Senators fire coach Guy Boucher

The Ottawa Senators have made another major move in their continuing rebuild, this time firing head coach Guy Boucher. Assistant coach Marc Crawford will take over in the interim as the team begins its search for a new head coach. GM Pierre Dorion had this to say in a press release:

I want to thank Guy for his three years of service. He is a good person and has been an excellent representative of the Senators. At this point, however, we need a different set of coaching and leadership skills to guide our team through this rebuild. In the interim, Marc will bring a different perspective along with a wealth of head coaching experience.

This move comes almost immediately after Dorion told Bruce Garrioch of Postmedia that the team would wait until the end of the season to evaluate Boucher’s future. Apparently Senators management changed its mind and made the move now to ensure different habits would be instilled over the last few weeks of the season. To that end, former Senators player Chris Kelly has been added to the coaching staff.

Boucher’s tenure in Ottawa comes to an end a few weeks before his three-year contract expired, and he’ll finish with a 94-108-26 record. His time in Ottawa went similar to his previous job in Tampa Bay, where he led the Lightning to an outstanding first season before struggling in years two and three. The Senators went 44-28-10 in 2016-17 before almost making it to the Stanley Cup Final but fell apart last season and have been a disaster this year.

The Sens announced their coaching search and explained what they are looking for in their next bench boss, with development and growth listed at the very top. Dorion admitted that Crawford would be considered for the full-time job, though it sounds more like the team is looking outside of the organization for a new head coach. Crawford of course has plenty of experience in the role, previously coaching the Quebec Nordiques, Vancouver Canucks, Los Angeles Kings and Dallas Stars, while also taking the Colorado Avalanche all the way to a Stanley Cup championship in 1996.

Full Article

By: Gavin Lee

Ranking all the NHL alternate jerseys from the 2018-19 season

After a spell without them, third jerseys are back for the NHL! Now, that may cause fear to rise in your gullet. At least it will if you are old enough to remember that first wave of (largely hideous) third jerseys from the ‘90s. Somehow, the Anaheim Mighty Ducks managed to make themselves look even worse! The NHL didn’t have alternate/third jerseys last year due to switching all their jerseys to Adidas. Now Adidas is able to crank out third jerseys for what is expected to be about 15-20 teams. Some of the looks have been seen before but not for the past few years. Here’s a look at all the third jerseys we know about, ranked in terms of quality.

21. Arizona Coyotes

Apparently we’re at a place where we’re willing to nostalgically accept these Coyotes jerseys as existing? Until they changed their look to a simpler style, Arizona, then Phoenix, was rivaled by only the Minnesota Wild for worse look in the league. We don’t care if they’re ironically bringing back the Kachina jerseys. They still look bad and are WAY too busy for a sports uniform.

20. Anaheim Ducks

Sorry, we aren’t going to buy your nostalgia, take two. The Anaheim logo with the duck-shaped hockey mask was dumb then, and it’s dumb now. However, the purple-and-teal look feels like it has aged a little better. The stripes are nice. The logo is still hot garbage.

19. New York Islanders

There are two things going against the Islanders’ third jerseys. One, it’s basically a replicant of the black third jersey they wore before, but now it’s blue. Two, it’s not an interesting logo, and it’s much worse than the traditional Islanders logo. It also lacks the kitschy fun of the fisherman logo. Just blah all around.

18. Philadelphia Flyers

These jerseys are too basic to be offensive but also too boring to be interesting. They look fine. This is a shrug in hockey jersey form. They better wear it around Halloween.

17. Los Angeles Kings

Straight up, we miss the yellow-and-purple crown look from the expansion era. Instead of that, the Kings are going with another gray alternate, a slight tweak from their 50th anniversary look. It’s not a bad look, but it doesn’t really stir up much in the way of feelings.


