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2016 - 2017 NHL Regular Season  Rate Topic 
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 Posted: Mon Dec 19th, 2016 10:30 pm
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lobo316



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It's been a rough year for Dallas Stars goaltending.

Antti Niemi and Kari Lehtonen man the crease for the Stars, splitting games consistently as neither have been able to win the starting job through 33 contests.

But it's not just this season that netminding has been the issue in Dallas, all of 2016 was troublesome.

36 goalies faced at least 1,000 shots in the 2016 calendar year.
Of them, DAL's Niemi (.897) and Lehtonen (.899) only ones under .905 SV%

β€” Rob Vollman (@robvollmanNHL) December 19, 2016
It's especially alarming when you consider that Niemi and Lehtonen are the highest-paid goalie tandem in the NHL, with $4.5M and $5.9M cap hits, respectively.

Last season, the Stars won a talented Central Division and advanced to the second round of the playoffs. But, predictably, their season ended in a 6-1 blowout upon Lehtonen allowing three goals on eight shots.

Dallas ranks toward the middle of the pack in shots allowed per game (30.2), yet are 26th in the NHL in averaging 3.06 goals against.

The Stars have a talented roster featuring the likes of Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn, but the offense has regressed from last season. They're currently two points out of a wild-card spot in the West, and unless Niemi and Lehtonen can erase a horrendous 2016 come the New Year, Dallas will have a big hole to climb out of.

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 Posted: Mon Dec 19th, 2016 10:32 pm
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lobo316



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John Tortorella said it didn't matter. His team didn't care.

The Columbus Blue Jackets got their head coach the 500th win of his NHL career Sunday, winning their ninth straight, and captain Nick Foligno was happy to be a part of it.

"He says it doesn't mean (expletive), but that's a lot of wins," Foligno said, writes The Columbus Dispatch's Aaron Portzline. "He's gone through a roller coaster in his career ... but we're happy to have him at the helm here."

Known for his emotion and the outbursts that stem from it, Tortorella appears more mellow behind the bench this season, less of his firecracker self.

Chalk it up to age, says the 58-year-old.

"I'm trying to enjoy it more. I'm on the back nine. That's just the way it is," Tortorella, a Stanley Cup winner in 2004, said. "I'm fortunate enough to be in the league a long time. I know it's not going to be forever, so I do want to try and enjoy it."

The wins - Columbus has won 20 of 29 games - certainly help, too.

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 Posted: Mon Dec 19th, 2016 10:33 pm
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lobo316



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Randy Carlyle was apparently on a need-to-know basis with the Toronto Maple Leafs. And when he was fired by the club on Jan. 5, 2015, he wasn't told why management thought he was no longer up to the task.

Carlyle returns to Toronto for the first time as an NHL coach Monday, bringing with him his new old club, the Anaheim Ducks.

"I'd leave those questions to the people that were above me," Carlyle said Sunday, according to NHL.com's Dave McCarthy, when asked why he was let go when his Maple Leafs had a 21-16-3 record and held down a wild-card playoff spot. "If they don't want to answer them, they never told me any reason."

Carlyle took over for Ron Wilson in 2013, after Wilson was fired with 18 games to go in the 2012-13 season. In the shortened 2013-14 season, Toronto made the playoffs for the first time since the lockout cost the NHL the 2004-05 campaign. The Maple Leafs were up 4-1 on the Boston Bruins in the third period of Game 7 of their first-round series, only to collapse like no other team has collapsed before.

Toronto lost 5-4 in overtime after shockingly, amazingly blowing their lead. Carlyle never called a timeout.

A native of Sudbury, Ont., Carlyle has had this one circled on his calendar since rejoining the Ducks, the team he coached to a Stanley Cup in 2006-07.

"It'd be crazy to say that it's not special but again it's not about me, it's about our hockey club going out and playing against the Maple Leafs," Carlyle said.

Though Carlyle left Toronto with a winning record as Maple Leafs head coach (91-78-19), advanced stats show his teams in blue and white were a disaster. From 2012-13 through 2014-15, Toronto was the second-worst club in the league with respect to possession, coming in at a ghastly 44.47 percent, according to Corsica Hockey.

