Henrik Lundqvist stifles laughter after being asked about tough saves in shutout of Oilers

Jared Clinton
Henrik Lundqvist (Francois Laplante/FreestylePhoto/Getty Images)

On Sunday, Henrik Lundqvist posted the 55th shutout of his career with a 2-0 blanking of the Edmonton Oilers. If that wasn’t enough to make Lundqvist smile, a post-game question made him break into laughter.

It’s difficult to blame the New York Rangers goaltender for cracking a smile during the interview that followed the game. After all, he’s coming off of a 1,800-plus save season, so the 16 shots the Oilers were able to muster were little in the way of a test for King Henrik. So, when asked if he had to make any “signature” saves, he cracked up a bit: Read more

Rumor Roundup: Several teams looking at moves leading up to holiday trade freeze

Buffalo's Tyler Myers (Photo by Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images)

With the NHL’s holiday trade freeze beginning at midnight on Dec. 19 there’s growing speculation over possible moves leading up to the deadline.

ESPN.com’s Craig Custance reports Buffalo Sabres GM Tim Murray is willing to be creative after noting a recent decline in trade talks, leading Murray to acknowledge his asking prices could be too high.

Winger Chris Stewart, a recent healthy scratch against the Los Angeles Kings, is considered most likely to be dealt. The Buffalo News’ John Vogl reports the 27-year-old winger’s poor play could affect his trade value, as well as his chances for a lucrative contract via free agency in July. Vogl claims the Boston Bruins and Ottawa Senators could be interested in Stewart. Read more

Rumor Roundup: Ottawa could see more than just a coaching change

Craig Anderson (Photo by Andre Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images)

The Ottawa Senators made headlines earlier this week by firing head coach Paul MacLean and replacing him with Dave Cameron. That might not be the only change in store for the Senators, who’ve won only three of their last 10 games entering Thursday’s tilt against the Los Angeles Kings.

Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun reports Senators GM Bryan Murray has had defenseman Patrick Wiercioch and forwards Colin Greening and Erik Condra on the trade block for some time. Murray’s also reportedly entertaining offers for center Zack Smith. Garrioch also speculates the Senators GM could draw upon his goaltending depth by peddling Craig Anderson or Robin Lehner to land an impact player. Both are under long-term contracts which could enhance their market value. Read more

Rumor Roundup: Bruins scoring woes, injuries cause for trade talk

Boston Bruins Seidenberg Marchand Smith featured

Scoring is a problem this season for the Boston Bruins. In their last dozen game stretching back to November 12, the Bruins tallied three-or-more goals in only three games and won only five games over that period.

The Bruins began this week 21st overall in goals per game (2.50). That’s a considerable decline from last season, when they finished third (3.15) in that category.

Injuries to first-line center David Krejci and top defenseman Zdeno Chara have contributed to this offensive decline. Another is management’s inability to find a suitable replacement for first-line right wing Jarome Iginla, who departed last summer via free agency. Right wings Loui Eriksson and Reilly Smith have struggled to fill the void. Read more

Rumor Roundup: Trade talk still surrounding Oilers, Coyotes begin youth movement

Boston Bruins v Edmonton Oilers

During a “state of the franchise” press conference last Friday, Edmonton Oilers GM Craig MacTavish announced no major changes were planned for his floundering club. His comments, however, haven’t put to rest the trade speculation which has dogged the Oilers for weeks.

Leading up to MacTavish’s presser, Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos claimed the Oilers and Boston Bruins were revisiting trade talks and speculated Jordan Eberle could’ve been the topic of conversation. CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty reports previous discussions between the two clubs involved Johnny Boychuk (who’s now with the New York Islanders) along with center Chris Kelly and either Niklas Svedberg or Malcolm Subban. Read more

Rumor Roundup: Martinez deal could leave Kings facing cap crunch

St. Louis Blues v Los Angeles Kings

The Los Angeles Kings recent re-signing of defenseman Alec Martinez to a six-year, $24-million contract extension leaves them with over $60 million invested in 14 players for 2015-16. There’s growing speculation over what GM Dean Lombardi will do to address this situation.

If the salary cap stagnates for next season they won’t have much room to re-sign such notables as Justin Williams, Tyler Toffoli, Tanner Pearson and Jarret Stoll. Looming on the horizon is a new contract for top center Anze Kopitar. He’s signed through 2015-16 and become eligible for unrestricted free agency in July 2016. Read more

Oil spill: MacTavish answers tough questions at early morning presser

Jared Clinton
MacTavish

From the very second he stepped to the podium, Craig MacTavish made clear that he wasn’t going to be pleasing anyone with a word he said.

“This availability will not satisfy anyone,” MacTavish said as his opening salvo.

He wasn’t wrong, either, as much of what the Oilers GM said spoke not to what the team would be doing going forward, but rather to how they’re going to continue down the path they’re on because the team, as a whole, has a method and a plan. He said the team is better than their record, and the thing is, he’s right. Read more

Oilers already have perfect man to oversee rebuild: Bob Nicholson

Nicholson

So Edmonton Oilers GM Craig MacTavish was scheduled to meet with the media on Friday morning to “address the Oilers performance through 26 games and take questions.” That promises to be a pleasant exchange of ideas.

By all accounts, MacTavish will not announce either of the two things for which many Oiler fans are clamoring – that he’s firing the coach or he’s making a blockbuster trade to upgrade the roster. In reality, with an 11-game losing streak and the stench of defeat permeating the organization, neither of those would provide much relief. The best thing the Oilers could do now is stay the course and finish in the standings exactly where they are now. That would guarantee them at worst the second overall pick and the best chance at the first, meaning they’d have the opportunity to draft a potential generational superstar in either Connor McDavid or Jack Eichel. Not even the Oilers could screw that up. Read more