Catching Up With The Grand Rapids Griffins
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. – The Grand Rapids Griffins trailed the Bakersfield Condors for the entire contest until the final 11 seconds of overtime when Taro Hirose netted his second of the game to give the Griffins a 6-5 victory at Mechanics Bank Arena on Friday night. The Griffins (11-13-1-2) scored the final two goals of regulation before killing off a penalty in overtime and scoring the game winner in the closing seconds of the contest. The Condors (9-11-3-1) held a two-goal advantage for much of the game but could not finish off their chances late. Grand Rapids continues its six-game road trip on Saturday against the Condors at 10 p.m. EST. Notes: Grand Rapids outshot the Condors 33-25 and finished 2-for-4 on the power play…Pickard made 20 saves…Dennis Cholowski made his season debut for the Griffins in the win…Newly acquired Kyle Wood made his career debut for Grand Rapids…The Griffins extended their point streak to four games. Three Stars: 1. GR Veleno (two goals); 2. GR Tangradi (goal, assist); 3. BAK Benson (two goals) watch the game highlights below...
NHL Short Notes
THREE HARD LAPS * It was a spooky Friday the 13th in the NHL, with Max Pacioretty scoring in overtime for the Golden Knights – his 13th goal of the season – and No. 13 Valeri Nichushkin recording the game winner for the Avalanche. * Despite being over two years removed from the start of its inaugural season, Vegas rewrote the NHL history books again as they contested their 100th all-time regular-season road game. * Nathan MacKinnon became the third player to reach the 50-point mark this season and first on a team not known as the Edmonton Oilers. GOLDEN KNIGHTS EARN OVERTIME WIN IN 100TH ALL-TIME ROAD GAME Jonathan Marchessault (0-1—1) was among a group of six Vegas players who found the score sheet as the Golden Knights earned an overtime win in the franchise’s 100th all-time regular-season road game. Vegas, which improved to 50-41-9 (109 points) as visitors, owns the best record in NHL history by a franchise through its first 100 road games in terms of wins, points and point percentage – with the latter statistic outlined in the graphic below.
Taylor Hall Not Playing Tonight
In case you haven't seen Twitter in the last hour. The Devils are saying this is precautionary. — Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) December 14, 2019 I’m told Taylor Hall has not been dealt at this point, however, there is some traction in trade talks the Devils are having with teams and so the risk is not worth playing him play at the moment. Stay tuned. https://t.co/i3273tPiDX — Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) December 14, 2019
Best Fans In The NHL
from Christina Settimi of Forbes, The Pittsburgh Penguins again ride the Sidney Crosby bandwagon train back to the top of our ranking, where they have been three times since our first list in 2009. The Boston Bruins, one of the league’s Original Six, come in second, as they did in last season’s playoffs; the St. Louis Blues, who won their first Stanley Cup ever, land at No. 7. Rounding out the top three are the Chicago Blackhawks. Former owner and TV-hater Bill Wertz must be rolling over in his grave: The team is now a bigger draw on television than the famed Bulls, per Nielsen. Their research also shows that overall, more fans of the city have watched, attended or listened to a Blackhawks game than to the NBA team. much more
The Latest On Ilya Kovalchuk
Kovalchuk made the trip with the Kings to Pittsburgh. His last payable bonus goes Sunday ($2.65 million). After that, it's up to him if he wants to leave the Kings or not, and if he does he'd be in breach of his NHL contract, paving way for LAK to put him on unconditional waivers https://t.co/ok8o9ZcPYw — Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) December 13, 2019 Anyone seeing another NHL team having interest in him?
