Dusk til Dawn: Don’t poke the big bear

Ryan Kennedy
This feature appears in the Nov. 3 edition of The Hockey News magazine. Get in-depth features like this one, and much more, by subscribing now.

Come in and read our morning recap, where all NHL plays are reviewable (because that’s what we’re doing here – reviewing plays that happened the night before).

Essential Water Cooler

Boston’s Zdeno Chara took a high-stick from Calgary’s Matt Stajan and got no compensation from the refs because they were watching the puck go over the glass in a different part of the zone. In Toronto, the Maple Leafs felt the zebras missed several calls on the Florida Panthers that could have changed the 3-1 Cats win in Toronto’s favor. So the question becomes, is it time for a ref upstairs? An omnipresent eye that can call down to the stripes on ice and let them know of a penalty behind the play? Sure, there may be more power plays to begin with as players adjusted to tighter standards, but the action would be more fair. Do you want a more objective hockey game, or are things fine the way they are?

Primetime Play

Colorado had Dan Ellis problems last night as the Dallas backup robbed Avs captain Gabriel Landeskog en route to a 3-2 Stars victory.

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Dusk til Dawn: Evander Kane gets the TKO on Columbus

Ryan Kennedy
EKane

Read our morning recap while keeping in mind that Jonathan Bernier can attack from anywhere…at any time.

Essential Water Cooler

Are you a fan of the American Olympic team? Are you also getting kinda nervous right now? Injuries seem to be piling up for the Stars and Stripes, with St. Louis captain David Backes the latest to get dinged, as the power forward was injured in a collision with Ottawa’s Colin Greening in what looked like a possible concussion. With Jonathan Quick already on the shelf, that’s two key players right there and we haven’t even gotten to New Year’s yet. But at the same time, is it too early to worry?

Primetime Play

Jonathan Bernier took the loss for Toronto as the Leafs fell 3-1 to the Penguins, but he got the better of Jayson Megna on this big run-in.

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Dusk til Dawn: And the debate rages on

(Photo by Mike Stobe/NHLI via Getty Images)

Essential Water Cooler:

The good or bad news first? The good: The Habs won once again, 1-0 over the Islanders and now are 8-1-1 in their last ten games, closing in on the Bruins for first in the Atlantic division. The bad: fan-favorite and team enforcer George Parros left the game with a suspected concussion after a fight with Isles bruiser Eric Boulton. This is the second time this season Parros was knocked out of a contest after a fight-gone-wrong and it once again rages the debate whether or not fighting has a place in the game. This incident will no-doubt yield intense dialogue amongst hockey fans and armchair GM’s across the globe.

Primetime Play:

Don’t look now, but Stars linemates Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn are quickly becoming one of the best 1-2 punches in the National Hockey League. They aren’t on a Perry-Getzlaf, Crosby-Malkin and Toews-Kane level just yet but boy, can these guys play.

Men of the Night:

Jeff Carter, Los Angeles: The lanky sniper picked up a goal and two helpers as his Kings won their sixth straight game over the flailing Senators. Team Canada General Manager Steve Yzerman is surely taking notice of the former Flyer’s recent play.

Mason Raymond, Toronto: A walk-on in training camp, Raymond quickly established himself in the Leafs lineup and picked up four assists in his clubs decisive 7-3 victory over the Blackhawks. Raymond has been one of the league’s most pleasant surprises.

Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh: By the end of the season Crosby will most likely be named the ‘Man of the Year’ as he has had a firm grip on the NHL scoring lead all season. The kid picked up two goals in a 4-1 win against the Wings to give him a total of 46 points in 34 games.

Carey Price, Montreal: Though he only faced 21 shots, Price was perfect turning aside every one of them for his second shutout of the season. Price has had an excellent bounce back season and the timing is perfect with the Olympics right around the corner.

Viktor Stalberg, Nashville: The speedy winger has really found a home with the Preds. The Swede tallied a goal and an assist including the game winner in his club’s 3-2 victory over the Sharks.

Better Luck Next Time:

The Winnipeg Jets just can’t seem to get on a roll. They sit last in the ridiculously tough Central division and every time they seem to take a step forward, they also take two steps back. With their 6-4 loss to the Stars last night, notable veterans Blake Wheeler and Andrew Ladd were quoted as saying it was an “embarrassing performance”. What do the Jets have to do to get out of this funk?

