NHL Network Radio’s Two Man Advantage, 01/31/2018

San Jose Sharks

Brent Burns #88 of the San Jose Sharks celebrates his second period goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins at PPG Paints Arena on January 30, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Photo by Joe Sargent/NHLI via Getty Images

San Jose Sharks

The Sharks come out of the break with many questions, most of them surrounding the health status of Joe Thornton.  Last week, GM, Doug Wilson stated that, “Thornton underwent an arthroscopic procedure to deal with his right MCL.”

Kevin Kurz who covers the Sharks for The Athletic spoke to Dr. David Chao, a former NFL team doctor for more than 17 years and Chao said the following…..

“The statement is confusing, because you don’t fix an MCL through arthroscopic surgery,” Chao told The Athletic. “The only hope is that the surgery was for something like a meniscus or cartilage related to the MCL. Otherwise, if it’s just the MCL, it could be a three-to-four-month recovery period.”

Not good news for Thornton or the Sharks who were already in search for help at the center position prior to the Thornton injury.  The Sharks were believed to be looking for a center to play on either the third or fourth line.

So, who replaces Thornton?  Good question.  Joe Pavelski played center in the final game before the break but struggled.

The Sharks did recall, Danny O’Regan from their AHL affiliate.

Anaheim Ducks

In case you missed it last Thursday.  Ryan Miller moved ahead of Henrik Lundquist for the most shootout victories in NHL history (59).  Miller accomplished this feat in a game where he also became the fifth goalie in the past 49 years to earn a win a game without making a save.

Calgary Flames

The Flames 4-3 shootout loss to Edmonton, made it seven straight losses to the Oilers.

It’s all a matter of perspective.  Some will say the Flames are hot, with points in 11 straight games (7-0-4) while others will say they are on a four-game losing streak.

Dig a little deeper and examine their last three losses…..a 2-1 OT loss at home to Buffalo.  The Flames led a struggling Kings team 1-0 after 40 minutes, only to lose in overtime, 2-1.  In their loss to Edmonton, the Flames led 2-0 and couldn’t put an Oilers team away that had lost their previous game, 5-0 and the hands of the Buffalo Sabres.

Matthew Tkachuk scored two of the Flames three goals in the loss to the Oilers.  It was the fourth, two goal game for Tkachuk this season.

Edmonton Oilers

The Oilers have now won seven straight over the Flames with their 4-3 shootout victory over Calgary last Thursday.  In fact, the Oilers who currently sit 10 points out of a playoff spot have won 4 of their last 5 (4-1-0)

From Bob Stauffer (Edmonton Oilers Radio Analyst) Between Jan. 14th until Jan. 31st the Oilers will have played 3 games in 18 days.  From Feb. 1st until April 7th the Oilers will play 33 games in 66 days

Vegas Golden Knights

Time to start a new streak for the Golden Knights as we begin the unofficial second half of the season.  Vegas closed out the first half with a 2-1 regulation home loss at the hands of the Islanders.  The loss put an end to the Golden Knights 12 game home point streak (10-0-2).  It was their first regulation home loss since dropping a 3-0 decision to Dallas on November 28.

Welcome back Jason Garrison.  The veteran defenseman, played 18:59 against the Islanders last Thursday. It was his first game back with the Knights since his recall from their AHL affiliate in Chicago.  Garrison had last played for Vegas back on October 13 against the Red Wings.

Vancouver Canucks

The 4-0 shutout by the Buffalo Sabres on January 25, marked the fifth time this season the Canucks have been blanked

St. Louis Blues

Goalie Carter Hutton started the last five games for the Blues entering the break and his ninth in the past 11 games.  It’s been quite a run for Hutton of late.  In his past nine starts, he has gone 7-1-1 with a 1.81 GAA, .938 save percentage.

