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2016 - 2017 NHL Regular Season  Rate Topic 
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 Posted: Sat Dec 10th, 2016 01:50 am
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lobo316



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A frustrating season for the New York Islanders has improved on the ice, but Garth Snow isn't doing his club any favors from the front office.

The general manager made the latest in a string of questionable moves Friday, signing Cal Clutterbuck to a five-year contract extension worth a reported $17.5 million.

The yearly dollar amount isn't the issue. Clutterbuck is already making $3.5 million in salary this season despite his $2.75-million cap figure. The controversial part is the term - more specifically, giving a fourth-liner five more years, ensuring he's under contract until age 34.

Clutterbuck certainly isn't useless, particularly when it comes to the penalty kill and his penchant to serve as a net-front presence, but much of his value is intangible, and therefore, it's difficult to justify this move.

He does do one quantifiable thing well, ranking fifth in the NHL among qualified skaters with 3.6 hits per game, but racking up hits simply means you don't have the puck.

Cal Clutterbuck is credited with 89 hits this season. 12 of them have caused the opponent to lose the puck.

— Andrew Berkshire 📎 (@AndrewBerkshire) December 9, 2016
Though Snow is an experienced GM, this is hardly his first misstep.

He signed 30-year-old forward Andrew Ladd to a seven-year, $38.5-million deal on July 1, in a clear effort to offset the departures of Kyle Okposo and Frans Nielsen, who agreed to significant contracts elsewhere. Ladd has three goals and six points in his first 26 games with the Islanders.

Snow also seems to have his own sort of seven-year itch. He inked defensemen Nick Leddy and Johnny Boychuk to deals of that length in February and March 2015, respectively. Leddy's pact was for the same amount as that of Ladd, and Boychuk is earning $42 million.

Then there was the Casey Cizikas contract. Snow gave Clutterbuck's fellow fourth-liner a five-year extension of his own in June.

The Islanders now have only two pending unrestricted free agents (veteran blue-liner Dennis Seidenberg and backup goaltender Thomas Greiss), but they've also committed about $30 million to six players for 2018-19, when John Tavares is scheduled to become a free agent.

Clutterbuck and Tavares were OHL teammates and the captain likely appreciates having his de facto bodyguard locked in, but that might not matter if the Islanders are too hamstrung by Snow's ill-advised long-term commitments to pay Tavares what he wants when that time comes.

The Clutterbuck deal is just the latest example of how Snow is hurting the Islanders' long-term flexibility by giving non-superstars too many years.

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 Posted: Sun Dec 11th, 2016 01:11 am
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lobo316



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While recent trade rumors have the Toronto Maple Leafs linked to an upgrade on defense, the club certainly has its parameters set in regards to pending transactions.

Maple Leafs president Brendan Shanahan spoke with Sportsnet's Chris Johnston and explained that while the team is not immune to making trades to better itself, they will not jeopardize themselves by dealing part of their future core.

"Our vision’s not going to change, but the day-to-day blueprint has to change every day," Shanahan said. "Things happen to your team, things happen around the league, you have to be ready. So there really is no one way we’ve outlined we’re going to do this thing. If we have an opportunity to make ourselves better and it fits into what our vision is (we’ll do it). Our vision isn’t going to change. Our vision is to build a team that can sustain success over a long period of time.

"So does that mean we’re not going to make any trades? No, it doesn’t mean that. Does that mean we’re going to get a little taste of success and sacrifice years and years of our future to get something for today? No."

While the Maple Leafs currently hold down the all-too-familiar position of last place in the Eastern Conference for the time being, there is no question the team is in a better place than it was one season ago.

Rookies Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, William Nylander, and Nikita Zaitsev among others have reshaped the complexion of the club and produced a much more exciting on-ice product.

"I’m excited about the progress, but I think for all of us - players included - we know that this is just really the beginning of the work," said Shanahan.

Despite the long road ahead, a plan is clearly coming together, one the president feels will make the club a contender in time.

"We’re thinking about going out and trying to win every game we play," said Shanahan. "Wherever we are in our development, we're going to be constantly trying to, as a group, get better. I think what we try to do is really just focus on the process and focus on improving. We’re confident that we’ll be in the right place at the right time."