16. Chicago Blackhawks

The Blackhawks and the Bruins aren’t wearing third jerseys, per se, but they did wear retro looks for the Winter Classic. Both are harkening back to their ‘30s looks. These Chicago ones are kind of crazy because they are just black and white. A Blackhawks jersey without a hint of red? That’s practically sacrilege!

15. Edmonton Oilers

The Oilers’ jersey is good and a reflection of their old look for their 40th anniversary. However, it’s not all that different from their usual look. They are just wearing a bright royal blue with the orange. It pops, but it’s not different enough to rank too high.

14. San Jose Sharks

Shocker! The Sharks have a black alternate jersey. Back in the day, “third jersey” basically meant “black jersey,” but now that isn’t the case so this isn’t quite as eye-rolling. They also have made the new logo blacker as well, borrowing from the aesthetic choices of “Spinal Tap.” And there’s a new shoulder logo with a fin poking out of the water, which is actually cool.


13. Ottawa Senators

Everything is terrible about the Senators…save for their expected third jersey. They are bringing back their centennial look, which has a great old school vibe. Their logo is just a big “O.” The simplicity works.

12. Pittsburgh Penguins

Like a character from the least-popular Austin Powers movie, the Penguins seem to love gold. That being said, these jerseys really pop. They are bright but not garish, and gold is deeply tied to Pittsburgh sports. The Stanley Cup may be silver, but gold still has its charm in the NHL.

11. Winnipeg Jets

The Jets’ look is cool. The blue they usually sport works great, the lettering of the logo is sharp, and I really like the stripe. It definitely is a classy jersey, but the Jets have such a good look normally, it feels like an unnecessary alternative.

10. Toronto Maple Leafs

Toronto is expected to kick it very old school again by busting out its St. Pats jerseys, a shout out to a defunct hockey team based in the city. Hey, you can always wear it on St. Patrick’s Day and have it be a hit. It’s weird to see the Maple Leafs not wearing blue, but to be fair they also aren’t even wearing the words “maple” or “leafs.” That’s fun in and of itself, and the St. Pats jerseys are pretty nice as well

Full List

By: Chris Morgan


2019 NHL All-Star rosters announced

The NHL has announced the four rosters for the 2019 All-Star Game today, scheduled to be held on January 26th in San Jose. Earlier today, Alex Ovechkin, who was elected captain of Metropolitan Division squad, told the league that he wouldn’t be attending and will accept the punishment of missing one game either before or after the break. Connor McDavid, Nathan MacKinnon, and Auston Matthews will represent the Pacific, Central and Atlantic respectively, as the other captains. A replacement captain for Ovechkin has yet to be named.

The full rosters are as follows:

Pacific Division

John Gibson (ANA)
Marc-Andre Fleury (VGK)

D Erik Karlsson (SJS)
Brent Burns (SJS)
Drew Doughty (LAK)

Connor McDavid (EDM)*
Johnny Gaudreau (CGY)
Joe Pavelski (SJS)
F Elias Pettersson (VAN)
F Clayton Keller (ARI)

Central Division

Pekka Rinne (NSH)
Devan Dubnyk (MIN)

D Roman Josi (NSH)
D Miro Heiskanen (DAL)

Nathan MacKinnon (COL)*
Mikko Rantanen (COL)
Blake Wheeler (WPG)
Patrick Kane (CHI)

Mark Scheifele (WPG)
F Ryan O’Reilly (STL)

Atlantic Division

Jimmy Howard (DET)
G Carey Price (MTL)

Keith Yandle (FLA)
D Thomas Chabot (OTT)

F Auston Matthews (TOR)*
F Nikita Kucherov (TBL)
F Steven Stamkos (TBL)
John Tavares (TOR)

F David Pastrnak (BOS)
F Jack Eichel (BUF)

Full List

By Zach Leach

Bruins’ Brad Marchand set to return for Winter Classic

The Boston Bruins should get a boost just in time for the Winter Classic on Tuesday against the Chicago Blackhawks.’s Dan Rosen reports that Brad Marchand should be ready to go after practicing today, barring any setbacks. He missed Saturday’s game with an upper-body injury, but it looks like it wasn’t a serious issue.

