Daily Archives: November 4, 2013

Daily Archives: November 4, 2013

NHL Blog Beat – Monday, November 4, 2013.

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The NHL week in review, analysis of the Ranger and Oilers, learning to love the shootout, the case for the Habs to retire Guy Lapointe’s number, and much more.

PUCK DRUNK LOVE: Reviewing the NHL week that was.

PUCK DADDY: Ryan Lambert tears a strip off Flyers GM Paul Holmgren and Flyers goalie Ray Emery.

Why is Sergei Bobrovsky off to a slow start this season?

Why is Sergei Bobrovsky off to a slow start this season?

INSIDE HOCKEY: Ed Cmar examines Sergei Bobrovsky’s slow start this season.

THE HOCKEY WRITERS: Nathan Currier explains why Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin has his work cut out for him re-signing his pending free agent defensemen.

BLUE SHIRT BANTER: Evan Sporer believes the Rangers must take advantage of team speed.

PENSION PLAN PUPPETS: JP Nikota presents, “Collapsing Defensively And Breakouts 1o1″.

THE COPPER AND BLUE: Alan Hull wonders if the Oilers are taking too many shots from the perimeter.

FEAR THE FIN: How stop worrying and love the shootout.

DOBBER HOCKEY: Why getting “the scoop” on your opponents in fantasy hockey is no longer possible.

GREATEST HOCKEY LEGENDS: Joe Pelletier makes the case for the Montreal Canadiens to retire Guy Lapointe’s number 5.

NHL Morning Rumor Roundup – November 4, 2013.

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The latest on Jonas Hiller,  David Desharnais, Jordin Tootoo, Nikita Nikitin, Joey MacDonald and more.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson reports the Oilers will “hotly pursue” Anaheim Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller when he becomes a free agent next summer if Devan Dubnyk doesn’t work out this season. He also reports the Detroit Red Wings are shopping Jordin Tootoo in hopes of recalling Gustav Nyquist, while the Columbus Blue Jackets are trying to move Nikita Nikitin in order to promote Tim Erixon.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Hiller hits next summer’s UFA market the Oilers better be prepared to open the vault for him. He’s making $4.5 million this season and could seek over $6 million per on the open market…Tootoo’s been available since the summer but so far no takers. Nikitin’s struggles and his $2.15 million contract makes him tough to move right now.

Could David Desharnais become trade bait?

Could David Desharnais become trade bait?

RDS.CA: Francois Gagnon reported on the struggles of Montreal Canadiens center David Desharnais, who has yet to score this season and has only one goal in his last 30 games. Gagnon suggests Desharnais’ poor offense combined with his expensive salary makes him tough to move via trade.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some critics are comparing Desharnais to Scott Gomez during his tenure with the Habs.   While Desharnais’ salary isn’t as expensive as Gomez’s was, an average cap hit of $3.5 million is still a big chunk to pay a center who has only one point in 15 games this season.  He’s also got three more years after this one on that contract. The Canadiens cannot get much cap relief by burying him in the minors, and they’ve used up their two compliance buyouts.  Even if they offered to pick up half Desharnais’ salary, I doubt they find any takers, certainly not while he’s mired in his slump. 

CALGARY SUN: Flames goalie Joey MacDonald cleared waivers and was demoted to their AHL affiliate.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Reto Berra plays as well in his upcoming games as he did in his debut Sunday against the Blackhawks, we may have seen the last of MacDonald as a Flame.

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff won’t be pressured into making a hasty trade to improve his club.

NHL Canadian Corner – Monday, November 4, 2013.

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Flames rookie goalie Berra blanked the Blackhawks, Senators lose Anderson in OT defeat against Dallas, plus the latest on the other Canadian NHL clubs.

Flames rookie Reto Berra shines in his NHL debut.

Flames rookie Reto Berra shines in his NHL debut.

CALGARY HERALD: Rookie goalie Reto Berra made an impressive NHL debut, turning aside 41 shots as the Flames upset the Chicago Blackhawks 4-1.  3-2

SPECTOR’S NOTE: One game does not a career make, but this was a very strong start for Berra, especially against the defending Stanley Cup champions. It also had an inspirational impact upon his teammates. 

