Posts Tagged ‘2017 NHL Season’

The Colorado Avalanche have turned things around in a hurry.

Coming off an historically awful 2016-17, the Avs have reeled off nine wins in a row, currently sit in a Western Conference wild-card playoff spot, and are withing striking distance of third place in the ultra-competitive Central Division.

Following that ninth consecutive victory Saturday over the New York Rangers, defenseman Erik Johnson spoke about the commitment made by the team’s core players to avoid a repeat performance of last year.

“The way things went last year, I think the easy thing to say would have been: ‘It’s not working here, let’s go somewhere else, let’s jump ship,'” Johnson said Saturday, per Rick Sadowski of “The character guys and core guys in this room said we want to figure things out here in Colorado, make it work.”

Earlier this season, Colorado shook up the roster by coming through on a trade request filed last year by Matt Duchene, one made because he was tired of losing.

“I wanted to play playoff hockey,” Duchene explained at the time of the trade, per Bruce Garrioch of Postmedia. “I’ve got eight playoff games to my name right now and that’s not where I want to be at this point of my career.”

Heading into Saturday’s game against Toronto, Duchene’s Ottawa Senators sat second to last in the Eastern Conference, all but out of the playoff picture.


Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury agreed to waive his no-movement clause for the expansion draft in February, TVA Sports Renaud Lavoie reports.

The report confirms months of speculation, as the emergence of Matt Murray forced the Penguins to make a choice on their future in goal.

However, the agreement doesn’t guarantee Fleury will wind up in Vegas. The 32-year-old remains eligible to be traded elsewhere, and should the Golden Knights select him in expansion, the new franchise could hypothetically flip him for assets.

Fleury was drafted by the Penguins first overall in 2003 and won three Stanley Cups with the organization. But the younger, cheaper Murray has proven more than capable as an NHL starter, helping Fleury backstop Pittsburgh to championships in each of the past two seasons.

In 13 seasons with the Penguins, Fleury appeared in 691 regular-season contests, posting a record of 375-216-68 with a career .912 save percentage and 2.58 goals-against average. He’s Pittsburgh’s all-time leader in games played, wins, and shutouts (44).

Fleury’s contract includes two more seasons at a $5.75-million cap hit.


There’s a reason why Sidney Crosby has won everything there is to be won in hockey. It’s what he lives for.

The Pittsburgh Penguins captain and superstar celebrated his second straight Stanley Cup victory – and third overall – Sunday night, along with his second straight Conn Smythe Trophy, and told reporters it’s winning, and the emotion that comes with it, that keeps him going.

“I think this feeling right now,” Crosby said when asked what motivates him. “You can’t match this. This is what it’s all about, and to be able to share that with a group of guys, and a lot of them guys that you’ve played a long time with and understand how difficult it is and what you’ve had to go through and that kind of thing, to share it with family and friends, you know, is just … that’s what it’s about.”

Crosby called these Penguins – the first club to repeat as champs in almost 20 years – a very special team.

“I’m really happy to be a part of this group, and a good chunk of the guys are returning from last year, so it’s pretty special,” he said. “You know, we set out to try to go back to back. We knew it was going to be difficult, but I think that’s probably where the most joy comes out of, is just knowing how difficult it is now to go back to back and knowing that we overcame all those things. It’s a pretty special group.”

Mission accomplished. And in the salary cap era, no less.



The Pittsburgh Penguins are back-to-back Stanley Cup champions.

Sidney Crosby and Co. defeated the Nashville Predators 2-0 in Sunday’s Game 6 to win the Stanley Cup Final 4-2. Patric Hornqvist scored the winning goal at 18:25 of the third period, and Carl Hagelin sealed the deal with an empty-net goal. Matt Murray was spectacular in the crease, stopping 27 shots to earn his second straight shutout.

It’s the fifth Stanley Cup in Penguins history, each won on the road, and the third in the Crosby and Evgeni Malkin era.

The game was filled with controversy, after an early second-period goal by Colton Sissons was ruled no-goal after referee Kevin Pollack blew the play dead early having lost sight of the puck.

The referees did their best to try and make it up to Nashville, the Predators going on four power plays to Pittsburgh’s none, but Peter Laviolette’s crew couldn’t find the back of the net.

Pittsburgh is the first team to repeat as Cup champs in the salary cap era, and the first since the Detroit Red Wings in 1997 and 1998.

Crosby was named the Conn Smythe Trophy winner, earning the nod for the second straight year. He finished the playoffs with eight goals and 19 assists.


Jordan Eberle has the support of Edmonton Oilers general manager Peter Chiarelli, despite being held without a goal in 13 playoff games this spring.

Eberle was called out by head coach Todd McLellan for not doing enough during the Oilers’ playoff run, but Chiarelli is willing to cut the winger some slack.

“(He’s) a very good offensive player and (I’m) happy to have him on our team,” Chiarelli told TSN’s Pierre LeBrun.

Futher to that, Chiarelli believes Eberle’s playoff performance was unfairly characterized, and he doesn’t feel the need to defend the player in the face of that.

Still, the GM did take some time to expand.

“I think outside of two players he probably had the most positive touches of the puck on our team,” Chiarelli said. “I really don’t feel the need to defend him, he didn’t have a great playoffs – he didn’t have a good playoffs – but he did a lot of things that we expected of him. He just didn’t have the offence that we expected him to have in the playoffs. What he does, he creates space with his touches and I thought he played well.”

Eberle made 507 regular-season appearances with the Oilers before finally getting a taste of the postseason, averaging 27 goals per every 82 games during that time. Chiarelli compared Eberle’s playoff debut to that of Pavel Datsyuk, who registered three goals and six points in 21 games back in 2002. The difference here, though, is that Eberle is 27, whereas Datsyuk was only 22 at that time.

Eberle remains under contract with the Oilers for two more seasons at a cap hit of $6 million annually.


The San Jose Sharks appear well on their way to locking up two key cogs on their back end.

Nearly three months after defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic admitted that he would like to finish his career with the Sharks, his agent Bob Sauve spoke to NBC Sports California and noted that talks are “going well” between Vlasic and general manager Doug Wilson, according to CSN Bay Area’s Kevin Kurz.

Vlasic has one year remaining on his current five-year, $21.25-million contract and will make $4.25 million next season. He has become one of the team’s most dependable shutdown defenders, while his play in recent years has also earned him spots on Team Canada’s 2014 Olympic Roster and World Cup of Hockey squad where he captured gold with each.

Meanwhile, TSN’s Pierre LeBrun reported on Wednesday that the Sharks remain in talks with goaltender Martin Jones on an extension which could come as early as July.

Jones has one year remaining on his current three-year, $9-million deal.

It’s looking to be a busy next few weeks for the Sharks.

New Jersey Devils v Philadelphia Flyers

The Philadelphia Flyers have signed defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere to a multi-year contract extension, the team announced Friday.

The deal is reportedly worth $27 million over six years, averaging out to a $4.5-million salary cap hit, according to TSN’s Pierre LeBrun.

The 24-year-old completed his second full season with the Flyers last year, finishing with seven goals and 32 assists in 76 games.

Philadelphia selected Gostisbehere in the third round of the 2012 draft.