Under Carlyle, the Maple Leafs simply never had the puck. A career season from goaltender James Reimer - a .924 save percentage and four shutouts in 31 starts - got the club into the postseason in 2013, where it was thoroughly dominated by the Bruins, who were the deserving series winners, even though it took a modern miracle.

Carlyle drove a portion of Maple Leafs fans crazy with his lineup decisions. He played enforcers Colton Orr and Frazer McLaren on his fourth line regularly in 2013, and had the backing of Brian Burke in management to dress a team focused on physical play, while the league moved towards more skill and speed.

This season, Carlyle has a skilled Ducks team at his disposal, but the club ranks 18th in possession at 49.10 percent. Last season, under Bruce Boudreau, the club finished fifth at 52.36 percent.

Much of the criticism leveled at Carlyle when he left Toronto was that he wasn't willing to adapt to a changing game.

Monday, meanwhile, will also mark the first start for Toronto goalie Frederik Andersen against his former team. Andersen was traded to the Maple Leafs in the offseason, signing a five-year deal to be the No. 1.

Andersen will be motivated to show Anaheim it picked the wrong goalie between him and John Gibson. And Carlyle is, no doubt, hoping to prove to Toronto that he wasn't the problem.

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 Posted: Mon Dec 19th, 2016 10:35 pm
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lobo316



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The Columbus Blue Jackets may not lose again this year.

John Tortorella's club won its ninth straight Sunday, a 4-3 overtime decision over the Canucks in Vancouver. The win was Tortorella's 500th of his NHL career, coming against the team that fired him one year into a five-year contract.

Tortorella is the first American-born head coach to reach the milestone, and the 24th overall.

The victory was earned by Columbus. The Blue Jackets blew a 2-0 lead before going up 3-2 with under five minutes to play in the third. Vancouver then tied it up with 1:09 to play. The Canucks' three third-period goals were the first three allowed by the Blue Jackets in the final period this month.

#CBJ captain Nick Foligno presented Tortorella the puck and whole club applauded for him room, celebrating win No. 500.

β€” Aaron Portzline (@Aportzline) December 18, 2016
Columbus' nine straight victories matches a club record it set in 2015. The Blue Jackets look to make history Tuesday at home against the Los Angeles Kings.

NINE STRAIGHT. @BlueJacketsNHL πŸ‘€#AllForOhio

β€” Cleveland Cavaliers (@cavs) December 18, 2016
In more record-setting news: Blue Jackets blue-liner Zach Werenski equaled the club record for most points in a season by a rookie defenseman, picking up an assist to give him 21 points in 29 games.

It's been that kind of year in Ohio.

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 Posted: Tue Dec 20th, 2016 05:28 am
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lobo316



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The Carolina Hurricanes and Detroit Red Wings will have to wait to take to the ice.

Scheduled to begin play at 7 p.m. ET at PNC Arena in Raleigh, N.C., the game has been delayed due to an issue with the cooling system.

At least one player has heard the delay will be significant.

According to an interview with Ron Hainsey, the #Canes initial estimate is that the delay could be at least one hour. #DETvsCAR

β€” Carolina Hurricanes (@NHLCanes) December 19, 2016
That timeline was corroborated by the Red Wings' Twitter account.

According to Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press, there's a limit as to how long Detroit can wait, as the Red Wings are set to play Tuesday in Tampa Bay.

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 Posted: Tue Dec 20th, 2016 05:29 am
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Artemi Panarin, Henrik Lundqvist, and Eric Staal are the NHL's three stars of the week.

Panarin received first-star honors after collecting 10 points in four games, including back-to-back three-point outings over the New York Islanders and St. Louis Blues. The Chicago Blackhawks forward has helped power his team to five straight victories to sit atop the NHL standings.

Lundqvist was named the second star of the week following three straight victories in which he allowed just three combined goals. He also teamed with backup netminder Antti Raanta to record the first shared shutout in New York Rangers history in a 2-0 win over the Dallas Stars.

Staal earned the week's third star after registering five points in three games, including four goals. The veteran forward has enjoyed a resurgence in his first season with the Minnesota Wild, tallying 24 points in 30 games and helping his team to its current seven-game winning streak.

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 Posted: Wed Dec 21st, 2016 05:14 am
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Connor McDavid evidently doesn't do slumps.

