Only Alex Ovechkin and Steven Stamkos have more goals over the past five seasons than Anaheim’s Corey Perry. The one-time 50-goal man is as dangerous as any below the hashmarks. He’s even lethal from his knees. And in tight with no defenders between he and the goaltender? Should be an automatic tally.
But Friday night, Perry and the hotter-than-the-Earth’s-core Ducks took on the Blackhawks in a battle of the West’s best, and No. 10 found himself all alone at the lip of the crease with only Corey Crawford left to beat. Here’s the result: Read more
The Edmonton Oilers shook up their goaltending Wednesday, shipping former starter Devan Dubnyk to the Nashville Predators for checking forward Matt Hendricks, then dealing a third-round pick to the Los Angeles Kings for netminder Ben Scrivens.
With the Oilers mired in the Western Conference basement and all but assured of missing the playoffs for an eighth straight season, GM Craig MacTavish is expected to have more moves in store leading up to the March 5 trade deadline.
Sportsnet’s Mark Spector claims word around the league is the Oilers are over-valuing their players. He suggests they shouldn’t expect more than a third-round pick for winger Ales Hemsky. He also believes Sam Gagner could be a tough sell, as he’s considered a small center who struggles with faceoffs. Scouts question if he’s a second- or third-line center, plus his $4.8-million annual cap hit is an issue.
This is getting scary. The Anaheim Ducks are not only beating teams, they’ve scored at least four goals in seven of their past eight games, capped by a 9-1 stomping of the Vancouver Canucks Wedensday night. The only concern now is whether or not the Ducks are peaking too soon.
Nothing has changed at the top or bottom of thn.com’s Power Rankings for this week. (Last week’s rankings are in parentheses.)
1. ANAHEIM (1): The Ducks have won 18 of their past 19, eight in a row and 20 of 22 on home ice. It’s hard to convince a team to not win games, but perhaps if this team is going to experience any adversity this season, it should be now. That’s because they don’t want to be experiencing it four months from now in the playoffs. GM Bob Murray said there’s, “not a chance in hell,” he’ll trade 14-straight-game winner Jonas Hiller. Read more
An innocuous Tweet the other day about the uptick of ticket sales in Los Angeles for the outdoor game prompted a minor backlash.
“And they hope to have ice, or something like it?”
“Have fun skating in soup.”
“I can’t wait until this disaster is over and done with.”
It is indeed the No. 1 question on people’s minds in regards to the game between the Kings and Ducks Jan. 25 at Dodger Stadium. How will the ice stay frozen and playable?
What will an outdoor NHL game in California look like?
Aside from the pools of melting ice, of course. (I kid, I kid)
Well, it’ll look something like this architectural rendering released by the NHL today. In two words: very nice. Read more
The Winnipeg Jets’ recent replacement of Claude Noel as coach with Paul Maurice did little to dampen trade rumors swirling around the team. If the coaching change fails to improve the club’s performance, significant roster changes could be next.
Center Olli Jokinen acknowledged as much to the Winnipeg Sun, while Blake Wheeler blamed himself and his teammates for Noel’s firing. Captain Andrew Ladd hoped the coaching move “brings some energy to this group and some desperation”.
GM Kevin Cheveldayoff, in the press conference announcing the coaching change, believes it’s now up to the players to respond positively to their new bench boss. Cheveldayoff also intends to “take a long hard look at what other steps there are to move forward.” In a subsequent interview with TSN 1050 radio, Cheveldayoff said he needs to move pieces “to either establish a larger core or maybe move some pieces that re-establish some different things,” adding it’s a project still in the works.
No NHL team had held down the No. 1 spot in three straight thn.com Power Rankings, until this week when the Anaheim Ducks became the first to do it. And why not? They’re in first overall in the NHL, they haven’t lost at home in regulation time in 20 games this season and are the hottest team in the league with a 9-1-0 mark in their past 10.
Sounds like solid reasoning to us. Here are this week’s rankings, along with last week’s in parentheses:
1. ANAHEIM (1): When San Jose beat the Ducks 3-1 in late December, they became the only team to beat Anaheim in regulation in almost five weeks. The Ducks then went out and posted a four-game winning streak, meaning they’ve lost once in regulation time in their past 18 games. Don’t look now, but Corey Perry is third in goals with 24, seven behind Alex Ovechkin, and has a history of torrid second halves of the season.
2. ST. LOUIS (2): The team that wasn’t supposed to be able to score this season has been proving us wrong. The Blues are riding a league-high six-game winning streak and have scored at least five goals in four of those games. With a 5-2 win over Edmonton in which they thoroughly dominated Tuesday night, the Blues hit the 30-win mark in their 42nd game. That marked the fastest to 30 wins in franchise history
3. PITTSBURGH (4): Like the Blues, the Penguins have been scoring a ton, but that’s to be expected from this group. Including shootout winners, the Penguins have scored at least five goals in four of their past five games. At the other end of the ice, the Canadian Olympic team might have wanted to take Marc-Andre Fleury solely for shootout situations. Fleury has stopped all 11 shooters he’s faced in three shootouts this season and dating back to last season, has won eight straight shootouts.
First of all, Bobby Ryan would be able to play for my team anytime. He’d certainly be able to play for my U.S. Olympic team in 2014 because, with or without him, this team is going to have trouble creating offense. Ryan’s tumultuous upbringing is well documented and anyone who can endure that and make the NHL, let alone be a contributing member of society, has more than enough intensity in my books.
That being said, nobody owes Bobby Ryan an apology for the rather public and unfortunate way his exclusion from the U.S. Olympic team unfolded. USA Hockey and Olympic team GM David Poile, as decent a man as you’re going to find in this industry, have been falling all over themselves apologizing for war room comments made by Brian Burke, comments that made their way into the public forum because respected espn.com journalist Scott Burnside was embedded with the U.S. Olympic team brain trust during its selection process.
For those of you who might have missed it, Burke said the following about Ryan, a player he drafted second overall in 2005 when he was GM of the Anaheim Ducks: “He’s a passive guy. He is not intense. That word is not in his vocabulary. It’s never going to be in his vocabulary. He can’t spell intense.”