Thoughts Go Out To Oskar Lindblom
We’re all fighting with @oskarlindblom. pic.twitter.com/8ceHDn4OCk — Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) December 13, 2019
Tough To Matchup Against Nathan MacKinnon
from Mike Chambers of the Denver Post, Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon on Wednesday had a team-high 29 shifts and logged 20:04 of ice time, tops among forwards, in a 3-1 victory over the visiting Philadelphia Flyers. He played on all four lines and had the game-winning assist on Mikko Rantanen‘s first goal. MacKinnon and Rantanen, both 2018-19 NHL All-Stars, usually play together but they didn’t begin that way against the Flyers, who must have thrown in the towel as far as matchups were concerned midway through the first period. MacKinnon, the NHL’s third-leading scorer, is on pace to shatter his career-best 99-point season of 2018-19. He is the one player opponents try to shut down offensively. But that’s becoming harder these days because of his unpredictable presence — just the way Colorado coach Jared Bednar likes it. “It makes it tough for a team to just check him with certain guys, or a certain D-pair,” Bednar said Thursday after an optional skate. “The flip side on our side is, when you spot Mac into a line and juggle things around a little bit, even it’s just for a shift or two, those other players are really excited to go out on the ice with him because they know he can help make them better and that they can be difference-makers in the game right then and there on that particular shift.” continued
Yzerman Has The Final Say On Mantha’s Return
from Ansar Khan of Mlive, “We just want to make sure we’re putting him in the right position, but he certainly has tested it and feels good about it,” Blashill said. “I anticipate that he’ll play, but until I chat with Steve, I just want to make sure.” Mantha is eager to return. “I wouldn’t be saying I was ready to go if I wasn’t,” Mantha said. “It’s still earlyish in the season and I can risk it. I feel perfectly fine, the (test) results are good, and I did off-ice testing (Thursday) and everything was good, so I don’t see a reason why I wouldn’t be in except we’re starting two-in-two (games) these next two days.”... If Mantha plays Saturday, Blashill said they’ll see how he feels before deciding whether to play him Sunday at home against Los Angeles. “You don’t love, necessarily, putting him in back-to-back, but we’ve had so many guys out you just love the fact he wants to play,” Blashill said. “Obviously, it’s Montreal. I get it. If he’s sore, we’ll be precautionary.... Blashill said he anticipates Athanasiou returning after missing two games with an undisclosed injury. Dylan Larkin did not practice Friday, having been sick the past couple of days, but he’ll play Saturday, Blashill said.... Jonathan Ericsson, injured in Thursday’s game, is doubtful for Saturday, but Blashill said, “He’d like to push to try to play, so we’ll see.” more
Practice Before Leaving For Montreal
Ansar Khan tweets,lines at practice: Bertuzzi-Nielsen-Fabbri (Abdelkader working in) Mantha-Filppula-Zadina Athanasiou-Glendening-Helm Perlini-Ehn-Erne Larkin is not practicing. Has been sick last two days but played last night. RedWings have only five defensemen in practice: Hronek, Green, Daley, Biega, McIlrath. Nemeth not skating. Ericsson injured last night and out for tomorrow. Bowey was recalled but not here. Howard (groin) practicing again but not expected to play this weekend.
Report- Zach Bogosian Wants Out Of Buffalo
from Lance Lysowski of the Buffalo News, Zach Bogosian's time with the Buffalo Sabres may soon come to an end. TSN's Darren Dreger reported Thursday night that Bogosian, a 29-year-old defenseman, has requested a trade after spending parts of six seasons with the Sabres. Bogosian was a healthy scratch Thursday night against the Nashville Predators and had averaged 18:45 of ice time since returning to the lineup Nov. 24. Bogosian missed the first 22 games of the season while recovering from hip surgery and multiple setbacks over the summer. Sabres General Manager Jason Botterill had reportedly been shopping for help at forward over the past month.... Sabres General Manager Jason Botterill declined comment. Bogosian, who counts $5.142 million against the Sabres' salary cap, is a pending unrestricted free agent. read on Games played by Bogosian since the 2013-14 season.
Madison Bowey Recalled
DETROIT - The Detroit Red Wings today recalled defenseman Madison Bowey from the American Hockey League's Grand Rapids Griffins. Bowey, 24, made his Griffins debut on Dec. 11 and assisted on the game-winning goal in the team's 4-3 win over the San Diego Gulls. The fifth-year pro was acquired in a trade by the Red Wings from the Washington Capitals on Feb. 22 and has appeared in 39 games with the team over the last two seasons, totaling 12 points (2-10-12) and 24 penalty minutes. In 2019-20, Bowey has skated in 22 games, logging eight points (1-7-8), 16 penalty minutes, 27 shots on goal, 19 hits and 21 blocked shots in 17:47 average time on ice. Bowey has totaled 123 NHL games between Detroit and Washington since making his NHL debut during the 2017-18 campaign, recording 30 points (3-27-30) and 86 penalty minutes. He won a 2018 Stanley Cup championship with Washington as a rookie in 2017-18, appearing in 51 regular-season games with the Capitals and chipping in a career-high 12 points (0-12-12).