Marchand is having another solid campaign with 12 goals and 41 points in 39 games this season.

Rosen also reports that defenseman Charlie McAvoy remains questionable for the big game. McAvoy has missed two games with a lower-body injury and did not practice today. The gifted defenseman has struggled with injuries and has appeared in just 17 games this year, although he has 11 points.

In other NHL injury notes:

  • Isabelle Khurshudyan of the Washington Post writes that Capitals defenseman Matt Niskanen will be out Monday against Nashville and miss his second straight game with an undisclosed upper-body injury. However, the team got better news on Brooks Orpik, who is listed as a game-time decision for Monday after missing 27 games with a right-knee injury. Khurshudyan reports both players practiced Sunday and are close to returning. The team has also been without Christian Djoos.
  • The Pittsburgh Penguins could be without forward Bryan Rust and defenseman Olli Maatta on Monday as both are listed as day-to-day, according to Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Matt Vensel. Rust didn’t practice today with an undisclosed injury, and Maatta suffered a lower-body injury during Saturday’s game against St. Louis, but finished the game. He also didn’t practice today.
  • Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun reports that Senators center Jean-Gabriel Pageau is close to a return. While he’s not expected to play Monday, he could be back not long after that. The 26-year-old has been out all season after having surgery to repair a torn Achilles. He had a six-month timetable in mid-September and is well ahead of schedule. Pageau had 14 goals and 29 points last season.

By Holger Stolzenberg

Original Article

Senators place three players on IR following loss to Flyers

The Ottawa Senators were off to a better-than-expected start in the early going of the season, but Wednesday night against the Philadelphia Flyers seems to have derailed things quite a bit. In a match that reminded of a past decade with line brawls and physical play, the Senators left the loss with several injuries. Today they have placed Cody Ceci, Ryan Dzingel and Alex Formenton on injured reserve. While the other two are dealing with undisclosed injuries, Formenton has a concussion. Christian Jaros and Nick Paul have been recalled from the AHL to fill in.

The Senators weren’t expected by many people to win many games this season, but after looking at least competitive in the early going there was some hope growing. Players like Formenton and Thomas Chabot were showing what the next wave of talent could bring, while Mark Stone looked worth every penny of the $7.35M contract he signed this summer. Injuries like this though will truly test the team’s depth, given that it was already razor thin at the NHL level. Jaros looked great in the preseason and could make an impact if inserted into the lineup — something that’s not guaranteed given Ben Harpur’s imminent return — but Paul has struggled so many times before for the Senators that there is little excitement about his return.

A concussion is one of the worst-case scenarios in this situation, given the uncertain health effects that they can cause. Formenton is a bright spot for the future given his speed and offensive upside and also gave fans a little taste of his toughness by getting involved in several scrums and a battle with Philadelphia’s Robert Hagg. Unfortunately it was a cross-check delivered to his head by Jori Lehtera that likely caused the injury, which will at the very least slow down Formenton’s early development.

By Gavin Lee

Follow here

The Pens Win In Overtime, And I Am 100% Behind the Predators.

Written by Cody Benjamin at CBS

It took more than four periods of hockey — and a whole lot of attempts on Craig Anderson — Thursday night in Game 7 against an Eastern Conference underdog, but the Pittsburgh Penguins are headed back to the Stanley Cup Final.

Two games after being pulled twice from a 7-0 blowout loss, Anderson nearly had his second straight 40-save night in the net for the Ottawa Senators, pushing the favored Pens and defending title winners into double overtime after falling behind on two occasions.

But the Pens, with a relentless offensive attack, got the winning goal from Chris Kunitz to lock up a return trip to the Final and a chance to repeat as Stanley Cup champions with a 3-2 decision.

