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Wednesday, December 18, 2019

NHL News and notes

NHL news and notes

-#firejackedwards  The NHL's most insufferable homer fanboy announcer you could ever listen to on NESN for the Boston Bruins.  He makes Tommy Heinsohn look reasonably objective.

-Thoughts and recovery wishes to young Swedish forward Oskar Lindblom of the Philadelphia Flyers who at age 23 was diagnosed with a rare cancer called Ewing's Sarcoma.  He will miss the rest of the season and his future career is in doubt.  This was the same type of cancer that former NY Giants player Mark Herzlich was able to beat  when he was diagnosed at age 21. Herzlich was able to resume his career after his initial battle to beat this cancer and Herzlich has been cancer free for the last 10 years.  Hoping Oskar will beat this as well, resume his career, and be cancer free in the future.

-The Arizona Coyotes made the big move this week acquiring Taylor Hall in a trade from the New Jersey Devils.  The Coyotes are still in the bottom 10 in goals scored so the addition of a healthy Hall should give a much needed boost to the offense in a crowded and very competitive Western Conference  They have given up the 3rd least amount of goals this season and if Hall emerges as the offensive force he can be the Coyotes could emerge as an extremely tough out once the playoffs start.

-Another coach bites the dust this week as Peter DeBoer was fired by the San Jose Sharks.  He is the 5th coach fired this season and we still have not made it to Christmas.  Mike Babcock (Toronto Maple Leafs), John Hynes (New Jersey Devils), Jim Montgomery (Dallas Stars), and Bill Peters (Calgary Flames) were all previously let go but some teams have seen positive results in making the change.  The Flames won 6 straight after Peters was fired and the Maple Leafs have gone 8-4 since firing Babcock. 

-How is it possible that New Jersey Devils all star defenseman P.K. Subban has gone scoreless in 21 straight games?  That pretty much sums up the Devils year and you have to think with the trade of Taylor Hall that Subban will definitely be available as the trade deadline nears.  Even with his off year Subban could still be a difference maker for a playoff contender but with his hefty contract will there be a franchise who can take that contract.

-A great start to one of the toughest road trips (7 of 8) of the season for the Carolina Hurricanes as they have 3 road wins against Edmonton, Calgary, and Winnipeg and only an 1-0 OT loss to the Vancouver Canucks.  They have a huge road test against the Colorado Avalanche tomorrow night (possible Stanley Cup preview?) and if they can finish strong to end this road trip they will then play their next 12 of 14 at home.  At 10-1 right now to win the Eastern Conference the Hurricanes could be a nice sleeper for a future book wager.

-Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Tristan Jarry continues to amaze as he has now won his last 5 of 6 including pitching a shutout against the Columbus Blue Jackets on December 12th and cooling down a suddenly resurgent Calgary Flames offense with a 4-1 win last night.  Jarry now on the season has 10 wins in 15 starts, a 1.85 GAA, .940 save percentage and 3 shutouts. 

-Sidney Crosby has begun skating this last week but still no timetable for his return.  The Penguins will probably remain patient with Crosby as they have won 6 of their last 7 and remain in the upper division of the Eastern Conference.

-A nice win by the Edmonton Oilers on Monday night beating the Dallas Stars 2-1 on the road.  The Oilers for the first time this year were starting to show signs of vulnerability as they had lost 7 of 9 including 4 in a row before beating the Stars. 

-The Los Angeles Kings have shown some fight of late winning 4 of their last 5 including a nice OT win last night against the Boston Bruins 4-3 in Boston. Their only loss was a 5-4 OT loss against the Pittsburgh Penguins and not a bad effort considering they scored those 4 goals against the hottest goaltender in the league in Tristan Jarry. 

-The Vegas Golden Knights looks like they have righted the ship as they have won 4 of their last 5 and now have starting goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury back in the lineup after being out for personal time after the death of his father.  The "Vegas Flu" is probably not as big of a factor as it was in the first year when the Golden Knights came into existence as the Knights are only 10-9 in home games this year. 

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