Tim Thomas Is A Survivor
from Steve Conroy of the Boston Herald, The first question for Tim Thomas at the Marriott Marquis was as basic as it gets. The former Bruin and one-time greatest goaltender on the planet was asked what the honor of being inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame meant to him. But as he immediately hinted at the emotion welling up inside of him, it was clear that this was not going to be a boilerplate media scrum with the ever-thoughtful Thomas. In a session marked by tears — and a few laughs, as Thomas himself did his best to lighten the mood — the goalie described a living hell that he’s been going through since suffering a concussion in his final NHL season in Florida and Dallas, his complicated relationship with the game that once was all-consuming and, later with a just a couple of familiar reporters, his fleeting thoughts of suicide. “I’m a survivor,” said Thomas prior to the induction dinner. That was not a boast, but rather a declaration of gratitude of what could have, but did not befall him, having avoided the fate of deceased hockey players that he knew such as Steve Montador, Derek Boogaard and Wade Belak. Though he still needs a couple hours each morning to “re-order things,” he has started to feel like himself in just the past couple of years. While Thomas did not know how many concussions he had suffered during an active lifetime that’s included boxing on the street in Flint, Michigan, playing football and, of course, hockey, the one that sent him for a tailspin occurred while he was with the Panthers in 2013-14 when, in warmups, he took a puck off the chin. continued
Jacob Markstrom Has A Night To Remember
from Iain MacIntyre of Sportsnet, With his mother in the stands and an angel on his shoulder, Jacob Markstrom played Thursday one of the greatest games in net in Vancouver Canucks history. It may not be remembered that way, considering it was a mid-week game in December against the Carolina Hurricanes. But considering that only one week earlier Markstrom was home in Sweden for his father’s funeral after his dad’s agonizing battle with cancer, what the 29-year-old goalie did was truly astounding. He stopped all 43 shots he faced and the Canucks, who should have trailed by three or four goals heading into the third period, somehow won 1-0 on Elias Pettersson’s world-class finish 40 seconds into overtime. There have been a lot of wins for Vancouver in the last three decades, although not nearly enough the last four years, but precious few to celebrate since they entered the National Hockey League in 1970. continued and watch the game highlights below...
The Edmonton Oilers Have Lost Three Games In A Row
from Robert Tychkowski of the Edmonton Journal, Never mind two, do good teams lose three games in a row? The Edmonton Oilers certainly hope so. They just dropped a third-straight game for the first time this season, 6-5 to the Minnesota Wild, and need to believe it’s just a temporary flesh wound rather than something far more serious. But with just two wins in the last eight, that’s a subject that is now up for discussion. “We have to dig in here, we’re in a bit of a rut, it starts with the top guys all the way through the lineup,” said Connor McDavid, adding he also needs to be better. “But we’re not panicking here. I think we’re one of the last teams to lose three in a row. Everybody goes through it. We’re going through it now. We’ll find it in here.” After a great run to start the season (7-1-1), this is as rocky as it’s been all year. “We talked about that this morning, this is the first real bit of adversity that’s hit us,” said head coach Dave Tippett. continued Game highlights are below.
The LA Kings Are Trusting Todd McLellan’s Plan
from Helene Elliott of the LA Times, Progress is relative and it can be fluid, sometimes difficult to quantify but unmistakable when it pierces the gloom of a dismal rebuilding process. The Kings are a long ways from turning the corner, but they’re inching forward. That’s not based on them scoring a lot of goals or winning a lot of games, because that’s not happening. The scoring part won’t happen until they upgrade their finishing skills, whether this season or next. “Two goals a game in this league anymore, I know we did it in the past but it was a 2-1, 3-2 league back then. Now it seems more like a 4-3 league, so we need to score more goals,” defenseman Drew Doughty said of the Kings’ solid defensive play and low-scoring wins during their 2012 and 2014 Stanley Cup seasons. Where they’ve moved forward recently is in playing with a cohesiveness they lacked in the early weeks this season and a competitiveness that was far from consistent during their first 20 games. They trust their structure and their coaching, and with good reason. continued
Does Detroit Deserve Alexis Lafreniere?
from ESPN, It's never too early to start thinking about the 2020 draft. Which team deserves Alexis Lafreniere the most? Kaplan: The Red Wings sure could use top-end talent to accelerate the rebuild. But do you know what team I'd like to see land Lafreniere? The Minnesota Wild. Bill Guerin has been patient inheriting a roster constructed by two previous GMs.... Peters: I don't know that any team deserves rewards for being so terrible, but the Detroit Red Wings need Lafreniere or Quinton Byfield -- or basically anyone -- right now.... Filipovic: It's the Detroit Red Wings. They've been outscored 131-72 this season. They've held a lead in just 15.3% of their time on the ice.... more from each of the above plus one responder does not mention Detroit...
One Quick Question - Who’s Your MVP?
You have to vote for Detroit's MVP today, who do you have? My top 3 would be Hronek, Fabbri and Mantha with Hronek taking the top spot. You?