OTTAWA CITIZEN: Despite overcoming a 2-0 deficit the Senators fell 4-3 in a shootout against the Dallas Stars. The Senators also lost starting goalie Craig Anderson, who was forced from the game following a collision with Stars rookie Valeri Nichushkin.  Anderson apparently suffered a stiff neck from the collision.

VANCOUVER PROVINCE: After a rough couple of years, things seem to be looking up for Canucks GM Mike Gillis. Since the end of last season he hired John Tortorella as coach, mended fences with goalie Roberto Luongo, added Mike Santorelli, Brad Richardson and Ryan Stanton, and re-signed the Sedin Twins.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: So far, so good for Gillis, as the Canucks are off to a better-than-anticipated start.  What could have turned into a train wreck of a season has instead illustrated the Canucks intent to remain among the league’s elite clubs.

TORONTO SUN: With Dave Bolland and Tyler Bozak sidelined indefinitely, it’s now time for Leafs center Nazem Kadri to shine.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens coach Michel Therrien will have Alex Galchenyuk centering Max Pacioretty and Brendan Gallagher in Tuesday’s game against the Blues.

WINNIPEG SUN: Defenseman Keaton Ellerby, claimed off waivers from the LA Kings over the weekend, will make his debut with the Jets tonight when they face the Detroit Red Wings.

EDMONTON SUN/EDMONTON JOURNAL: The floundering Oilers try to find a way to snap out of their early season woes.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: They’d better do it soon. Only a month into this season, their playoff hopes are slipping away.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – Monday, November 4, 2013.

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Wild blank the Devils, Ray Emery’s fighting Braden Holtby could result in a rule change, plus updates on Marc-Andre Fleury, Kevin Shattenkirk, Patrick Kaleta and more.

STARTRIBUNE.COM: Josh Harding collected his second shutout of the season backstopping the Minnesota Wild to a 4-0 win over the injury-battered New Jersey Devils, who’ve been held scoreless over seven consecutive periods. Mikael Granlund, Torrey Mitchell, Dany Heatley and Jason Pominville were the Wild goalscorers.

Ray Emery's attack on Braden Holtby could result in a rule change.

Ray Emery’s attack on Braden Holtby could result in a rule change.

PHILLY.COM: Flyers goalie Ray Emery’s pummeling of Capitals netminder Braden Holtby (who clearly didn’t want to fight) could force the NHL to adopt a rule change to punish such actions, says NHL commissioner Gary Bettman.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Holtby had goaded Emery into fighting by word or deed and then “turtled”, that’s one thing. Holtby, however, wanted no part of fighting with Emery, who clearly wanted to jump into the line brawl between the two teams. That’s not part of the game at all. The NHL cannot suspend Emery under the current rules, but Bettman obviously wasn’t pleased by his actions. It’s also rumored some NHL Board of Governors and general managers  took a dim view of Emery’s actions. Expect this to be on the agenda at the next NHL GMs and BoG meetings.

POST-GAZETTE: The solid early play this season of Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury could catch the attention of Team Canada’s management.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fleury’s had a strong opening month, silencing his critics and allaying concerns of Penguins supporters. If he maintains that effort over the next four-to-six weeks, Fleury could play himself onto Team Canada.  So far, it appears he’s regained his confidence.

STLTODAY.COM: After a slow start, Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk is rounding back into form.

LOS ANGELES TIMES: The Kings are off until Thursday, allowing time for some injured players (including Jeff Carter and Jarret Stoll) to heal before their next game.

BUFFALO NEWS: Patrick Kaleta cleared waivers over the weekend and has been demoted to the Sabres farm team in Rochester.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I realize some Sabres critics believe management is handling this poorly by demoting Kaleta after he’s coming off a 10-game suspension, but I think this is the best way to force him to change his ways.  Coming on top of a lengthy suspension, spending a few games riding the buses in the minors will remind him that, if he doesn’t change his game, he’ll never play in the NHL again.

MLIVE.COM: Detroit Red Wings blueliner Brendan Smith will miss one-two weeks to a shoulder injury.