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the Coyotes’ improvement is their goaltending, with both sta

Messagede elaine95 » Mer 13 Mar 2019 06:34

NASHVILLE Bo Horvat Jersey , Tenn. (AP) The Nashville Predators waited a week to honor David Poile as the general manager with the most victories in the 100-year history of the NHL, throwing a big celebration before a home game Thursday night.Among those in attendance were Rod Langway, Poile’s first captain after being hired as general manager of the Washington Capitals in 1982, and Tom Fitzgerald, Poile’s first captain with the then-expansion Predators in 1998.NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman was on hand, too. Bettman was booed heartily by the fans – not an unusual occurrence for him – but said he’d get jeered anytime for Poile.”In a profession with a high rate of turnover, the fact that you’ve done it with only two teams and you’ve only had five coaches is a testament to your stability, your professionalism, your consistency, your patience and your desire to win,” Bettman said to Poile. ”When it comes to being the heart and soul of our game, David has no equal.”Poile won his 1,320th game as general manager March 1 in a 4-2 win at Edmonton, passing Glen Sather’s 1,319 wins. The Predators still had to finish a road trip, so the celebration waited until Thursday before a game against the Anaheim Ducks – the team the Predators beat last May to clinch their first Western Conference title.The Predators had ”1320” painted into the ice behind each net before their 2-0 win Tuesday night over Dallas.Thursday’s festivities started with a video recapping Poile’s career . Langway presented his former boss with a Capitals’ jersey with the number 594 to commemorate Poile’s wins in Washington. Bettman gave Poile the score sheet from his first win with the Capitals and last week’s record victory framed as a keepsake.Also on hand were Dick Patrick, who hired Poile as general manager of the Capitals, and Cliff Fletcher, who gave Poile a job in the front office of the then-Atlanta Flames. Peter Bondra Youth Brandon Sutter Jersey , a Slovakian star who played for Poile in Washington, recalled before the game that he didn’t know if he could play in the NHL until Poile not only saw something in him but helped ease his transition to the United States.The Predators also gave Poile an engraved silver platter and announced a scholarship in Poile’s name at Scott Hamilton’s learn-to-skate program.Poile wrapped up the 15-minute celebration by talking about his love for hockey, ”the ultimate team sport,” and thanked everyone who helped him along the way.”It is an honor to be the general manager of the Nashville Predators,” Poile said.In his 36 years as a general manager, Poile just got to his first Stanley Cup Final last year with the Predators – they lost to Pittsburgh in six games. Nashville is on pace for its best season ever with 95 points through 66 games going into Thursday night, on track for 118 points. That would top the franchise-record of 110 points by the 2006-07 team.”Coming here, I’m not sure he thought he would be here as long as he (has) when he first came in in 1997,” Fitzgerald said. ”But when you have success, you can stay as long as you want, and I’m sure the door’s going to be open to him for a long time.”—Follow Teresa M. Walker at GLENDALE, Ariz. — The Tampa Bay Lightning are well aware of the dangers of waiting until January or February to start making a playoff push.Perhaps that’s why they often take care of business, and in an emphatic way, well before that.The Arizona Coyotes, whose inability to reach the playoffs is in direct contrast to the Lightning’s frequent playoff success, know all too well how a season can get away from a team in October.Article continues below ...The Lightning, off to their usual strong start, will take a seven-game points streak into Gila River Arena to play the Coyotes on Saturday night. It’s the second half of a back-to-back for the Lightning, who won their third in a row by defeating the Vegas Golden Knights 3-2 at T-Mobile Arena on Friday.Tyler Johnson Brendan Leipsic Jersey Kids , Brayden Point and J.T. Miller scored for the Lightning, and Andrei Vasilevskiy made 29 saves.“Our goaltender was there when we needed him and recorded a big win in a tough spot on the road,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. “He was in the zone again and was tracking pucks, and our guys were good with letting him see pucks. You can get the shots, but if he can see them, he’ll usually stop them.”Victor Hedman, the Lightning’s star defenseman, sustained an undisclosed injury midway through the first period and didn’t return. He is not expected to play Saturday, but Cooper doesn’t think his injury will be long term.The Lightning are 7-1-1 overall and 6-0-1 in their last seven games. Nothing new there for a team that opened up 9-1-1 and 16-3-2 last season and was 5-1 to start the 2016-17 season. They’ve used good beginnings to help them reach the Eastern Conference finals two of the last three seasons.The Coyotes, however, aren’t the team they were at the start of the last two NHL seasons — and that’s encouraging to coach Rick Tocchet and his players.Arizona opened up 1-10-1 last season and never recovered. The season before that, the Coyotes lost five of their first six. This season, the Coyotes (4-5-0) have won two in a row — the first time in three Octobers they’ve done that — and three of four. Much of the reason for the Coyotes’ improvement is their goaltending, with both starter Antti Raanta (2-4, 2.32 goals-against average) and backup Darcy Kuemper (2-1, 1.34) playing well to date.“We’ve gotten excellent goaltending, right from the start of the year, and it’s really helped us,” Tocchet said Friday. “We’re still giving up some Grade-A chances , and we’ll try to eliminate that, but the goalies have been really good. They’re giving us a chance to win every night.”Raanta sat out the last two games with flu-like symptoms, and Kuemper stepped in to make 62 saves on 64 shots as the Coyotes beat the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday and the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday, both by 4-1 scores.The Coyotes’ season quickly came apart last season when Raanta missed much of the first half of the season with three different injuries and Tocchet and general manager John Chayka couldn’t find a suitable backup. They tried Louis Domingue, Scott Wedgewood and Adin Hill without success, with Dominque going 0-6 with a 4.33 goals-against average and an .856 save percentage.But once Raanta was healthy during the second half of the season, his 2.24 goals-against average and .930 save percentage were the best in the NHL for goaltenders who played as much as he did. And Chayka not only picked up the reliable Kuemper in a late-season trade with the Los Angeles Kings, he signed Raanta and Kuemper to multi-year contracts.Coincidentally, Domingue landed with the Lightning despite his horrid statistics with Arizona, and he’ll start Saturday night against his former team.The Coyotes also appear to have solved their early-season scoring issues. They were shut out in three of their first four games, including their first two home games, but they’ve scored 15 goals in the past four games.“We didn’t score in the first few games, but we knew if we stuck with it the goals would come in bunches, and that’s kind of happened,” forward Brendan Perlini said.The Lightning and Coyotes split their two-game season series in 2017-18, with each team winning in the other’s building.
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