In likely his final shift left to escape establishing a new career high of three consecutive games without recording a point, McDavid found Ryan Nugent-Hopkins drifting into a scoring area to convert the overtime winner Monday night versus the St. Louis Blues.

McDavid's timely feed gave him a league-best 40 points for the season, and a 60th assist through 79 games across his first two years in the NHL.

He also has 28 goals to make it 88 points over that span, a fruitful total portfolio that's quickly closing in on a complete aggregated NHL campaign. McDavid's averaged 1.11 points per outing since his debut, which is comparable to a top-25 rate all time.

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 Posted: Wed Dec 21st, 2016 06:54 pm
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Edmonton mayor Don Iveson is pushing to name the Edmonton Coliseum after Wayne Gretzky, according to The Canadian Press.

The Coliseum was the home of the Oilers up until this season, when the team opened the brand-new, $600-million Rogers Place in the city's downtown core.

The old arena, which resides on Wayne Gretzky Drive, is in the process of being transformed into a sports complex for the public.

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 Posted: Wed Dec 21st, 2016 06:56 pm
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lobo316



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Jaromir Jagr tied Mark Messier on Tuesday for second on the NHL's all-time points list with 1,887.

SECOND ALL-TIME: Jaromir Jagr (755-1,132β€”1,887) has tied Mark Messier (694-1,193β€”1,887) for second on the NHL’s all-time points list. pic.twitter.com/1ca18togra

β€” NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) December 21, 2016
The feat was achieved via a trio of assists Tuesday against the Buffalo Sabres, with the milestone assist coming on Nick Bjugstad's first goal of the season.

Jagr also needed 94 fewer games than Messier to hit the milestone.

One hundred and three of Jagr's career points have come as a member of the Florida Panthers, and the rest recorded with the Pittsburgh Penguins (1,079), New York Rangers (319), Washington Capitals (201), New Jersey Devils (96), Philadelphia Flyers (54), Dallas Stars (26), and Boston Bruins (nine).

Jagr still sits well behind Wayne Gretzky's 2,857 points, but is one away from sole possession of second place.

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 Posted: Wed Dec 21st, 2016 06:57 pm
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ST. PAUL, Minn. - Devan Dubnyk made 18 saves for his NHL-leading fifth shutout this season and the Minnesota Wild beat the Colorado Avalanche 2-0 on Tuesday night for their eighth straight victory.

Charlie Coyle scored his team-leading 11th goal and Mikko Koivu added his eighth for the Wild, who have outscored their past five opponents 19-5. Minnesota has allowed a league-low 58 goals in 31 games.

Colorado's Semyon Varlamov returned after missing four games with a groin injury and stopped 31 of 33 shots. The Avalanche have lost four consecutive games and 11 of 13 while being outscored 49-26.

Dubnyk entered leading the league in goals-against average (1.62) and save percentage (.947) and tied with Boston's Tuukka Rask for the lead in shutouts.

Dubnyk wasn't enough for Minnesota in the first two games between the Central Division rivals. Colorado had won the first two meetings, giving Minnesota two of its eight regulation losses this season.

The last game on Nov. 19 was a comeback from two goals down in the third period for the Avalanche. Minnesota has lost just once in regulation in 14 games since then. Varlamov didn't play in the first two games.

Coyle scored in the first period on the power play. Varlamov stopped a penalty shot from Eric Staal in the second period, but Koivu poked home a perfect cross-ice pass from Matthew Dumba into a wide-open net for the second tally.

NOTES: Minnesota F Pat Cannone made his NHL debut at 30 years old after parts of seven seasons in the minors. Cannone had four goals and 12 assists in 29 games with AHL Iowa this season. ... The Wild recalled F Jordan Schroeder from Iowa during the game for an upcoming road trip. C Erik Haula missed Tuesday's game with a lower-body injury. ... Colorado F Joe Colborne returned to the lineup after missing two games with a lower-body injury and then being scratched in the previous game. F Andreas Martinsen was scratched for the first time this season. ... Minnesota's win streak is one behind the franchise best, a nine-game streak set in 2007.

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 Posted: Wed Dec 21st, 2016 06:58 pm
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lobo316



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Andrew Cogliano's impressive run of durability reached a new level Tuesday night.

The Anaheim Ducks forward appeared in his 738th consecutive game when he stepped on the ice against the Montreal Canadiens, passing St. Louis Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester to move into sole possession of fifth on the all-time list.

