stock up on draft picks for as far ahead as 2020.
  • For the first time in nearly 20 years, the Stanley Cup is staying put. The Pittsburgh Penguins successfully defended their title, eliminating the Nashville Predators with a 2-0 win in Game 6 on Sunday for the fifth championship in franchise history, and the third for captain Sidney Crosby, who won his second straight Conn Smythe trophy as most valuable player.
  • For two franchises that hardly know one another, the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Nashville Predators are finding plenty of reasons for animosity three games into their Stanley Cup Final series. The Predators earned a convincing 5-1 win in Game 3 on Saturday, and Pittsburgh’s frustration boiled over in the third period, leading to 70 minutes in penalties and some amusing trash talk from Penguins captain Sidney Crosby—if P.K. Subban is to be believed.
  • The Ottawa Senators have forced the Pittsburgh Penguins out of their comfort zone by imposing their defensive style on the Eastern Conference Final, which concludes Thursday with Game 7 in Pittsburgh. Aside from their offensive outburst in Game 5, the Penguins have been forced to battle with Ottawa in close games that could hinge on one big save or unexpected bounce of the puck - a situation in which the Senators seem to thrive.
  • Peter Laviolette is probably hoping the Nashville Predators’ first appearance in the Stanley Cup Final goes more like his championship with the Carolina Hurricanes than his 2010 berth with the Philadelphia Flyers. Nashville defeated the Anaheim Ducks 6-3 in Game 6 of the Western Conference Final on Monday, making Laviolette the fourth person in NHL history to coach three different teams in the Cup final.
  • The Pittsburgh Penguins know the toll two consecutive lengthy playoff runs can have on a lineup, having won two straight championships in 1991-92 and making two straight Stanley Cup Final appearances in 2008-09, but that doesn’t make the prospect of losing two more roster regulars any easier. Pittsburgh could be without Bryan Rust and Justin Schultz heading into Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final on Wednesday, adding to the team’s ever-growing injury list.
  • It’s hard to believe that the Marc-Andre Fleury in net for the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday is the same goaltender who only started one game during the team’s Stanley Cup championship run last year. Fleury had all but lost the starting job to Matt Murray after more than a decade as Pittsburgh’s top option, but an injury to Murray gave Fleury an opportunity for redemption and he’s responded by carrying the Penguins back to the conference final.
  • The Nashville Predators are closer to winning the Stanley Cup than ever before. Nashville eliminated the St. Louis Blues with a 3-1 win Sunday in Game 6 of their second-round series, reaching the Western Conference final for the first time in the franchise’s two decades of existence.