Winnipeg Jets

The Jets will have to start the second half of the season minus defenseman, Jacob Trouba.  Trouba’s high-ankle sprain will keep him on the shelf for the next 6-8 weeks.  He suffered the injury in the Jets loss at Anaheim just prior to the All-Star Game.

Goalie Steve Mason is on the shelf once again, dealing with his second concussion of the season.  With Mason unavailable, the Jets have recalled Eric Comrie to back up Connor Hellebucyk.  Comrie has one NHL game under his belt this season and gave up five goals.  In his only other game he was touched up for four goals.

Nashville Predators

The Preds have earned points in eight consecutive games going 6-0-2 in the process.

Chicago Blackhawks

From Tracey Myers (NHL.com) Goaltender Corey Crawford will not join the Chicago Blackhawks on their three-game road trip, which starts at the Nashville Predators on Tuesday.  Crawford has been on injured reserve because of an upper-body injury since Dec. 27. He began doing off-ice workouts last week but did not skate during the weekend, something the Blackhawks had hoped he’d be able to do.

“He wasn’t able to get on the ice this weekend,” Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said Monday. “[He did] light training, so we’ll see how he is this week. Hopefully he can get on later this week.”

Alex DeBrincat had his second hat trick of the season when the Blackhawks knocked off the Red Wings last Thursday, 5-1 and put an end to their four-game losing streak (0-3-1) in the process.

January was not kind to the Blackhawks on home ice with just two wins in eight home games (2-5-1)

DeBrincat became the first Hawks rookie with multiple hat tricks in a season since Steve Larmer (1982-83).  It’s been a strong rookie season for DeBrincat who is fifth in rookie scoring with 32 points (17G, 15A).

The Blackhawks may have found themselves a new number two defenseman.  Jordan Oesterle, has made quite an impression over the past couple of months and most recently, Oesterle has exceeded 25 minutes of ice time in each of the past five games.

The Blackhawks power play was having a power outage of late, before scoring twice on four opportunities with the man advantage.  Prior the Blackhawks had gone 0 for 16 in their previous four games and 0 for 32 in their last 10 games.


The Dallas Stars will look to start a new point streak following their 4-1 loss at the hands if the Maple Leafs last Thursday.  The Stars were 4-0-1 in their previous five games before the loss in regulation to the Leafs.

What a first season it has been Alex Radulov in Dallas. Radulov has 20 goals and 28 assists on the season including six goals and 10 assists in his current nine game point streak.

Colorado Avalanche

After winning 10 straight, the Avalanche drop back to back games to at Montreal and St. Louis just prior to the break.

Minnesota Wild

The Wild’s 6-3 loss at the hands of Pittsburgh in their final game before the All-Star break put an end to their six-game point streak.

Toronto Maple Leafs

Jake Gardiner has nine assists during his current five game point streak.

Defenseman, Morgan Rielly skated on his own on Monday but does not appear ready to get back in the lineup.  Rielly has missed the last four games with and upper body injury.

Columbus Blue Jackets

The Jackets should have Brandon Dubinsky back in the lineup for their next game.  Dubinsky said on Monday his leave from the team prior to the All-Star Break was “to look after himself,” but wouldn’t go any further.  Dubinsky told the Columbus Dispatch, “I had to deal with some medical issues for myself.  It was nice to be back at practice (Monday) and have the opportunity to play (Tuesday).”

Washington Capitals

The Caps went into the break with a 4-2 victory over the Florida Panthers, putting an end to their three-game losing streak (0-2-1).  The game saw Alexander Ovechkin notch his 500th NHL assist, along with his league leading 30th goal.  Ovechkin became the fourth active player with 500 goals, 500 assists, joining Jaromir Jagr, Marian Hossa and Patrick Marleau.  By the way, Nicklas Backstrom is the only other Capitals player with more 500 assists (568).

The accomplishments didn’t end there.  OV’s 30th goal also put him into elite company with Wayne Gretzky and Mike Gartner, as the only players in NHL history with 30 or more goals in each of their first 13 seasons.