Dusk til Dawn: Sweet Lou where is the offense?

Edmonton Oilers v Vancouver Canucks

The Canucks won their sixth in a row and the Devils are really missing Ilya. Get caught up on Friday the 13th action in our morning recap.

Essential Water Cooler
You might find John Tortorella belting Christmas carols in downtown Vancouver this weekend, and it’s not because the holidays are right around the corner. Torts is a happy man right now and it has to do with his Nucks winning their sixth straight game last night in a 4-0 romp over the Oilers. Roberto Luongo recorded his third shutout of the season in a 19 save performance and Ryan Kesler added two assists to give him eight points in his last seven games. As for the Oilers, well let’s just say 1990 feels as long ago as Flyers Chairman Ed Snider’s fifth birthday.

Primetime Play
As THN’s own Ryan Kennedy pointed out last week, the kids are loving the one-handed Peter Forsberg shootout move these days and that was no different when super-sophomore Jonathan Huberdeau slid this beauty past Philipp Grubauer last night.

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Dusk til Dawn: How ya like me now?

Ryan Kennedy
Steen

Read our morning recap and maybe you can forget about Brian Burke’s hair style from yesterday. Maybe.

Essential Water Cooler

Nothing in Alex Steen’s resume would indicate he was capable of challenging for the NHL scoring crown, but here we are in mid-December and the St. Louis Blues center is still top-10, tied with Alex Ovechkin. And while this scoring glut may have been unforeseen, Steen has always been a reliable two-way player, which begs the question: Did Toronto give up on him too early? The Leafs, who lost to Steen’s Blues 6-3 last night, traded him away in 2008-09 after just three and a half seasons, along with Carlo Colaiacovo for Lee Stempniak. Did the Leafs jump the gun?

Primetime Play

Paul Gaustad is starting to bring the offense in Nashville and this sweet goal helped the Preds douse Dallas 3-1.

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Dusk til Dawn: The Silver and Black knack

Ryan Kennedy
MarJones

Check out our morning recap, where the Maple Leafs still believe ‘CORSI’ is a four-letter word.

Essential Water Cooler

It goes without saying that the Los Angeles Kings can play some pretty fearsome two-way hockey, but it’s also starting to look like the organization’s depth in net is never-ending. Jonathan Quick is a Conn Smythe winner and since he got injured, Ben Scrivens is putting up Vezina numbers, while rookie Martin Jones nearly had three straight shutouts. Toronto put 39 shots on him last night but only put one past the armor, losing 3-1 to the Kings. Is it the team’s system, or just a bunch of really talented netminders?

Primetime Play

Sticking with the men behind the masks, check out Anaheim’s Jonas Hiller, stoning Charlie Coyle on a breakaway to preserve a 2-1 Ducks win over Minnesota.

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Dusk til Dawn: Poulin swims with Sharks – and wins

Ryan Kennedy
Poulin

Hey, did you know Jarome Iginla returned to Calgary last night? It says so in our morning recap.

Essential Water Cooler

Both Nikita Kucherov of Tampa Bay and Aleksander Barkov of Florida went with the Peter Forsberg “stamp” move in the shootout last night and both were successful, though only Barkov’s team would prevail in a 3-2 win over Detroit. I’ve seen spin-o-ramas turned aside and the Malik/Hertl between-the-legs has a pretty high degree of risk. So when executed properly, is the Forsberg signature the most deadly move on a breakaway?

Primetime Play

It’s been weird on a couple levels since Jarome Iginla left Calgary, but he returned to the Saddledome last night and the Bruins even got a 2-1 win. Here’s Iggy’s curtain call.

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Dusk til Dawn: Corey’s story an allegory for Ducks’ success

Ryan Kennedy
Perry

Check out our morning recap while resisting the urge to make a pun about the fact Carolina couldn’t score on Eddie Lack.

Essential Water Cooler

Corey Perry notched two goals in Anaheim’s 5-2 win over the New York Islanders last night, pushing his total to 20 on the season. The former Hart Trophy winner is top-five in both points and goals, while his Ducks are soaring and still haven’t lost at home in regulation. Sure, Perry will make Canada’s Olympic team, but does he get enough respect around the league? He may get under the skin of his opponents more than the average superstar, but he’s starting to put up some serious credentials. So, is Corey Perry underrated?

Primetime Play

Not to tilt the conversation, but Perry did this last night. Note how much time was left on the clock, too.

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