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 Posted: Sun Dec 11th, 2016 01:11 am
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lobo316



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The Arizona Coyotes will be without forward Max Domi for the foreseeable future.

The 21-year-old has been placed on the injured reserve and is considered week to week with an upper-body injury, head coach Dave Tippett confirmed to AZCentral Sports' Sarah McLellan.

Domi was forced from Thursday's contest against the Calgary Flames after being left bloodied following a heated bout with Flames forward Garnet Hathaway.

Domi sits second on the team with 16 points through 26 games this season.

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 Posted: Sun Dec 11th, 2016 09:16 am
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What goes around comes around, they say.

On Nov. 4, the Montreal Canadiens were the laughing stock of the NHL following a 10-0 drubbing at the hands of the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Just over a month later, the Habs are on the other end of the spectrum thanks to a 10-1 shellacking of the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday night.

The Facts

The Canadiens are the first team since the 2005-06 Buffalo Sabres to allow 10 and score 10 in the same season.
The last time Montreal scored nine goals at home was 1994.
10 goals is a new Bell Centre record.
Montreal scored six goals in a period for the first time since Dec. 17, 1992, versus the ... Quebec Nordiques.
The Canadiens started with five goals in the opening 8:41, the last time Montreal scored five goals in the first 10 minutes of a game was Feb. 14, 1990.
Carl Soderberg and Mikhail Grigorenko were the only Colorado players that weren't a minus, in a combined 1:12 of ice time.

The Numbers

5: The amount of points for captain Max Pacioretty, including a career-high four goals.

28: The number of scoring chances Montreal created.

.625: Semyon Varlamov's save percentage after allowing six goals on 16 shots.

9: Even-strength goals for the Canadiens.

- 40: Colorado's combined plus-minus on the night.

Last edited on Sun Dec 11th, 2016 09:17 am by lobo316

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 Posted: Sun Dec 11th, 2016 09:18 am
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Sidney Crosby was called to the NHL's quiet room.

Facing the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday, the Pittsburgh Penguins center was forced to undergo the NHL's newly mandated concussion protocol after a hit into the boards by Lightning defenseman Luke Witkowski, reports Dave Molinari of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

But it wasn't all bad for Crosby, who later returned to the game and grabbed a pair of goals to recapture the NHL lead with 20 tallies on the season.

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 Posted: Tue Dec 13th, 2016 02:23 am
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Darnell Nurse underwent surgery to repair an ankle ligament as well as bone damage and will miss up to 12 weeks, Edmonton Oilers general manager Peter Chiarelli announced Monday.

The imposing defender has already been out six games.

Matthew Benning and Dillon Simpson have rotated in as the bottom pairing in Nurse's absence, since Mark Fayne and Eric Gryba are also listed on injured reserve.

With the exception of a short absence for Kris Russell, the Oilers' top four has stayed relatively healthy, but will be under tremendous pressure with now very little depth support.

The club is, however, expecting Brandon Davidson back soon.

Nurse, a former seventh overall draft pick, had three goals, five points, and 17 penalty minutes in 25 games before his injury.

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 Posted: Tue Dec 13th, 2016 02:59 am
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Brayden Schenn is at it again.

After netting a hat trick in Saturday's win over the Stars, Schenn delivered the overtime winner on a beautiful effort Sunday to extend Philadelphia's winning ways.

Now at nine games, the Flyers own the longest winning streak in the NHL this season.

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 Posted: Tue Dec 13th, 2016 03:00 am
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Minnesota's 3-1 win over the Blues was particularly special for Eric Staal.

The veteran pivot recorded his 800th NHL point Sunday, banking an assist on Mikael Granlund's empty netter.

Congratulations to #mnwild's Eric Staal on his 800th @NHL point with an assistant on Granlund's goal! pic.twitter.com/vQIxdGgIhx

— Minnesota Wild (@mnwild) December 12, 2016
Staal has enjoyed a rebirth of sorts in his first year in Minnesota, scoring a team-leading 19 points so far this season.

The 32-year-old, drafted second overall in 2003, is the only player from his class to reach the milestone.

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 Posted: Tue Dec 13th, 2016 08:05 am
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What a year.

The Pittsburgh Penguins celebrated the one-year anniversary of Mike Sullivan becoming head coach by doing what they've done a lot of over the past 365 days - winning.

