Hockey Canada gesture leaves Stamkos nearly speechless

Jared Clinton
Steven Stamkos (Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images)

A broken tibia didn’t just derail Steven Stamkos’ 2013-14 season, it robbed him of the opportunity to represent his home country at the Olympics.

While there’s no telling the impact Stamkos may have been able to make during the Sochi games, his scoring ability surely would have been a welcome addition to Team Canada. Though he fought valiantly to rehab his injured right leg in time for the tournament, he was unable to reach full speed in time, and Team Canada named Martin St-Louis as his replacement. Read more

Power Rankings: Kings taking regular season seriously (Rest of league: ‘Yikes!’)

Ken Campbell
Jeff Carter and Drew Doughty (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

The Los Angeles Kings are blowing their cover. In previous seasons, the Kings never seemed terribly interested in blowing the doors off the NHL during the regular season, instead being content to watch teams raise their division championship and President’s Trophy banners while they hoisted a Stanley Cup pennant.

That’s all changed in 2014-15. The Kings are taking the regular season seriously in the early going and are steamrolling their way through the league. If this keeps up, expect to see them at or near the top of thn.com’s Power Rankings for most of the season. (Last week’s rankings are in parentheses.) Read more

Soothsayer Tyson Nash foresees Justin Hodgman’s first NHL goal

Jared Clinton
Justin Hodgman (Photo by Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images)

At 39 years old, Tyson Nash has done a bit of everything. He suited up for nearly 400 games in the NHL, played a handful of contests in Japan, and has made the transition to broadcasting rather successfully, working alongside Matt McConnell to call Arizona Coyotes action for Fox Sports.

On Saturday night, Nash tried his hand at a new talent: fortune-telling. That’s right, the former St. Louis Blues and Coyotes bruiser may have found an eerie new calling.

In the Coyotes matchup on Saturday, a game against the visiting Florida Panthers, Nash said he had a feeling rookie Justin Hodgman would tally his first NHL marker at some point during the third period. Nash didn’t have to wait long for his prediction to come true: Read more

Like it or not, Sharks/Ducks-type brawling an increasing rarity in today’s NHL

Adam Proteau
Ducks and Sharks players brawl. (Debora Robinson/NHLI via Getty Images)

The Sharks and host Ducks engaged in a nasty little bit of NHL business late Sunday night when the two teams combined for 165 penalty minutes, nine fighting majors and eight misconducts in San Jose’s 4-1 win over Anaheim. Included in the mess were multiple ejections to players from both teams (including Ducks star Corey Perry and Sharks blueliner Justin Braun) a third period brawl and the second fight of the game between Anaheim’s Tim Jackman and San Jose’s John Scott, who left the bench in direct violation of Rule 70.2 to get into it with Jackman late in the third period.

(Some will say Scott was on a line change, but Rule 70.2 stipulates even legal line changes that lead to the instigation of a fight can be subject to supplemental discipline, and there’s no doubt that’s what Scott did.)

The win snapped both the Ducks’ seven-game win streak and the Sharks’ four-game losing skid. But the game also was significant in that it was arguably the first game of the regular season in which the NHL has sufficient evidence by which to suspend a player for his on-ice actions. Things can change in a single game, obviously, but when many teams have played ten percent of their season without some episode of superfluous chest beating occurring, there might just be evidence of an actual culture change beginning to take root among players and within league management circles.

The evidence of the different times in which the NHL now operates is all around us: over here, Sabres coach Ted Nolan, no dainty peacenik in his playing career, correctly notes the pointlessness of a staged fight; over there, former Canucks, Oilers and Rangers head coach and new Hockey Canada president Tom Renney is taking a bold stance against fighting (“(H)ockey is not the WWE. And this sport must teach many things to young people about character, integrity, teamwork, not fighting.”); Read more

Alberta-bound Carey Price desperately needs a change in western fortunes

Carey Price (Francois Laplante/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images)

Carey Price may have been a competitive calf roper when he was younger, but as soon as he steps on the ice in Alberta, he plays as though it’s his first rodeo. And if the Montreal Canadiens want to continue their white-hot start to the season, that’s going to have to change in a hurry.

So the most important person on the Montreal Canadiens as they head into a western Canadian road trip in first place in the Eastern Conference might be goaltending coach Stephane Waite. The man who has been most responsible for altering Carey Price’s mental approach to games could have to do some major psychological massaging on Price this week. Read more

Patrick Kane’s 500th career point involves who else? Jonathan Toews

Adam Proteau
Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews (Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images)

Given how linked-at-the-hip Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews have been since arriving in Chicago and helping deliver a pair of Stanley Cup champions to the Blackhawks, it was only fitting Kane reached a personal milestone with the assistance of the Hawks’ captain.

Kane and Toews collaborated on Chicago’s first goal of their game Sunday night against the Senators, with the former starting the rush into Ottawa’s zone before assisting on the latter’s second goal of the season: Read more

Columbus’ Nick Foligno escapes serious injury despite scary collision with linesman

Adam Proteau
Nick Foligno (Getty Images)

Nick Foligno is thanking his lucky stars Sunday night. The Blue Jackets right winger escaped serious injury after being taken off the ice on a stretcher due to an unusual collision with linesman Shane Heyer during the third period of Columbus’ game against the L.A. Kings.

Foligno was skating the puck up the ice along the boards and had his head down when he collided at an awkward angle with the lower back area of Heyer, who had jumped up on the boards in an attempt to avoid contact with players. The 26-year-old fell to the ice immediately and laid motionless for several minutes before he was removed from the ice strapped to a spinal board: Read more