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Sam Carchidi: NHL TV ratings soar. So do spirits of local front-line workers who attended Flyers' opener.

Sports / Hockey /

PHILADELPHIA — The NHL’s TV ratings are soaring. Are fans tired of watching Netflix? Hungrier for hockey after the pandemic delayed the season? A combination of both?

With no hockey in October, November and December, the withdrawal, apparently, was painful.

That helps explain why a record number of folks watched NHL openers on TV in both ...Read more

8 is enough for Avs in 8-0 blowout of Blues

Sports / Hockey /

DENVER — If the St. Louis Blues made a statement in their season-opening win Wednesday, the Colorado Avalanche replied Friday, with a couple of exclamation points.

If the Blues said: We’re still here.

The Avalanche countered with: So are we.

Of course, just two games into a 56-game regular-season schedule, it’s impossible to make firm ...Read more

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images North America/TNS

After slow start against Blackhawks, Lightning find their groove in a hurry

Sports / Hockey /

TAMPA, Fla. — With all the pomp of opening night — their Stanley Cup banner unveiling to go along with the anticipation of a new season — behind them, the Lightning’s concentration could squarely be on the ice Friday night against the Chicago Blackhawks at Amalie Arena.

Leading into this abbreviated 56-game campaign, players and coaches...Read more

Mitchell Leff/Getty Images North America/TNS

Sean Couturier injured, but Travis Konecny's first career hat trick, Carter Hart’s goaltending lift Flyers over Penguins, 5-2

Sports / Hockey /

PHILADELPHIA — Beating their king tormentor, Sidney Crosby, and the Pittsburgh Penguins twice in a row to start the season wasn’t an easy task.

And it was made more difficult Friday night when Sean Couturier, the Flyers’ star center, left the game with an injury early in the first period and did not return.

But even without Couturier, ...Read more

Kirill Kaprizov scores on OT breakaway in debut, lifts Wild over Kings 4-3

Sports / Hockey /

LOS ANGELES – Changes were everywhere.

Crowd noise was piped in, the pregame hoopla was scaled back, and both benches were scrubbed down at intermission – all adjustments the NHL has made from the last regular season to resurrect itself in individual arenas during the middle of a pandemic for a shortened, 56-game schedule.

The Wild lineup ...Read more

Evander Kane, Martin Jones shine as Sharks top Coyotes in shootout

Sports / Hockey /

The San Jose Sharks’ game with the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday night represented their first chance to try and put a disastrous 2019-2020 season in the rear view mirror.

After some hairy moments, they finally got the end result they wanted.

Ryan Donato, Logan Couture both scored in the shootout and Martin Jones made a subsequent save on ...Read more

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Hurricanes open new season with 3-0 win over Red Wings

Sports / Hockey /

The Carolina Hurricanes opened a new season Thursday with the kind of effort that should please their coach, Rod Brind’Amour.

The Canes took the early lead against the Detroit Red Wings at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit. They were physical. They got their shots and limited the Wings’ opportunities in helping goalie Petr Mrazek face just 14...Read more

Benjamin Hochman: The Blues are back and remind St. Louis what it missed about hockey

Sports / Hockey /

Parayko’s slapshot and Jordan Kyrou’s speed and that thing Jordan Binnington does when he quickly sticks his neck forward and pulls it back, perhaps an old habit or tick or calming mechanism after a close call.

You remember just how freakily connected David Perron and Ryan O’Reilly are, like those twins you grew up with. You’re ...Read more

Armando L. Sanchez / Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/Armando L. Sanchez / Chicago Tribune

Blackhawks place Jonathan Toews and Kirby Dach on long-term injured reserve

Sports / Hockey /

CHICAGO — It looks like Jonathan Toews is going to be on the shelf for a while.

The Chicago Blackhawks captain and top-line center, who missed all of training camp and the season opener with an unspecified illness, was officially placed him on long-term injured reserve Thursday.

The Hawks also placed Kirby Dach on LTIR. The center broke his ...Read more

Jose M. Osorio/Chicago Tribune/TNS

Paul Sullivan: The Chicago Blackhawks' shortcomings figure to keep them from the playoffs. ‘Progress’ will be a team buzzword until the winning returns.

Sports / Hockey /

As they begin the 2021 season playing in empty arenas with a young and unproven team, the Chicago Blackhawks will be trying to stave off irrelevance until the rebuild turns a corner.

