All posts by Matt Teague

Leafs’ Mikheyev continues to impress in win over Red Wings

The Toronto Maple Leafs could have themselves a gem in offseason addition Ilya Mikheyev.

The Russian import added a goal and an assist in the club's 5-2 victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday night to push his point total to five in six games. Despite his early NHL success, Mikheyev is doing his best to stay in the moment.

"I don't think about this," Mikheyev said, according to TSN's Mark Masters. "I just work, because this is my 1st NHL season, I (am in) other country, other mentality, and a new system for me ... I (am) very happy every day, when I come to practice rink or Scotiabank Arena on the game I (am) very happy."

The 25-year-old put his speed on display to score his second goal of the season. Mikheyev won a tight foot race against Red Wings defenseman Madison Bowey before zooming around netminder Jimmy Howard and depositing the puck.

"We saw a great example tonight of what he's capable of," teammate Jake Muzzin said. "Good speed, hard on the puck, hard worker, smart. Great for us. Great teammate."

Mikheyev, who played the last four seasons with the KHL's Omsk Avangard, signed a one-year, $925,000 deal with the Leafs ahead of the 2019-20 season.

Copyright © 2019 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.

Tavares calls lopsided home-ice loss ‘unacceptable’

Toronto Maple Leafs captain John Tavares didn't mince words when assessing his team's performance in its 7-3 loss on home ice to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday night.

"We have to do a lot better job of defending," Tavares said postgame, according to TSN's Mark Masters. "Letting seven in at home is just unacceptable."

Tavares, who scored his first goal of the season in the opening frame, knows his club needs to be better.

"We just didn't execute at a very high level and they did," he said. "We just didn't do the right things that are going to consistently lead to good things and lead to results. That effort tonight isn't going to win us many hockey games."

For the third time in four home games this season, the Leafs surrendered the first goal in the opening 2:30 of the contest.

The Lightning struck for four first-period goals on Leafs netminder Frederik Andersen, including a pair on the power play. It was the first time in his career that Andersen has allowed four goals in the opening stanza of a regular-season matchup, according to Sportsnet Stats.

Toronto is now 1-2-1 at Scotiabank Arena to start the campaign. The Leafs will travel to Detroit to face the Red Wings on Saturday night before hosting the Minnesota Wild next Tuesday.

Copyright © 2019 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.

Simmonds disappointed Flyers never offered him extension

New Jersey Devils forward Wayne Simmonds doesn't feel his efforts were fully appreciated by the Philadelphia Flyers.

The 31-year-old, who makes his return to Philadelphia on Wednesday night, opened up about his departure from the club after nearly seven seasons.

"I put so much time and sweat and tears into this organization," Simmonds said, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer's Sam Carchidi. "I thought I did everything I could possibly do to at least get a bit of an extension."

Following a career-best 32-goal, 60-point season in 2015-16, the 6-foot-2 winger saw his point total decline in each of the past three campaigns. With Simmonds on an expiring contract in 2018-19, the Flyers traded him to the Nashville Predators at last season's deadline instead of offering him a new deal.

The Toronto native became an unrestricted free agent this past summer and signed a one-year, $5-million pact with the Devils on July 1.

Simmonds recorded 203 goals and 378 points over 584 career games with the Flyers.

Copyright © 2019 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.

Watch: Neal records 4-goal night, scores 6th of season in Oilers’ victory

James Neal is looking quite comfortable in blue and orange.

The Edmonton Oilers forward buried four goals - including a natural hat trick - in the team's 5-2 victory over the New York Islanders on Tuesday.

Neal scored his fourth tally on a nifty one-timer from a tight angle to put Edmonton up 5-1 in the third period.

The goal pushed Neal's season total to a league-leading six in three games after he notched only seven in 63 contests with the Calgary Flames in 2018-19.

The Oilers acquired Neal from the Flames for forward Milan Lucic on July 19. Lucic recorded just six goals in 79 contests in Edmonton last season and has yet to score through two games in 2019-20.

Neal tied the game in the first period with a wicked blast from the slot for goal No. 1:

Just 1:36 later, the 6-foot-3 sniper gave the Oilers the lead with a quick release in tight:

Neal completed his eighth career hat trick with a slick deflection on the power play:

The Oilers improved to 3-0 on the season with the victory.

Copyright © 2019 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.

Sharks bring back Marleau on reported 1-year, 700K deal

Veteran forward Patrick Marleau is returning to the San Jose Sharks, the team announced Tuesday.

Marleau, who spent the first 19 seasons of his career in San Jose, signed a one-year, $700,000 deal, TSN's Darren Dreger reports.

The 40-year-old signed a three-year deal with the Toronto Maple Leafs ahead of the 2017-18 season. In June 2019, he was traded to the Carolina Hurricanes, who bought out the final year of his contract days later.

Marleau recorded 16 goals and 37 points in 82 games for the Maple Leafs last season.

