Some Monday morning musings from the NHL and rest of the hockey world to prepare you for the upcoming week that will see:
- John Tortorella return from his six-game suspension when his Vancouver Canucks visit the Detroit Red Wings on Monday. The Canucks went 2-4-0 in the absence of their head coach.
- Tortorella's return doesn't get any easier the next night when the Canucks touch down in Boston on Tuesday to play the Bruins, the team that beat Vancouver in the 2011 Stanley Cup final.
- We could see the return of Tampa Bay sniper Steven Stamkos since he broke his right leg on Nov. 11. His Lightning play host to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday, followed by Detroit Red Wings on Saturday. The Lightning have gone 20-13-5 without Stamkos.
- The Olympic break begins after Saturday's 10 games. The pre-Olympic trade freeze, however, commences on Friday at 3 p.m. ET and will be lifted at midnight ET on Feb. 23.
Canadian Olympian Patrice Bergeron
will keep his focus on the ice and not the security concerns
that have dominated as athletes make their way to Sochi for the 2014 Winter Games
Bergeron will not have any friends or family travelling to Russia as a spectator.
"It's been something that has been talked about the past few weeks and I've been asked about it a lot," he said. "But to be honest, I don't have any concerns. I'm just more excited getting over there and trying to defend our gold medal. I have confidence and faith in the [International] Olympic Committee and the Russian government that they will take the proper measures to make sure everybody is safe over there."
More than 150 NHL players will travel to Sochi on four different charters that will depart from Atlanta and New York on Sunday afternoon and, because of the nine-hour time difference, will arrive in Sochi on Monday.
Canada plans to hit the ice on Monday evening to work out the kinks with a light skate and will conduct a couple more practices before its tournament opener on Feb. 13 against Norway.
There is a concern about jet leg. In an e-mail that went out to the Canadian contingent recently, Hockey Canada preached hydration and the importance of getting on Sochi time as soon as possible upon arrival.Dream team lives on
What do 2014 Canadian Olympians Sidney Crosby, Bergeron, Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, Shea Weber and Jeff Carter have in common?
The six all played and won gold together on the 2005 Canadian world junior team in Grand Forks, N.D. during the 2004-05 NHL cancelled season.
"It started there in Grand Forks," Bergeron said. "It was an amazing experience for me and I'm sure the whole team. Anytime you can put on that Team Canada jersey and represent your country it's always an honour. It was back then and we won a gold medal together.
"We had a great team and we created a bond and friendships. We continued that afterward by texting each other. It's been close to 10 years now. It's gone by fast, but we've had a chance to play with some of these players at world championships, obviously the last Olympics and it's always special to play with these players."Mr. Shootout
Florida Panthers top scorer Brad Boyes
, who has a team-leading 15 goals and 26 points, figures to be a hot commodity before the trade deadline. He's already been dealt at this time of the year on four previous occasions.
Besides his scoring ability, Boyes also has become a desirable talent because of his shootout prowess. He's the all-time career leader in shootout goals and among career leaders in game-deciding shootout goals.Most shootout goals37
- Brad Boyes (79 attempts)35
- Zach Parise (77 attempts)35
- Pavel Datsyuk (79 attempts)34
- Jonathan Toews (68 attempts)34
- Radim Vrbata (77 attempts)Most game-deciding shootout goals15
- Sidney Crosby14
- Mikko Koivu14
- Patrick Kane14
- Frans Nielsen13
- Phil Kessel12
- Brad Boyes
"I think it's because everybody is off the ice and it's just me out there," jokes Boyes, when asked about his shootout success. "Other than that, I tried to stick to a few different things. I try to get prepared on the tendencies of the goalie has and the types of shots or dekes that I've made. I've been pretty consistent with my different [moves]. I feel pretty confident using them.
"I've had some good luck, some good bounces. I've had a lot of experience. But the key has been the preparation."
Boyes watches video and goes over tendencies with Panthers goalie coach Robb Tallas before every game. He also likes to work on his moves in practice, especially if he hasn't had a shootout attempt for a while.
"It's good to get that early mental preparation and it helps during the game, too, to know the tendencies," he said.Other shootout stats
With 395 games remaining in the regular season, the NHL is on pace to set a record for most games decided in a shootout. The record is 184 in 2009-10. Already 126 games have been decided in a shootout this year.
Does shootout success mean team success? Not all the time, but it has in the past two seasons. Here is how the team with the most shootout wins has fared in the playoffs:
- 2013-14 Toronto and San Jose (9 shootout wins apiece) ????
- 2012-13 San Jose (eight) Lost in 2nd round
- 2011-12 New Jersey (12) Lost in Stanley Cup final
- 2010-11 Los Angeles (10) Lost in 1st round
- 2009-10 Phoenix (14) Out in 1st round
- 2008-09 N.Y. Rangers (10) Eliminated in 1st round
- 2007-08 Edmonton (15) Didn't make the playoffs
- 2006-07 New Jersey (10) Lost in 2nd round
- 2005-06 Dallas (12) Out in 1st round
After watching Peyton Manning stumble so terribly in the Super Bowl
on Sunday, maybe the Montreal Canadiens shouldn't feel so bad about their pair of one-goal losses in their traditional Super Bowl weekend matinee outings.
The Habs have performed on Saturday and Sunday of Super Bowl weekend since 1990-91 and sport an efficient 24-17-5 record after their 2-1 loss to the Winnipeg Jets
on Sunday and 2-1 overtime defeat to Tampa Bay
By the Numbers
- 11-8-4 Habs Super Bowl Saturday record
- 13-9-1 Habs Super Bowl Sunday record
- Goals on 21 shots for Los Angeles Kings star Anze Kopitar in his last six games.0
- Goals on 162 shots in the last six games for the rest of the Kings.3
- Shutouts for Montreal goalie Carey Price this season, which makes him the first Habs netminder to record three or more shutouts in four consecutive seasons since Ken Dryden accomplished the feat in five straight years between 1974-75 and 1978-79.9
- Wins this season for Edmonton Oilers goalie Ben Scrivens, who started the year with the Kings.4
- Of Scrivens' wins have been by shutout, including his club record 59-save effort
- The record for visiting teams in the 11 outdoor NHL games.
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