Pittsburgh dusted Arizona 7-0 on Monday, an expected result considering the Coyotes' last-place standing in the NHL, making for a combined score of 13-0 for the Penguins over Arizona in 2016.

Related: Watch: Crosby bats puck out of mid-air to score NHL-leading 21st

Sullivan was hired on Dec. 12, 2015, replacing Mike Johnston, and Pittsburgh has been a force ever since.

Monday night was regular-season game No. 83 for Sullivan behind the black and gold bench, and his record is stellar:

Once Sullivan took over, the Penguins became what they are today: one of the league's fastest outfits, which can score goals in bunches. It helps when you have Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Phil Kessel - each player went into Monday's game with over 30 points, while Crosby is averaging almost an absurd goal per game.

Kris Letang anchors the defense, and Patric Hornqvist and Conor Sheary are producing as well. When controversy hit the crease after Marc-Andre Fleury was hurt last season, Matt Murray stepped up admirably, and he's undoubtedly the new No. 1 in goal.

There are 16 wins not accounted for in the table above. They came in 24 games during the 2016 playoffs, as the Penguins marched to their fourth Stanley Cup.

It's fair to say that the honeymoon stage between Sullivan and Pittsburgh is far from over.

Isn't love beautiful?

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 Posted: Tue Dec 13th, 2016 08:07 am
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lobo316



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The Philadelphia Flyers announced Monday they'll be without defenseman Mark Streit for two weeks due to an upper-body injury.

Streit's had a productive season, as his 16 points (five goals, 11 assists) are good for fifth on the club in scoring (he's tied with Shayne Gostisbehere). Streit'saveraging just under 20 minutes of ice time per game, and has a 51.33 Corsi For rating, according to Corsica Hockey.

It's a shoulder injury, according to The Inquirer's Sam Carchidi.

The Swiss defender turned 39 on Sunday, and is only seven points shy of the 23 he had last season in 62 games.

Philly has won nine in a row and will try and make it 10 on Wednesday.

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 Posted: Wed Dec 14th, 2016 05:08 am
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Arizona Coyotes forward Max Domi is out indefinitely after undergoing hand surgery, general manager John Chayka announced Tuesday.

Domi was roughed up in a Dec. 8 fight versus the Calgary Flames and was originally considered week-to-week with an upper-body injury.

Chayka didn't outline a comeback plan, but said the Coyotes expect Domi to make a full recovery and return to the lineup later this season.

In 26 games this campaign, the 21-year-old ranks second on the club with 16 points.

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 Posted: Wed Dec 14th, 2016 06:37 am
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The puck had to get by at some point.

Antti Raanta's shutout streak came to an end Tuesday thanks to a goal by Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk at the 5:18 mark of the second period.

A quality finish by @TvanRiemsdyk6 and an apple for the #BreadMan in the Big Apple pic.twitter.com/DntO4GoOVi

— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) December 14, 2016
The New York Rangers netminder hadn't allowed a goal since the second period of a Dec. 8 game, keeping the opposition from scoring for almost nine periods.

Trevor van Riemsdyk ends Antti Raanta's shutout streak at 176:22 #Blackhawks #NYR

— Jon Lane (@JonLaneNHL) December 14, 2016
The strong performance of late has given Raanta a leg up on the team's starting job, relegating Henrik Lundqvist to the bench, for the time being at least.

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 Posted: Wed Dec 14th, 2016 06:38 am
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lobo316



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Anze Kopitar is on the board for the first time in nearly three weeks.

The Los Angeles Kings captain cruised in from the neutral zone, blew past Buffalo Sabres forward Ryan O'Reilly, and shoveled a dribbler past goaltender Robin Lehner to end a 16-game goal drought Tuesday night.

Kopitar hadn't scored since Oct. 25, when he tallied in a win over the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Tuesday's goal was his third of the season and his 246th in a Kings' uniform, tying Wayne Gretzky for sixth on the franchise's all-time list.

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 Posted: Wed Dec 14th, 2016 07:55 pm
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Alan Thicke clearly made an indelible impression on the hockey community.

The Canadian actor and passionate fan of the game died Tuesday at the age of 69, Thicke's publicist confirmed to Christopher Watson from ABC News.

