Category Archives: Hockey News

Canadiens’ Drouin, Byron to undergo surgery, out indefinitely

The Montreal Canadiens are going to be without two forwards, including one of their top scorers, for the foreseeable future.

Jonathan Drouin will undergo wrist surgery, and Paul Byron will have a procedure performed on his knee, Canadiens head coach Claude Julien confirmed Monday.

Both players will be out indefinitely, Julien added, according to The Athletic's Arpon Basu.

Drouin and Byron were both hurt in Friday's win over the Washington Capitals.

The Canadiens placed Drouin on injured reserve Sunday. He's tied for second on the team in goals (seven) and is tied for fourth in points (15) through 19 games.

Byron has chipped in four points in 19 contests of his own.

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Tkachuk upset with Flames’ losing streak: ‘Something’s gotta change here’

After the Calgary Flames lost their fourth game in a row Sunday, forward Matthew Tkachuk didn't shy away from critiquing his team's recent performance.

"It's disgusting. It's bad. It's bad right now. We need to change this around ... something's gotta change here," Tkachuk said postgame. "We've gotta get back to the old us and get out of this little funk we have here because this is not fun."

The Flames dropped Sunday's contest 6-0 to the Vegas Golden Knights and were blanked by the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday, marking the first time since 2009 that they've been shut out on back-to-back days, according to Sportsnet Stats.

"It's getting pretty old," Tkachuk added. "We just can't get this lead. We trail, we press, and they put a six-spot up on us when it's a pretty tight game until the third period.

"We just kind of let them run away with it and leave our goalie out to dry countless times. It's getting old."

The Flames own a 10-10-3 record this season and currently sit in fifth place in the Pacific Division.

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Sundin on Leafs’ early adversity: ‘It’s a lot of pressure to play here’

Former Toronto Maple Leafs captain Mats Sundin understands what it's like to be in the spotlight when times get tough in one of the NHL's most demanding markets.

"It's a lot of pressure to play here. It's extra attention for management, for players," Sundin said Sunday, according to the Canadian Press.

"You're gonna have ups and downs over a season, and ... sometimes the patience is a lot better in a market like Tampa or (if) you play for the (Florida) Panthers, (rather) than the Maple Leafs or the (Montreal) Canadiens," he said, according to CBC Sports.

Toronto entered the campaign with high expectations after adding several talented pieces to an already star-studded roster this offseason.

However, the Leafs have authored a 9-9-4 record through 22 contests and have just two regulation wins in their previous 15 outings. A 6-1 thrashing at the hands of the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday pushed the club's current losing streak to five games.

Despite Toronto's early struggles, Sundin believes the Leafs have the talent to turn their fortunes around.

"You have (a young team) in Toronto right now (that) are building, to me, one of the best young teams in the National Hockey League," Sundin said.

"If you have character guys ... you'll find a way," he added, according to the Canadian Press.

Sundin captained the Leafs from 1997-2008 and holds the franchise record for both goals (420) and points (987).

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Werenski: Refs should have blown whistle after Calvert’s injury

Zach Werenski can relate to what Colorado Avalanche forward Matt Calvert went through Saturday night, and the Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman says the officials should have blown the play dead after his former teammate took a puck to the head.

"Has to be blown down. This play has to stop," Werenski tweeted early Sunday morning before issuing a clarification about seven hours later.

"To clarify, this is a tough spot for the refs based on the rule, it puts them in a tough position and I’m sure they don’t want to see anyone hurt on the ice," he added. "Have to find a way to make it more clear in situations like this."

In the final minutes of Saturday's game between the Avalanche and the Vancouver Canucks, Calvert took an Elias Pettersson shot to the head. The Canucks scored shortly thereafter, as play continued with Calvert bleeding while laying on the ice.

Avalanche blue-liner Erik Johnson tore into the officiating crew postgame, saying, "It's a f------ joke," and the refs "should be ashamed of themselves."

Colorado star Nathan MacKinnon also questioned the decision not to stop the play, calling the rule "pretty crazy." While acknowledging it wasn't the refs' fault, MacKinnon said he didn't think Calvert was "faking it, trying to get a whistle."

Under Rule 8.1 of the NHL rule book, officials aren't mandated to immediately blow a play dead when a player can't continue playing:

When a player is injured so that he cannot continue play or go to his bench, the play shall not be stopped until the injured player’s team has secured control of the puck. If the player’s team is in control of the puck at the time of injury, play shall be stopped immediately unless his team is in a scoring position.

In the case where it is obvious that a player has sustained a serious injury, the referee and/or linesman may stop the play immediately.

Werenski found himself in a similar situation in 2017 when referees let play continue after he took a puck to the face during a playoff game against the Pittsburgh Penguins, who scored the tying goal with Werenski laying on the ice in pain.

Calvert was a member of the Blue Jackets at the time, and the two players were teammates through 2017-18.

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Makar in legendary company amid blistering start to career

It's suddenly not so far-fetched to say Calder Trophy favorite Cale Makar should be in the early conversation for a Norris Trophy nomination.

The Colorado Avalanche phenom racked up a career-best four points - all assists - in Saturday's win over the Vancouver Canucks, giving him 22 points through 20 games this season.

Makar's second helper of the contest put him in rarefied air, as he became the first rookie defenseman with 20 points in his team's first 20 regular-season games since Hall of Famer Brian Leetch in 1988-89, according to Sportsnet.

The 21-year-old reached the 20-point mark faster than any other defenseman to debut with the Quebec Nordiques or Colorado Avalanche, and only five skaters in franchise history required fewer games to notch 20 points in their first season. Those forwards were Real Cloutier, Hall of Famers Peter Stastny and Joe Sakic, and Stastny's brothers, Marian and Anton.

Makar leads by seven in the NHL's rookie points race and sits tied for second among all of the league's rearguards entering Sunday's action.

He burst onto the NHL scene last spring, posting six points across 10 games in the playoffs. The 2017 fourth overall pick won the Hobey Baker Award as the NCAA's top men's hockey player in April after piling up 49 points through 41 contests in his sophomore season with UMass-Amherst.

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