A game after the Pens unloaded 46 shots against Anderson, neither team was overly successful in replicating action in front of the net, at least early on. Pittsburgh managed just six shots on goal in the first period, while Ottawa had just five shots at Matt Murray.

The defensive back-and-forth continued after a second-period strike from Kunitz put Pittsburgh up 1-0 — and an immediate Senators response in the form of a Mark Stone goal just 20 seconds later. And while Guy Boucher’s physical team failed to convert on a pair of power-play tries, an all-too-familiar issue for the Sens this postseason, it also kept up against Sidney Crosby and the speedy Pens, excelling in efforts to halt second- and third-chance shots in front of Anderson.

Ottawa’s resiliency was the highlight of a thrilling third period, too.

Officiating went in both directions over the course of the Eastern Conference finals, with some Pens fans arguing that a goalie interference call from Tuesday’s Game 6 ruined Pittsburgh’s shot at putting away the Sens. And penalties resurfaced to play a role in the final period of regulation Thursday, this time benefiting the defending Stanley Cup champs on an interference call against Dion Phaneuf, whose flagged tussle with Phil Kessel was more the result of a dive onto the ice by the latter than any kind of blatant roughness.

To continue reading this article, click here

Pens Take Game 5, Winning 7-0. Now Lead Series 3-2

Written by Justin Cuthbert at

The Pittsburgh Penguins torched the Ottawa Senators in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Final on Sunday afternoon and moved to within a win of advancing back to the Stanley Cup Final to defend their crown.

Matt Murray made 21 saves for the shutout in his second start in these playoffs, while seven different Penguins scored in the 7-0 thrashing.

It began with a blitz in the first period as the Penguins scored four goals on 15 shots, quickly putting the game out of reach like the Senators had with their own offensive explosion back in Game 3.

Olli Maatta opened the scoring, launching a mammoth blast from the point on a quick counter created off a horrible turnover near the blue line by Mike Hoffman.

After Sidney Crosby struck in a third consecutive game to double the lead four minutes later with a tip on the power play, the Senators’ teetering defensive-zone coverage completely collapsed. The Penguins hemmed them in their own end for more than two minutes before another atrocious failed exit led to Nick Bonino winding up in a dangerous area. His shot caught the inside of Bryan Rust’s leg and evaded Craig Anderson, briefly sending the netminder to the chair at the end of Ottawa’s bench.

Mike Condon came out to replace Anderson, and made one save before Guy Boucher surprised by returning his starter returned during a stoppage. It backfired almost instantaneously, as Scott Wilson shovelled a rebound back toward the front of the net, which bounced in off Anderson, who was late to seal his post, to make it 4-0.

He finished the period, but was replaced for good to start the second.

To continue reading this article, click here.

Senators Dominate Penguins To Take Game 3

Written by Jason Mackey at Pittsburgh Post

Marc-Andre Fleury played the part of easy target after the Penguins’ 5-1 loss to the Senators in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference final on Wednesday at Canadian Tire Centre, allowing four goals on the first nine shots he faced.

Accurate? Yeah, right. Just ask Matt Cullen, who was fairly steaming after this one.

“We played like [expletive],” Cullen said. “No excuses. That’s the bottom line. We didn’t battle. We didn’t work as hard as we needed to. It’s the conference finals. To have that kind of effort is pretty tough to stomach.”

The effort Cullen mentioned prohibited the Penguins from penetrating the Senators’ defensive structure enough to generate more than 26 shots on goal and make goaltender Craig Anderson’s life miserable.

Another playoff game, more missing offense. The Penguins have now scored two or fewer goals in seven of their past eight.

“Flower has carried us here,” Cullen said. “He’s played so well for us. That makes it even worse that we kind of hung him out to dry. Bottom line is we didn’t play well. We have to figure it out here as a group. We have to understand that it’s not going to be easy. We have to put our best effort out there. We have to win battles. We have to fight a little bit. We didn’t tonight.”