Thicke died in hospital after suffering a heart attack playing hockey with his son, TMZ reported

Players, clubs, and the league itself offered heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of the late "Growing Pains" star:

I almost believe it's not real. The hockey word lost a great ambassador and I a good friend. Thoughts are with your family @Alan_Thicke

— George Parros (@GeorgeParros) December 14, 2016
I can't believe my friend Alan Thicke passed away. 😓 such a sad day! pic.twitter.com/QfSUFteCHd

— Bailey LA Kings (@BaileyLAKings) December 14, 2016
RIP Alan Thicke. :( https://t.co/EtFX6NswNK

— #LAKings (@LAKings) December 14, 2016
RIP to one of the great ones, Alan Thicke. pic.twitter.com/LvlU13s23h

— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) December 14, 2016
The NHL family is sad to learn of the passing of longtime hockey fan Alan Thicke. Our thoughts are with his family and friends. pic.twitter.com/5ADyWRksuf

— NHL (@NHL) December 14, 2016
Very sad to hear the passing of Alan Thicke. Always was pleasure to be around. Thoughts are prayers for his family

— Matt Beleskey (@Matt_Beleskey) December 14, 2016
sad to hear that Alan Thicke Died played many celebrity hockey games with him he loved the game hope he scored one last goal RIP my winger

— MIKE ERUZIONE (@MERUZIONE) December 14, 2016
The master of ceremonies for the very first #TBLightning game to ever be played at Expo Hall.

Rest in peace, Mr. Thicke. https://t.co/ZwRx8CUqH2

— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) December 14, 2016
So sad our friend Alan Thicke is gone. Loved that guy.

— Brett Hull (@HOFBlues16) December 14, 2016
1/2 My wife and I are devastated over the news that #AllanThicke just passed away today.

— Larry Robinson (@19LarryRobinson) December 14, 2016
2/2 I got to know him during my time in LA. He will be truly missed. Prayers go out to his entire family. RIP fellow Canadian.

— Larry Robinson (@19LarryRobinson) December 14, 2016
Awww man. Not Alan Thicke. One of the nicest men I've ever met. This makes me sad. Tough loss.#RIPpal

— Sheldon Souray (@SSouray) December 14, 2016
Thicke's connection to hockey ran deep, from his longtime friendship with Wayne Gretzky to numerous appearances at NHL events and even writing and performing "Hockey Sock Rock" with former NHL stars Phil Esposito, Ron Duguay, Pat Hickey, Dave Maloney, and John Davidson.

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 Posted: Wed Dec 14th, 2016 07:57 pm
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EDMONTON, Alberta - Sam Gagner had a goal and an assist, and the streaking Columbus Blue Jackets won their seventh straight game by beating the Edmonton Oilers 3-1 on Tuesday night.

Cam Atkinson and Matt Calvert also scored to help the Blue Jackets (18-5-4) improve to 8-0-1 in their last nine games.

Tyler Pitlick had the goal for the Oilers (15-12-5), who have lost five of six.

Edmonton got on the scoreboard first, just past the midpoint of the opening period as a hard-charging Pitlick got to a rebound in the blue paint and chipped it over Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky.

The Oilers appeared to add another with 4 minutes left in the first, but officials determined forward Zack Kassian interfered with the goalie on the play.

Columbus tied the game on a power play 8 minutes into the second period when Gagner came back to hurt his old team. The puck went off the toe of his skate and past Edmonton goalie Cam Talbot for Gagner's fourth goal in the last four games and 12th of the season.

The Blue Jackets made it 2-1 at 7:10 of the third as a pass deflected to Atkinson and he hammered his 11th of the season past Talbot.

Columbus added to its lead 1:36 later when Calvert took advantage of a sloppy Oilers line change and rifled a shot off Talbot's arm and into the net.

The Blue Jackets completely took over in the third and were outshooting Edmonton 12-0 midway through the period.

NOTES: It was the first of two meetings between the teams this season. The other one is Jan. 3 in Columbus. ... Oilers D Brandon Davidson played his first game since injuring his shoulder in the season opener Oct. 12 against Calgary. It was good news for Edmonton, which announced that fellow defenseman Darnell Nurse could miss up to three months following ankle surgery. ... Columbus captain Nick Foligno returned to the lineup after missing two games with the flu.

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