When that will be is anyone’s guess, but coach Jeremy Colliton on Tuesday was awarded an extension through the 2022-23 season, so if they’re not there by then,...Read more

Blues come on strong to beat Avs in opener

Sports / Hockey /

DENVER — More than three months later than usual, hockey season began Wednesday night for the St. Louis Blues in the shadow of the snow-capped Rocky Mountains. So late in fact, that the 2020 part of “2020-21” season can be scrapped.

Unlike last season, no banners were unfurled to honor a Blues’ Stanley Cup championship. There was no ...Read more

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images North America/TNS

Lightning celebrate, then dominate in opener

Sports / Hockey /

TAMPA, Fla. — The Lightning claimed the Stanley Cup under the most unusual of circumstances — isolated and far from home — but their first game back in their home arena, a night set for celebration as they unveiled their championship banner and started their title defense, was even more atypical.

With no fans in the stands, Amalie Arena ...Read more

Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America/TNS

Flyers whip Pittsburgh Penguins in opener, 6-3, as Joel Farabee leads way with 4 points

Sports / Hockey /

PHILADELPHIA — With a shortened training camp and no exhibition games, there will be rust, no doubt, in the first few weeks of the NHL season.

The special teams didn’t get much work in camp, so they figure to be especially out of sync.

The Flyers didn’t get the memo.

Their power play, under scrutiny in the offseason because of its awful...Read more

YONG KIM/The Philadelphia Inquirer/YONG KIM

NHL 2021: Here's a look at every team as a very unusual season begins

Sports / Hockey /

LOS ANGELES — Did somebody call a taxi squad?

Anticipating that coronavirus cases will disrupt an already abbreviated schedule — and that vaccination won’t soon occur widely — teams will be allowed to keep four to six extra players on hand when the NHL season opens Wednesday. The taxi squad is designed to help teams navigate the perils ...Read more

The Philadelphia Inquirer-Tribcast/The Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS

Mike Sielski: The indestructible Ivan Provorov can be the Flyers' greatest homegrown defenseman

Sports / Hockey /

For the sake of his team, a remarkable streak, and his status among the NHL’s best defensemen, Ivan Provorov travels nearly 10,000 miles each offseason, from Philadelphia to his home city in Russia and back again, for a training regimen that would put Ivan Drago to shame. In Yaroslavl, 160 miles northeast of Moscow, Provorov reunites with a ...Read more

Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images North America/TNS

Wild enters historic season with nonstop playoff intensity

Sports / Hockey /

Boom or bust, this season will be historic for the Wild.

The NHL has never had teams compete solely within their division until now, a specialized setup for 2021 that simplifies the road to the playoffs without easing up on the pressure. And the Wild should sense that urgency as soon as it debuts in the West Division on Thursday against Los ...Read more

Chicago Blackhawks give coach Jeremy Colliton a 2-year contract extension

Sports / Hockey /

The Chicago Blackhawks and coach Jeremy Colliton have reached terms on a two-year contract extension that runs through 2022-23, the team announced Tuesday.

“Jeremy has shown an innate ability to develop young talent throughout his two seasons as head coach of the Chicago Blackhawks,” said president of hockey operations Stan Bowman in a ...Read more

Mike Stobe/Getty Images North America/TNS

Commissioner Gary Bettman says it's cheaper to not have season, but NHL skates on

Sports / Hockey /

The NHL will lose more than a billion dollars by staging the 2020-21 season in largely empty arenas, Commissioner Gary Bettman said Monday, but owners and players are intent on playing a 56-game schedule to provide diversion for fans and keep hockey on the sports map.

The delayed and shortened season, scheduled to begin Wednesday, already has ...Read more

Dirk Shadd/Tampa Bay Times/TNS

Minus fans, Lightning will unveil Cup banner Wednesday night

Sports / Hockey /

TAMPA, Fla. — The Lightning initially had grand plans to raise their Stanley Cup championship banner into the rafters before Wednesday night’s season opener. There would be fewer than 4,000 fans inside Amalie Arena because of social distancing protocols, but at the time, it was still the best-case scenario given the coronavirus pandemic.

It...Read more

Yong Kim/The Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS

Marcus Hayes: Alain Vigneault says Philadelphia Flyers wing Jake Voracek has to earn his minutes

Sports / Hockey /

In his first season, the new coach took the first steps to establish a meritocracy based on accountability. In his second season, emboldened by a playoff berth and with the team completely in his grasp, he is free to squeeze.

Alain Vigneault is already squeezing Jakub Voracek.

“When we went into the bubble and into the playoffs, I thought ...Read more