Four of the Penguins’ top-six forwards have struggled to score of late.

Sidney Crosby’s third period goal snapped a seven-game goal-less stretch for him. An encouraging sign but not enough. Conor Sheary hasn’t scored in 14, Chris Kunitz 10 and Jake Guentzel four. Hardly ideal production from four of your top six forwards.

To continue reading this article, click here.

Penguins Tie Series With Ottawa, After Winning Game 2

Written by Craig Custance at

An angry Phil Kessel ended up being a very good thing for the Pittsburgh Penguins. On a couple of occasions during Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals on Monday, he was shown on the bench, yelling in frustration. Sometimes to himself. Sometimes in the direction of teammates. He was most certainly engaged.

Then he buried a shot late in the third period, only the second time in the series the Penguins beat Ottawa Senators goalie Craig Anderson, and it was all good.

The Penguins beat the Senators 1-0 Monday to even up this series at one game each.

How they did it: The Penguins used their speed much more effectively in generating consistent offensive pressure, even if it took until late in the third period to finally capitalize. Penguins coach Mike Sullivan wanted to see more shooting, and his team responded with a 29-23 edge in shots. The Penguins have struggled with possession this postseason, but around the time Kessel finally broke the scoreless tie, the Penguins were controlling 64 percent of the even-strength shot attempts, according to

It was an impressive showing, especially considering the players the Penguins were missing due to injuries.

More Penguins injured: The Penguins’ defense took another serious blow when their best remaining offensive defenseman, Justin Schultz, crashed into the boards in the first period and left the ice, heading directly down the tunnel. He didn’t return. If he’s out any length of time, it’s a major loss for a defense that is already having trouble getting the puck out if its own zone without Kris Letang and Trevor Daley. Daley skated on his own again Monday morning before the team’s game-day practice.

The Penguins also lost forward Bryan Rust when he was leveled by Senators defenseman Dion Phaneuf in the first period.

Phaneuf a physical force: This was classic Phaneuf. He was a one-man wrecking crew for a large portion of Game 2, starting with his open-ice hit on Rust in the first period. But Phaneuf didn’t stop there in a contest that was more physical than Game 1.

To continue reading this article, click here.

Penguins Drop Game 1 Of ECF To Ottawa

Written by Craig Custance at

They watched film. They simulated the Senators’ trap during practice.

But until you see it in person, see how consistently and religiously the Senators execute, it’s truly impossible to visualize.

The Penguins got that in Game 1.

“Experiencing it is something different,” Penguins defenseman Ian Cole said after practice Sunday.

If there was any doubt what the reigning champs are up against, it has been completely removed now. And while we’ll make a big deal out of the trap and the system and the Senators’ attention to detail, it’s the execution that is most impressive. Right now, Ottawa is dialed in as much as any team left in the playoffs. The Senators truly understand their identity, how they need to play to be successful and they appear to be a group that has a genuine grasp of the opportunity that is in front of them — an opportunity they are clinging to tightly so it doesn’t slip away.

When one NHL team executive was asked about the Senators’ trap, that’s where he focused his attention — the effort of the players.

“The reason Ottawa is where they are is because they’ve consistently outworked their opponent,” the executive said. “They outworked Pittsburgh. … It’s going to come down to blue-collar work ethic, and execution. Who sweats the most.”

That work ethic has rarely been a problem for a Mike Sullivan group. The Penguins’ coach had them out for another full practice Sunday to try and find solutions to a forgettable Game 1, starting practice with a drill that simulated a jammed-up neutral zone with players weaving in and out with pucks.

An area of focus for the Penguins after the Game 1 loss was shot selection. Sullivan wants the Penguins to be more aggressive with their shooting, rather than trying to find the perfect shot.

During a Sunday morning film session, the Penguins’ coaches showed a number of situations where they felt there was an opportunity to get a shot on goal, and it didn’t happen.

To continue reading this article, click here.