• Five fresh faces making an impact with their new teams

    Boychuk, Okposo and Tavares

    It’s still early in the season, but fans are starting to get a feel for which free agent pick-ups and off-season trades have worked in their favor. For some, it was a blockbuster deal that could change the future of the franchise. For others, it was a smart, below-the-radar deal that has given them the piece they need to build one block at a time.

    Below you can find the top five off-season moves that are making waves in the early season. What is your top five?

    5. Daniel Winnik (Toronto Maple Leafs)

    While he certainly wasn’t the sexiest of signings in the off-season, Daniel Winnik has been just what the Toronto Maple Leafs needed. There has been no shortage of talk about the Leafs defensive woes. After a summer dedicated to shifting the focus of the front office, headlined by bringing in assistant GM Kyle Dubas, the Leafs went out and got the 29-year-old Winnik.

    Though he’s unlikely to make any highlight reels, Winnik is the kind of player that helps teams win. Already this season he has shown just how defensively sound he is. Coming off a career-high 30 points in 2013-14 as a member of the Anaheim Ducks. Plus, he’s from Toronto. That’s sure to make one notable Leafs’ fan happy. Read more

  • Getting To Know: Jim Thomson

    Jim Thomson (http://www.jimthomsonsdreams.com/)

    Status: NHL right wing from 1986-1993 with Hartford, Washington, New Jersey, Los Angeles, Anaheim and Ottawa.

    DOB: December 30, 1965 In: Edmonton, Alberta

    First Hockey Memory: “I borrowed a pair of skates. I grew up in a mobile house park, Westview Village in Winterburn, Alberta. I was six years old and one of my friends lent me his dad’s skates. They were too big but I skated around and couldn’t stop. I fell in love with it.” Read more

  • Huberdeau dazzles in shootout with homage to Swedish legend

    Jared Clinton
    Jonathan Huberdeau (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

    In a game that involves the Florida Panthers and Washington Capitals going to a shootout, you’d expect the highlight of the night to be something off the stick of Alex Ovechkin. Not tonight.

    The former Southeast Division rivals battled to a tightly contested 1-1 draw through regulation and overtime. Both teams saved their scoring touches for the shootout.

    After Evgeny Kuznetsov gave the Capitals a 1-0 lead in the shootout with a quick flick of the wrists, Jonathan Huberdeau evened the score by paying homage to one of the most iconic goals of all-time: Peter Forsberg’s one-handed goal from the 1994 Olympics. It was an absolutely beautiful goal from the 2012-13 Calder Trophy recipient.

    Originally used by Kent Nilsson, Forsberg made the goal famous when he slipped it past Canadian goaltender Corey Hirsch in the ’94 Olympics Gold Medal game in Lillehammer. It would prove to be the winning tally in the shootout.

    Unfortunately for Huberdeau and the Panthers, his marker couldn’t do the same. Ovechkin got the last laugh for the Capitals as he outwaited Florida goaltender Al Montoya for the shootout winner.

    All may not be lost for Huberdeau, though. If he waits long enough, he might get on a stamp. Read more

  • Senators’ Lehner absolutely robs Blue Jackets’ Wennberg with stunning stick save

    Robin Lehner (Glenn James/NHLI via Getty Images)

    It’s been the weekend of the stick save.

    Last night, it was Minnesota Wild goaltender Darcy Kuemper keeping the score knotted at one-apiece with a diving, swatting stick save on a puck that was redirected on goal by teammate Jonas Brodin’s skate.

    Robin Lehner must have caught the clip because he tried his hand at one of his own.

    In Saturday’s contest against Columbus, the Blue Jackets moved the puck around behind the net and right winger Jack Skille moved the puck to defenseman Fedor Tyutin. Savard let a shot go that deflected off of a Senator and landed right on the waiting stick of Alexander Wennberg.

    Wennberg is going to want that one back.

    The save was Lehner’s sixth of the game and kept the score at even at zeroes. For the remainder of the game, the Senators backup goaltender would remain stellar. He finished the game with 38 stops in the Senators 3-2 victory over the Blue Jackets.

  • Canadiens super fan returns, and this time Brendan Gallagher is his target

    Jared Clinton
    Brendan Gallagher

    You may know Jay Baruchel from his work in Hollywood with Seth Rogen. You may also know him from shows like Undeclared. He even wrote and co-starred in a hockey movie about lovable enforcer Doug Glatt, called ‘Goon’.

    Where you probably haven’t seen Jay Baruchel, however, is in the shower with Canadiens forward Brendan Gallagher. Well, here’s your chance:

    This is the second video starring real-life Canadiens super fan Baruchel, the first of which featured him getting up close and personal with Habs goaltender Carey Price.

    It’s never easy to elicit a good laugh in a 30-second commercial spot, but it looks like the Canadiens and Baruchel have created a bit of magic. Let’s just hope Youppi! can get in on the action at some point. Read more

  • The Avalanche aren’t bound for the basement even after slow start

    Jared Clinton
    Nathan-MacKinnon-COL3

    As the saying goes in statistics, there’s an exception to prove the rule. The Colorado Avalanche and their incredible success in 2013-14 were just that – the exception – for statistically inclined hockey fans.

    From the top down, it was the kind of year that baffles the mind. It seemed like each and every night the Avalanche would be outshot, pinned, and scrambling in their own end. Each night, it also seemed like the games would have the same result: an Avalanche victory. Read more

  • Celebrity overtime: Six questions with Quantum Leap/NCIS star Scott Bakula

    Amber Dowling
    Scott Bakula (Skip Bolen/CBS)

    Stars like hockey too, and everyone once in a while they’re more interested in chatting up last night’s game than they are in pontificating about their latest TV or film projects. In our weekly “Celebrity Overtime” feature, we take five minutes with various celebrities to discuss their love of the good old-fashioned game.

    Scott Bakula has been around the TV circuit for years thanks to roles in shows like Quantum Leap and this season’s new hit NCIS: New Orleans, but he’s also spent his share of time on the ice. Don’t call him a Kings fan though — he bleeds St. Louis Blues through and through, even when it’s tough going.

    Q: You’ve spent so much time in L.A., has a small part of your inner fandom converted?

    A: Nope. I’m from St. Louis so I’m a Blues fan, a big, huge, frustrated Blues fan. But I’m still loyal. You’re from Toronto? A couple of years ago I was shooting there…you guys weren’t in the playoffs, and I was like, ‘This is completely wrong.’ It made no sense at all, because Toronto wasn’t in the playoffs but the cars were still in the stadium for hours after the game. I thought, ‘This is insane. And, amazing.’
    Read more

  • Rumor Roundup: Myers, Staal could be moved for the right price

    Tyler Myers

    The respective trade statuses of Carolina Hurricanes captain Eric Staal and Buffalo Sabres defenseman Tyler Myers remain hot topics in the NHL rumor mill. In today’s salary cap era, it’s unusual to see two such notable players mentioned this early in the season as possible trade candidates.

    On Wednesday, TSN analyst Bob McKenzie appeared on NBC to report on the Toronto Maple Leafs’ off-season interest in Staal, as well as the Detroit Red Wings apparent pursuit of Myers. His colleague Darren Dreger turned up the same night on NHL Network and commented on the Staal rumors, noting there’s a lot of “ifs” to this situation, the most notable being if Staal could agree to waive his no-trade clause. Read more