Pittsburgh Penguins

Sidney Crosby’s three assists in the Penguins 6-3 win over the Wild in the final game before the break moved Crosby into second on the Penguins all-time scoring list.  Sid, now has 1080 career points, trailing only Mario Lemieux who has 1723 points.

Next milestone for Crosby is 400 goals.  His five-game goal drought has left him stuck on 399 career goals.

Philadelphia Flyers

The Flyers are 4-1 in their last five games.

Since the Flyers put an end to their 10-game losing streak (0-5-5) on December 4, they have gone 16-6-1.

The Flyers placed Brian Elliott on injured reserve and recalled goalie, Alex Lyon from their AHL affiliate, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.

New York Rangers

The Rangers went into the break on a high note.  Their 6-5 win in San Jose put an end to their three-game losing streak and saw Ryan McDonagh score his first two goals of the season.

New York Islanders

The Islanders closed out the break with a 2-1 victory in Vegas.  It was just the Islanders second win this season when scoring less than three goals in a game.  It was also the first regulation loss at home for the Golden Knights since a November 28th loss to the Dallas Stars.

New Jersey Devils

The Devils have lost four in a row including being blanked in back to back games on home ice by identical 3-0 scores (New Jersey and Nashville). The Devils last goal on home ice came :34 seconds into overtime in their January 18th victory over the Capitals.

The Devils struggles though go back even further.  New Jersey has just two wins in their last 12 games (2-7-3).

Keith Kincaid is on injured reserve.  Corey Schneider has been dealing with a sore groin and did not play in New Jersey’s 3-0 loss to Nashville.  That left the goaltending duties in the hands of Ken Appleby.

Tampa Bay Lightning

From Joe Smith at the Tampa Bay Times.  Victor Hedman is traveling with the Lightning on four-game trip. Thursday is the three-week mark in 3-6 week timeline.

While Hedman is unable to play due to injury, Mikhail Sergachev hopes to get himself back in the lineup ASAP.  Sergachev has been a healthy scratch the past two games as his play has started to tail off.

The Lightning entered the break on a three-game win streak.

Boston Bruins

The Bruins will have to keep their streak alive of not losing in regulation without the services of Brad Marchand.  The Bruins pesky forward still has four more games to serve in his five-game suspension.  The Bruins will be in tough this week to try and keep their streak alive (14-0-4).  Tonight, Tuesday, the Bruins host the Anaheim Ducks, Thursday, they host the Blues and Saturday, it’s a home game versus the Maple Leafs.

Tukka Rask is 16-0-2 in his last 18 games.

Montreal Canadiens

Here is the latest on the injury front for the Montreal Canadiens. Phillip Danault did not travel with the team to St. Louis.  There is no timetable for Shea Weber’s return and Andrew Shaw is down for the next 4-6 weeks with a lower body injury.

Paul Byron begins the second season on a six-game point streak with 2 goals and 5 assists.

Buffalo Sabres

The Sabres went into the break playing some of their best hockey as goalie Robin Lehner recorded back to back shutouts over Edmonton and Vancouver.  In all, the Sabres outscored the opposition in the week leading into the break by a combined, 11-1 margin.

Carolina Hurricanes

How about this one.  In the Canes 6-5 win last Thursday against the Habs, Trevor Van Riemsdyk was a plus -5

Ottawa Senators

The Senators have lost five straight.

Mark Stone missed the final three games before the break with a lower body injury.

Detroit Red Wings

The Wings currently sit 10 points out of a playoff spot and have been in a downward spiral of late.  The Wings are winless in their past five (0-4-1) and have just two wins in their past eight (2-5-1).

Jimmy Howard got the hook in the Red Wings final game before the break, giving up just three goals on nine shots in just 8:47 of work.  In his 422 previous NHL starts, Howard had never played less than 14:14.

Florida Panthers

Since putting together a five-game win streak, the Panthers have dropped three in a row have just two wins in their past nine games (2-6-1).

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