The Saskatchewan native is the Sharks' all-time leader in games played (1,493), points (1,082), and goals (508). He ranks second in assists with 574.

Copyright © 2019 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.

Capitals’ Samsonov to make NHL debut vs. Islanders

Washington Capitals rookie netminder Ilya Samsonov is expected to make his NHL debut Friday night against the New York Islanders, the team announced.

The Capitals selected Samsonov with 22nd overall pick in 2015. He's one of just seven goaltenders this decade to be chosen in the opening round of the draft.

Samsonov allowed three goals on 28 shots over two preseason starts for the Capitals.

In 2018-19, the 22-year-old appeared in 37 contests for the American Hockey League's Hershey Bears, posting a 20-14-2 record with a 2.70 goals-against average, an .898 save percentage, and three shutouts.

Samsonov has been sensational for Russia on the international stage, helping the nation capture a silver medal at the 2016 World Junior Championship and a bronze in 2017.

Copyright © 2019 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.

Logan Brown’s agent unhappy with Senators

Ottawa Senators forward Logan Brown's agent, Andy Scott, expressed his disappointment with the club's development of his client after the forward was one of the final cuts at training camp.

"I can say with full confidence, that I've really never seen another player met with such resistance by the team that drafted them early in the first round," Scott told TSN Radio 1200 Ottawa.

"When I look at this situation, I see a team that is in the throes of a rebuild," he added. "And just driving around Ottawa, you see the slogan for this season is 'The Kids are All Right,' and if the kids are all right, then play the kids."

The Senators selected Brown with the 11th overall pick in the 2016 NHL Draft, but the 21-year-old has appeared in only six pro contests for the club.

Scott believes the Senators have not put Brown in a position to succeed and suggested that players of his ilk are typically given a chance to compete alongside other elite talents.

"From Day 1, I really have seen Logan have to grind and claw and work his tail off for every morsel of opportunity that he's been provided," Scott said. "Whereas with some of these other guys, these elite players like Logan, it's a little bit easier. They get paired with top lines, top players, put into positions to excel."

Brown failed to record a point during four preseason contests and was sent to the American Hockey League on Sunday. He tallied 14 goals and 42 points in 56 games with the AHL's Belleville Senators last season.

Copyright © 2019 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.

Malkin calls Penguins’ opening loss to Sabres ‘a wake-up call’

Pittsburgh Penguins star Evgeni Malkin wasn't pleased with his team's preparedness in its season-opening loss at home to the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday night.

"Exhibition games are done. It’s real games right now," Malkin said, according to The Athletic's Josh Yohe. "It’s for sure a wake-up call. We need to understand every team is dangerous right now. It doesn’t matter if it’s Buffalo (or) if it’s Washington.

"We need to learn (from) how we played tonight and play better, for sure. Like, 100 percent better.”

Conor Sheary, a former Penguin, opened the scoring for Buffalo just five minutes in, and the Penguins never seemed to find their footing. The Sabres won the possession battle with a 57.45% Corsi For rating and owned an 11-1 advantage in high-danger scoring chances, per NaturalStatTrick.

Malkin, who scored the club's only goal in the 3-1 loss, understands how much every game counts with so many competitive teams in the mix for a postseason berth.

"The season started already," Malkin said. "We need to understand that. It’s not, like, 'Oh, we have 20 games to wake up.' No. It’s already started. Every point’s important. Every year, it’s harder and harder making the playoffs."

Pittsburgh continues its season Saturday at home against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Copyright © 2019 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.

Polak’s agent calls Bruins broadcaster ‘a piece of shit’ for remarks

Roman Polak's agent, Allan Walsh, called out Boston Bruins play-by-play announcer Jack Edwards for his insensitive response to the Dallas Stars defenseman crashing headfirst into the boards during the second period of Thursday's season opener.

"You are truly a piece of shit and an absolute disgrace," Walsh wrote on Twitter early Friday morning.

Bruins color analyst Andy Brickley suggested Polak's dangerous collision "looked self-induced," to which Edwards replied by calling the scary fall "bad hockey karma."

Polak was stretchered off the ice and taken to the hospital for evaluation. Head coach Jim Montgomery confirmed after the game that the 33-year-old Polak had use of his extremities.

Copyright © 2019 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.

Blues sign Schenn to 8-year, $52M extension

The St. Louis Blues inked forward Brayden Schenn to an eight-year contract extension with an average annual value of $6.5 million, the team announced Friday.

Schenn is entering the final year of his current deal that carries a $5.12-million annual cap hit. He was scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent next summer.

The 28-year-old tallied 17 goals and 54 points in 72 contests last season and added five goals and 12 points in 26 playoff games to help the Blues capture their first Stanley Cup in franchise history.

St. Louis acquired Schenn in a trade with the Philadelphia Flyers in June 2017. He's appeared in 588 NHL games, recording 154 career goals and 372 points.

Copyright © 2019 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.