Predators scratch high-priced forward Kyle Turris again

The Nashville Predators are one of a handful of teams in the NHL expected to be Stanley Cup contenders this season but are struggling to even string two wins together. The team is now on a five-game losing streak that includes blowout losses against the Colorado Avalanche (9-4) and Chicago Blackhawks (7-2), both division rivals ahead of Nashville in the standings.

Just like the other teams making changes to try and spark their clubs, the Predators decided to make Kyle Turris and his $6M cap hit a healthy scratch on Tuesday against the Winnipeg Jets. Turris will sit out again tonight when the Predators take on the Vancouver Canucks for the second time in four games, with Mathieu Olivier staying in the lineup on the fourth line.

Turris was labeled as a potential difference-maker for the Predators when they acquired him just two years ago. Nashville GM David Poile got involved in a three-way trade that saw Matt Duchene go from Colorado to Ottawa, flipping young defenseman Samuel Girard and forward prospect Vladislav Kamenev to the Avalanche in the process. Turris immediately signed a six-year, $36M contract extension with the Predators and was set to become the team’s long-term answer in the middle of the second line.

Turris had after all just posted a 27-goal campaign with the Senators and was off to a quick start in the 2017-18 season. After arriving in Nashville things went well for a while — the veteran center had 17 points in his first 17 games as a Predator — but by the time the playoffs rolled around his ice time had already been reduced. Turris averaged fewer than 16 minutes a night in the 2018 postseason, a sign of things to come.

Last season was an absolute disaster, with just seven goals and 23 points to his name in an injury-shortened campaign. This season even when he does play, Turris’ ice time has been extremely limited, and his responsibility almost completely removed.

Who has filled that second-line center role that Turris was penciled in to when he arrived? It’s none other than Duchene, who arrived in Nashville through free agency less than two years after the Predators were involved in that three-way trade. Duchene was given a huge contract in the summer to be the running mate down the middle for Ryan Johansen, as Poile and head coach Peter Laviolette decided that Turris wasn’t cutting it.

Scratching such a hefty contract for two straight games is a clear sign that the Predators are ready to move on. Turris’ name has been out there in trade speculation for some time, but getting any sort of value back at this point seems impossible for Nashville. With four more years (after this one) at a $6M cap hit, Turris is just too expensive for most teams to take on, especially not knowing exactly what he can offer right now.

By: Gavin Lee

Biggest surprises of the NHL playoffs so far

With the second round of the NHL playoffs underway, the chances of a perfect bracket are slim to none. According to, there are only five perfect brackets remaining.

Because of the chaos, there have been many surprises since the first game of the 2019 NHL playoffs. We look at the biggest shockers of the first round.

Lightning sent home thanks to Blue Jackets

  • Led by head coach John Tortorella , the Columbus Blue Jackets swept the President’s Trophy winners, even after Tampa’s historical regular season.
  • The Lightning were one of the best offensive teams in the league this season but were outscored, 19-8, in the series and had scarce offensive output from their best players.
  • With 128 points during the regular season, Tampa’s Nikita Kucherov registered only two assists in four games for the Bolts.
  • This is the first time in NHL history that a No. 1 overall seed has been swept in the first round of the playoffs.

The Jets were grounded after six games

  • After making it to the Western Conference finals last season, the Winnipeg Jets were the most favored Canadian squad to make it to the Stanley Cup Finals.
  • The Jets lost in six games to the St. Louis Blues, who have won 12 of their past 16 games dating back to March 16.
  • All of Winnipeg’s losses came by one goal, as well as both their victories.
  • Even in their own arena during Game 5, the Jets allowed three goals in the third period and lost, 3-2.

Some of the league’s top players were shut down

  • Arguably the best player of the past decade, Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby registered one assist in the playoffs — the lowest postseason point total of his career. He finished with a minus-4 in four games, the worst mark of his postseason career.
  • Calgary’s Johnny Gaudreau also finished with one assist in five games with a minus-2 rating after scoring 99 points in the regular season.
  • Ryan Johansen had a goal and an assist for the Predators and was not much of a factor, and the Dallas Stars took advantage, taking the series in six games.
  • Steven Stamkos also had a goal and an assist, with a plus/minus of minus-8. You could say he was a defensive liability for the Lightning.

Golden Knights get robbed in Game 7

  • Up 3-0 in Game 7, Vegas’ Cody Eakin cross-checked San Jose’s Joe Pavelski to the ice. Eakin was given a 5-minute major and a game misconduct.
  • San Jose had an unreal comeback, netting four goals on the 5-minute power play to take the lead, with two goals coming from Logan Couture.
  • The Sharks won with two minutes left in overtime thanks to a goal from Barclay Goodrow, who only played two shifts the entire period.
  • On Thursday, the NHL apologized to the Golden Knights and admitted the referees were incorrect on Eakin’s penalty. That does not change anything for the Golden Knights.

A “Bunch of Jerks” beat the defending champs on the road in Game 7

  • One of the biggest underdogs in the playoffs, the Carolina Hurricanes took the Washington Capitals to double overtime and advanced on a goal from Brock McGinn.
  • The Caps’ Alex Ovechkin had seven goals in the series but finished with a minus-2. He was a force in the offensive end but not so much on defense.
  • Warren Foegele led the Canes with four goals. In 77 regular- season games, Foegele had 10 total goals. The third liner has been great in his first playoff series.
  • The Hurricanes advance to the second round for the first time since 2009, when they made it to the Eastern Conference finals.

By: Trevor Drake

Original Article

Ryan Johansen and John Tortorella Rift in Full Bloom

Written by Sam Blazer at Bloguin

It was confirmed by Aaron Portzline that John Tortorella did in fact say that Ryan Johansen was “out of shape” during the course of the first period of Tortorella’s first game behind the bench. It was initially reported by Larry Brooks of the New York Post but it took nearly a week for the news to be confirmed. During the course of Portzline’s interview with Johansen, it also came out that Tortorella believed Johansen’s recent practice was a “struggle” which surprised Johansen who said “I didn’t think practice was that tough, I felt pretty good.”

This will do nothing to quell the rumors that have been circulating around the Blue Jackets. Tortorella benched Johansen for the last six or so minutes of the first period in his first game behind the bench. This caused a ripple effect throughout Columbus, which began to worry that Johansen may be unhappy with the treatment he was given by the tough Tortorella.

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