Cogliano now owns the longest active ironman streak in the NHL, although he has a long way to go to catch the all-time leader.

Andrew Cogliano is playing his 738th consecutive game tonight, surpassing Jay
Bouwmeester for the fifth-longest such streak in NHL history. pic.twitter.com/8vQOC64nbW

β€” NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) December 21, 2016
Cogliano also made an impact on Tuesday's game, opening the scoring less than six minutes in.

Remarkably, he has yet to miss a game in his 10-year NHL career. He spent his first four seasons with the Edmonton Oilers and is now in his sixth with the Ducks.

Bouwmeester's run extended from March 6, 2004 to Nov. 22, 2014, according to NHL.com.

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 Posted: Thu Dec 22nd, 2016 05:11 am
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Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop will miss three-to-four weeks with a lower-body injury, the club announced Wednesday.

The news comes after Bishop was forced to leave Tuesday's game against the Detroit Red Wings, after he stretched out to make a pad save in the first period.

In wake of the news the club has recalled goaltender Krister Gudlevskis from the Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League, who is likely to backup Andrei Vasilevskiy.

Related: Vasilevskiy ready to step up if Bishop out long term

In 22 games this season, Bishop has a 9-10-2 record, with a 2.79 GAA and a .907 save percentage.

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 Posted: Thu Dec 22nd, 2016 07:03 pm
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lobo316



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It seems as if the Toronto Maple Leafs are willing to trade forward James van Riemsdyk. At the right price, of course.

Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman writes in his "30 Thoughts" column:

A year ago, teams asked about James van Riemsdyk and were told he was not available. Now they're being told, "If you're serious, ante up." What it comes down to is this: van Riemsdyk is an unrestricted free agent after next season, and can be extended July 1. At some point, the Maple Leafs will decide if they are going to meet his price.

Van Riemsdyk's under contract at $4.25 million against the cap through 2017-18. He'll be 28 in May, and is having another solid season, with 12 goals and 22 points in 31 games. And now that Toronto boasts more offense thanks to rookies Auston Matthews, William Nylander, and Mitch Marner, his ice time is down from 17:46 a game last season to 16:01.

As Friedman notes, Van Riemsdyk is one of the better goal-scorers in the NHL, and will be paid handsomely, by Toronto or another team. The Maple Leafs' weakness is on its blue line, hence the change in approach from last year, when Toronto wasn't interested in discussing JvR with other teams.

Van Riemsdyk has a modified no-trade clause, according to Cap Friendly, and can submit a list of 10 teams he won't accept a trade to.

Acquired in exchange for Luke Schenn from the Philadelphia Flyers in a very one-sided trade, Van Riemsdyk has 101 goals and 200 points in 281 games with the Maple Leafs.

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 Posted: Thu Dec 22nd, 2016 09:15 pm
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The St. Louis Blues have placed forward Paul Stastny on injured reserve with an upper-body injury, general manager Doug Armstrong announced Thursday.

In a corresponding move, the Blues have recalled forward Wade Megan from the AHL's Chicago Wolves.

Stastny has suited up in all 34 of the Blues' contests this season, scoring seven goals and 10 assists.

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 Posted: Fri Dec 23rd, 2016 06:13 am
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The first player ever drafted by the Nashville Predators has called it a day.

David Legwand, who was selected second overall by the Predators in 1998, announced his retirement from professional hockey Thursday after 16 seasons.

Legwand appeared in a franchise-high 956 games with the Predators, and also holds team records in goals (210), assists (356), and total points (566).

In 2014, he was traded to the Detroit Red Wings, before signing a contract with the Ottawa Senators as a free agent that summer. Legwand was subsequently traded to the Buffalo Sabres - with whom he played his final NHL season in 2015-16 - after one year in Ottawa,

"What a great ride this was," Legwand said, "especially having the chance to play nearly 1,000 games for my drafting club in Nashville and seeing the growth of the game there; to fulfilling a dream of playing for my hometown Red Wings; to experiencing the positive vibe of playing in Canada’s capital of Ottawa; and to end with the talented players of the Buffalo Sabres in my final season."

Altogether, Legwand appeared in 1,136 NHL games, with 228 goals, 390 assists, and 618 points to his name.

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