San Jose and Los Angeles will face off at Levi’s Stadium on Feb. 21, with the Sharks hosting the Kings in Northern California. So it only makes sense that Los Tiburones have come up with a special shoulder crest repping their half of the state on their special jersey for the outdoor clash:
Ryan Kennedy is the associate senior writer and draft/prospect expert at The Hockey News. He has been with the publication since 2005 and in that span, Don Cherry, Lil Jon and The Rock have all called his house. He lives in Toronto with his wife and kids where he listens to loud music and collects NCAA pennants.
Just as the season was dawning, I had a conversation with Arizona Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith about expectations. The Canadian Olympian laid out the battle plan for his squad pretty succinctly:
“The past couple of years, our consistency has not been where we want it to be,” Smith said. “Our main focus is everyone knowing their role on the team.”
Taking a peek at the team’s recent results, that has not come to fruition. The Coyotes dropped their eighth straight home game last night, 5-1 to Nashville and are languishing near the bottom of the NHL standings – only Carolina and Edmonton are worse.
Should the Coyotes fire coach Dave Tippett, or make some moves to shake up the roster? Nope. From where I’m sitting, this team should just keep on keepin’ on.
The Western League’s Lethbridge Hurricanes haven’t made the playoffs since 2009, when future NHLers Zach Boychuk, Dwight King, Luca Sbisa and Carter Ashton propelled the Alberta squad to the second round. Since that cohort, only two players have even been drafted by NHL teams – and the latest one now plays for Brandon after a trade request.
But Minnesota pick Reid Duke wasn’t the first to ask out of Lethbridge and the exodus away from the Hurricanes lately has been stunning. Unfortunately, hope for the franchise may still be almost a year away.
Ask folks who watched Josh Jooris play in the American League for Abbotsford last season and they’ll tell you he was OK. Ask folks who have watched the young center play for the Calgary Flames this season and they’ll tell you he’s been much more important.
Early in the second period last night, Tampa Bay Lightning superstar Steven Stamkos wheeled around and fired a wrist shot from just above the hashmarks, beating Washington goalie Braden Holtby through a crowd of Caps. It marked Stamkos’ 250th career goal and at the age of 24 years and 305 days, ‘Stammer’ became the 10th-youngest player in NHL history to achieve the mark. The list of players ahead of him is impressive:
World junior camps are approaching and some teams are getting excellent news already. Most recently, Canada found out that New York Rangers rookie Anthony Duclair will be loaned out, giving the host nation another speedy and dangerous offensive weapon in its arsenal. Finland must be happy that Dallas gave its blessing for Julius Honka to return, while Washington’s Andre Burakovsky is still a wait-and-see for Sweden. In the meantime, here are some of the other top prospects making noise in the hockey world.
The Chicago Blackhawks have been built so well that it’s sometimes tough for young kids to crack the roster. But one player who has made a big impression over the past few years is left winger Brandon Saad, who already has a Stanley Cup to his name and at 22, still has room to grow into a dominant player in the NHL.
We are mere weeks away from the World Junior Championship, where Toronto and Montreal will play host to some of the best teenaged players on the planet. Canada and the U.S. announced their final camp rosters last week and now it’s Europe’s turn to shine. Camp rosters are trickling out and there are some big names – and big snubs to consider. Here’s the latest: