Cheap Vegas Golden Knights Jersey From China Outlet

Vegas Golden Knights

Vegas Golden Knights

Jonathan Quick’s teammates expect him to stop just about everything that comes his way, and for the first few weeks of this season he lived up to those expectations as he backstopped the impressive start that lifted the Kings atop the Pacific Division.

But they’ve been allowing too many dangerous shots to come his way the last two weeks, and when he has a less than stellar night, as he did Sunday in a 4-2 loss to the Vegas Golden Knights in front of a lively sellout crowd at T-Mobile Arena, the result is going to be ugly.

“I think we’ve relied on Quickie a bit too much over the past six games,” left wing Tanner Pearson said after the Kings lost for the fifth time in their last six games. “He’s been doing his part, and we’ve got to step up and do ours and help him out.”

Quick was replaced by Darcy Kuemper after he yielded three goals on nine shots in the teams’ first regular-season meeting, which showed promise of becoming a fierce rivalry.

A defensive breakdown allowed William Karlsson to slip a shot between Quick’s pads 55 seconds into the game, Cody Eakin beat him to the short side to finish off a two on one at 9:21, and a miscommunication between Quick and defenseman Derek Forbort behind the net allowed Reilly Smith to swoop in and set up Karlsson for the third goal, at 11:22.

“The first 10 minutes we were not ready to go,” defenseman Jake Muzzin said. “We put ourselves in a hole, and it’s tough to win games when you’re down 3-0 in the first 10 minutes.”

The Kings got within 3-2 on a second-period goal by Trevor Lewis and a third-period shot from the hash marks by Pearson for his fourth goal this season, but they were down too much too early to pull even in their fifth game in eight days and second game in two days. The Golden Knights, who trail the division-leading Kings by one point and have two games in hand, clinched the victory on an empty-net goal by Alex Tuch with 62 seconds left in the third period, leading Kings defenseman Drew Doughty to smash his stick against the goalpost.

Vegas is smashing the stereotype of the hapless expansion team, compiling an 8-1 record at home and competing hard as a team despite having to go to Plan E in its goaltending strategy book. Maxim Lagace, fourth on the depth chart, stopped 27 shots in front of a crowd that included nearly as many Kings supporters as fans of the Golden Knights.

“They showed why they’re a good team at home,” Pearson said.

The Kings showed they haven’t found the right balance between capitalizing on the offensive freedom that coach John Stevens has given them and consistently maintaining their defensive foundation. They were too defense-oriented in the later stages of Darryl Sutter’s coaching tenure but often have gotten too sloppy defensively in the early days under Stevens.

“I think when we’re playing well we’re checking, and checking leads to offensive chances instead of these turnovers and odd-man rushes going back the other way,” said Lewis, who scored on a backhander at 8:35 of the second period after Alex Iafallo kept the puck in the zone. “I just think we need to get back to more of our structured game. Just regroup and refocus.”

Even when they were winning they were giving up a lot of prime scoring chances but they could rely on Quick to be sharp. He wasn’t sharp Sunday, when his personal losing streak stretched to five. He has an .894 save percentage in that span.

“It’s the obvious. Those are pucks he’d love to have back. But it’s a team game. Johnny’s bailed us out many a nights,” Stevens said of his No 1 goalie. “It’s certainly not the start we wanted. You dig a hole on the road against any team, especially in here, it’s tough to come back, but I thought the guys did. I thought they got going. We climbed back in the game, we had some chances there. … That was probably the worst-case scenario for that start for us because it’s the end of the week, and if we just got through the first 10 minutes, I thought we’d be in pretty good shape.”

Quick said he wasn’t especially angry because the Kings lost to a division rival — he’s angry when he loses, no matter the circumstances.

“We lost a game. We’ve got another one in a couple days and we’ll get ready for that,” he said.

He and the Kings will have to be better prepared for that game, Wednesday at home against Winnipeg, than they were Sunday.

Cheap Vancouver Canucks Jersey Wholesale From China

Jonathan Quick makes the save against Brandon Sutter

Jonathan Quick makes the save against Brandon Sutter

LOS ANGELES — You’re often supposed to be careful what you wish for.

Travis Green knew what awaited his club Tuesday and he sounded part hopeful and part prophet.

“It’s a good challenge, a big challenge and I like it when you face some hard games,” the Vancouver Canucks coach said just before his club met the Los Angeles Kings. “You learn a lot about your team. And there might not be a bigger challenge in our division than coming into L.A.”

Well, he nailed that one.

The Canucks dug a two-goal hole before four minutes elapsed against the National Hockey League’s second-stingiest team and top-ranked penalty kill. They were overmatched and even overwhelmed at the outset and looked like they were going to go quietly into the SoCal night.

Then Derek Dorsett got mad.

Then the Canucks got resilient.

Then they found new power play combinations that actually worked.

It turned the improbable into an impressive 3-2 victory. And it capped a revealing four-game road trip in which the Canucks rode a roller-coaster of indifferent play yet finished 2-2 because they finally found some power play mojo.

Here’s what we learned:
Boeser and the dot

Brock Boeser was feeling it. He not only got to the faceoff dot on a new-look power play to let that heavy wrist shot go, it struck Jonathan Quick on the shoulder and Bo Horvat was there to jam home the rebound.

The goal was encouraging on several fronts.

For starters, there was movement. There was the symmetry of Henrik and Daniel Sedin and the smart cross-ice pass by the captain to find Boeser in his favourite shooting spot.

What took so long?

It was also Henrik’s first power play point of the season and the centre actually started the comeback. His shot off the wall went off the butt of Nick Short and found the short side.

And because you can’t really quibble with the Canucks’ play at even strength, the power play adjustment ended an 0-for-11 funk after being blanked with the man advantage in San Jose and Anaheim.

Green had three different power play alignments in practice Monday and said he had options. And his gut told him to find the right shooter and net-presence guy to complement the Sedins. It not only worked, it’s a bonafide first unit because there’s a passer, shooter and finisher.

If that wasn’t enough man-advantage hope, the game winner started with a sweet cross-ice feed by Thomas Vanek to Sven Baertschi on the second power play unit. He got Quick moving the wrong way and went far side.
Dorsett being Dorsett

Green didn’t expect Derek Dorsett to back down against the Kings, even though the pesky winger and leading goal scorer is skating on thin suspension ice. He has two instigator penalties and a third warrants a two-game suspension.

That didn’t stop Dorsett when he attempted to shift momentum after the Kings needed just 23 seconds to open scoring on Anders Nilsson, who got better as the game progressed. He stopped Tanner Pearson on a short-handed break with the game tied 2-2 early in the third period and then stopped Adrian Kempe with 3:48 left.

Dorsett took on Andy Andreoff but made sure he didn’t start the bout or throw the first punch. After that, he landed several blows.

The Canucks attempted to get Dorsett’s instigator penalty Thursday in Anaheim against Josh Manson rescinded, but the league cited distance travelled and fight initiation in its ruling. So, what do you say to a guy who needs to play on the edge, but not go over it?

“There’s not much to say,” said Green. “He’s an aggressive player and sticks up for his teammates. You never want to take that away from a player. I think both of his instigator calls could have gone either way, to be honest.

“He’s not a guy who goes and instigates a lot fights — he fights straight up his whole career.”
Gaunce versus Virtanen

Green said his rationale for playing Brendan Gaunce with Sutter and Dorsett was based on moving Markus Granlund to the middle between Vanek and Sam Gagner. Gaunce is a big body, but so is Jake Virtanen and there’s the debate.

Both have played 80 NHL games, but Virtanen is a better skater, has more scoring potential and Tuesday was tailor made to bring physicality back to his game. He sat while Gaunce took a bad offensive-zone tripping penalty in the first period that led to an Anze Kopitar goal.

You could argue giving Virtanen more minutes on a shutdown line might be too big an ask, but why not find out? Then again, it was Gaunce’s backhand saucer pass that sprung Sutter and resulted in his failed penalty shot.

OVERTIME: Green said he expects to have Chris Tanev (thumb) back in 1 1/2 weeks. That might make the defenceman eligible to return at some point in the team’s six-game road trip that opens next Tuesday in Philadelphia.

Cheap St. Louis Blues Jersey Wholesale From China For Sale

St. Louis Blues

St. Louis Blues

Before heading off for the airport and a three-game, weeklong trip to western Canada, the Blues held a rare Sunday practice that included some rearranged lines and some new faces.

Jay Bouwmeester and Patrik Berglund both took part in the session, and both will accompany the team on the trip. Part of that is practical; with the team being gone for a week, if they stayed at home they would be skating on their own, and part of it is because both players are apparently getting close to returning.

Coach Mike Yeo said that while neither would play on the trip, which starts in Calgary, then goes to Edmonton and Vancouver, Berglund’s status would be re-assessed when the team got home, and he wouldn’t commit to anything beyond saying he wouldn’t play on this trip. That sounds an awful lot like he could be ready ahead of his originally projected December return.

As for Bouwmeester, he’s further away, but this was the first time he’s skated with his teammates in a practice since taking a puck to his ankle in a scrimmage three days into camp. He took part in some drills, but when the team began doing contact-heavy battle drills, he went off by himself, shooting on one of the goalies. (Berglund, meanwhile, took part in the drills.) Bouwmeester still has a ways to go, but this is the first sign of a light at the end of the tunnel.

“It’s a progression,” Bouwmeester said. “I practiced today. Ideally, if we had ice (separate from the practice), I wouldn’t have practiced. I would have been skating on my own or with other guys. There’s steps you have to take. Morning skates, certain things you can’t do. Hopefully the way things are going, that’s progressing, that will turn pretty quick and I’ll get back out.”

Bouwmeester acknowledged that with the way the team has been playing, there’s not a rush for him to get back out on the ice.

“We’re in a position here, the team’s doing so good, there’s no pressure to force anything,” he said.

More immediately, Yeo did some line rearranging, including breaking up the successful Schenn-Schwartz-Tarasenko line. Beau Bennett was inserted in Tarasenko’s spot, with Tarasenko joining Alexander Steen and Paul Stastny. That dropped Vladimir Sobotka down to the third line, with Oskar Sundqvist and Dmitrij Jaskin, which pushed Magnus Paajarvi to the fourth line.

“Just trying to spark something,” Yeo said. “We’ll think more about it tomorrow. We wanted to give it a look here in practice. It felt like the last couple games things were getting a little stale and so we’ll see what we come up tomorrow.”

Cheap Philadelphia Flyers Jersey From China Free Shipping

Philadelphia Flyers

Philadelphia Flyers

Sean Couturier is off to a flat-out ridiculous start, but there’s more to it than that as he settles in as the Flyers’ No. 1 center.

Just 24-years-old, the former QMJHL star with the Drummondville Voltigeurs is now in his sixth NHL season and enjoying a breakout performance on the ice—offensively that is.

Since breaking the Flyers’ opening night roster way back in 2011 as a 19-year-old, Couturier has been a rock defensively for the club as evidence by his career 40.9% offensive zone start percentage. He’s finished in the top 10 in Selke Trophy voting—given annually to the forward who demonstrates the most still in the defensive component of the game—twice since entering the league (2013-14, 2015-16).

But though he spent the better part of his first five seasons as a shutdown center for the Flyers, it wasn’t just because Couturier excelled in his own end instinctively, it was also because the Flyers had a glut of centers in the organization that clouded things.

In his rookie year of 2011-12, there was Claude Giroux, Daniel Briere, Maxime Talbot, Brayden Schenn and Couturier all vying for center ice time. Though everyone save for Giroux could split some action on the wing, it wasn’t like the rookie from the QMJHL was going to get top-six minutes and ample offensive opportunities. He finished the year with 27 points (13G, 14A) while starting 60% of his shifts in the defensive zone.

After two years and middling success with young guys like Schenn and Couturier spending time at center, the Flyers went out and signed Vincent Lecavalier to a large deal in free agency to be their No. 2 center behind Giroux, or so they hoped. Instead, the former Tampa Bay star flamed out, scoring just 58 points in 133 games in a Flyers uniform in parts of two seasons.

Perhaps the bigger issue with the failed Lecavalier era was that the veteran stole potentially valuable ice time away from guys like Schenn, Couturier and then Scott Laughton in all situations. The experiment failed and could have delayed the development of those young centers as offensive opportunity went to the veteran over the youngsters.

It’s no surprise that the following year sans Lecavalier showed the beginning of the rise of Couturier.

In 2015-16, Couturier saw his offensive zone starts climb from to 43.4% from 40.1% and post a career-high with a 52.4% Corsi For (about 4% better than his career rate to that point). His possession numbers weren’t a fluke, either, as evidence by his 2.1% Corsi For relative to his teammates. He tied his career-high with 39 points (11G, 28A) and was a plus player for the fourth time in five years.

But with 34 points (14G, 20A) it didn’t turn out that way, not at least in terms of putting up the production of the legitimate #2 center that the Flyers desperately needed.

While he didn’t break the 40-point barrier and venture into that top-six caliber center stage in terms of points last season, Couturier posted a career-high 54.5% Corsi For and nearly doubled his Corsi For% relative. Though the goals and assists weren’t there, the corner was already turned. He just needed more opportunity.

With depth down the middle thanks to No. 2 overall pick Nolan Patrick, Scott Laughton’s strong AHL play a year ago, and the acquisition of veteran Valtteri Filppula, the Flyers suddenly had another glut of centers heading into this season.

That’s when an experiment in camp saw Claude Giroux moved to the wing of…you guessed it: Sean Couturier. Jake Voracek would occupy the other wing to form the Flyers’ new-look top line. Though there were some growing pains in the preseason (Looking at you, G) the trio was dangerous offensively from the get-go and the experiment moved from infancy stages to full-blown reality.

Though 15 games the line has amassed 53 points (20G, 33A) to form one of the NHL’s top scoring lines. Couturier has been the beneficiary of playing with top skilled passers, notching nine goals already, just six away from his career-high of 15. That’s a cool 49-goal pace if you’re scoring at home. He’s also up to a career-best 45.7% offensive zone start percentage and a 53% Corsi For percentage.

Sure his shooting percentage (19.6%) will likely come down, but he’s getting the best chances he’s ever had in his young career playing with a pair of all-stars, and at the end of the day one of them has to shoot the puck right?

Sean Couturier is having a career-year offensively for the Flyers—and while its taken six years—the potential was always there and it’s all happening now right in front of our eyes.

Cheap New York Islanders Jersey Wholesale From China

The New York Islanders have depth on their NHL roster. That is certainly a good problem to have but it has caused some issues regarding getting their young guns into the lineup. The Isles should trade Chimera and call-up Ho-Sang.

The New York Islanders are off to a positive start (7-5-1). Their schedule hasn’t been easy. There are still a number of area’s the Isles need to improve, one of which is secondary scoring.
Secondary Scoring

On most nights scoring goals hasn’t been a problem for the Isles. However, their secondary scoring can greatly improve.

John Tavares (12 Goals) and Anders Lee (8 Goals) are off to sensational starts, but the Isles need more scoring production from the rest of the lineup, specifically the third and fourth lines.

The Isles fourth line of Casey Cizikas, Cal Clutterbuck, and Nikolai Kulemin is fine. Like to see that unit return to form where many hockey people called them the best fourth line in hockey.

Jason Chimera finds himself on the Isles third line. It’s been a tough start to the season for the 38-year old winger (0G, 2A, -2 in 13 games).

Last year, Chimera posted 20 goals for the blue and orange. The Isles need that kind of production this season as well.
Ho-Sang

Josh Ho-Sang wasn’t assigned to Bridgeport because of poor play. It was a numbers game that sent Ho-Sang to the Sound Tigers. The 2014 first-round pick did provide some offense for the Isles while he suited up to start the season (4 Points in 6 Games & +1).

Ho-Sang provides a lot of skill, speed, and offense. Let’s remember with just a number of NHL games under his belt, Ho-Sang is still rounding out his game, especially away from the puck.

If the Isles recall Ho-Sang, look for a solid return on that investment after a number of games.

Ho-Sang could force the issue if he continues to play well at Bridgeport (1 Goal & 2 Points in 2 Games).

Making the Call

Not saying Chimera is done but the clock is ticking. The best players should play.

The argument against making such a move now is there will be injuries and the Isles would miss Chimera’s veteran voice in the locker room. However, that doesn’t mean Chimera can continue to play at this level. If things don’t change by Thanksgiving then Garth Snow needs to make this move.

Keep in mind if the Isles move Chimera it’s all about making room for Ho-Sang. Given Chimera’s production, age, cap hit, and the fact he is an unrestricted free agent at season’s end, the Isles wouldn’t get more than a fifth or sixth round draft pick in return.

Cheap Montreal Canadiens Jersey From China For Sale

Montreal Canadiens

Montreal Canadiens

Who are these guys?

And what have they done with the early-season Montreal Canadiens?

In wins over the Rangers on Saturday and Ottawa Monday night, the Canadiens scored 13 goals – equalling their total through the first eight games of 2017-’18.

Despite falling behind 1-0 on Tom Pyatt’s goal 21 seconds into the game, the Canadiens rallied to chase Craig Anderson and rout the home team.

How bad were the Senators?

Erik Karlsson finished the game minus-6. And the perennial Norris Trophy candidate had a grand total of ZERO shots on Al Montoya.

While the home-ice Senators were sucking, the Canadiens got balanced excellence from all four forward lines.

Thirteen Canadiens – including Montoya – made the scoresheet.

Charles Hudon, finally cracking his NHL nut, and the indefatigable Artturi Lehkonen each scored twice.

Alex Galchenyuk played less than 11 minutes … and scored again.

Shea Weber had three assists and finished the game plus-4.

Big Mike McCarron had four hits.

And when the game was still a game, the surprise starter made big stops.

The ludicrous final score notwithstanding, the Canadiens did not play a perfect game. Pucks in the Canadiens’ zone continue to be an adventure, and a better team than Ottawa might have taken greater advantage of the jitters we saw from the Canadiens’ D core.

The rest of the road trip – Minnesota Thursday night, then a Winnipeg-Chicago back-to-back on the weekend – presents greater challenges than the Senators were able to muster in their own barn.

On L’Antichambre, Gaston Therrien said the Canadiens continue to give attacking opponents too many good looks. This will have to be tightened up as the season progresses, and some might argue that the current D corps is substandard.

There were encouraging signs. Victor Mete bounced back with a solid game after a couple of tough outings. Jeff Petry had four hits and continued to bounce back from a subpar start to his season.

I’m not sold on the Karl Alzner-Jordie Benn pairing. With about $9 million to spend, general manager Marc Bergevin has to think about shoring up his back end.

Through the wretched start of the Canadiens’ season, it looked like Bergevin had to go shopping for a forward.

The last two games suggest that might not be a problem … especially if Galchenyuk continues to play his way off the fourth line.

Two Ws in a row, peeps.

Pick out your spots for the parade.

Cheap Florida Panthers Jersey From China For Sale

Florida Panthers

Florida Panthers

It was a tough Saturday night at the BB&T Center in Sunrise for Panthers fan Charles Sternfield — the Detroit Red Wings beat the Panthers 3-2 and an octopus reportedly hit Sternfield in the head.

WSVN Channel 7 reports Sternfield got smacked in the head with the 10-pound sea creature during the national anthem. He told the station, “It was quite heavy. It hurt me, and I was quite shaken up by it. I certainly wasn’t expecting to get hit in the head by a large animal of some type.”

As puckheads know, this kind of thing can happen when Detroit comes to town.

The 65-year-old tradition — it’s reached retirement age, but it’ll never be retired — started in 1952, during the NHL’s six-team days. Four teams made the playoffs, meaning a team had to win two best four-of-seven series to win the Stanley Cup. The dominant Red Wings team not only won both series, did so in a pair of four-game sweeps.

The night of the Cup-clinching eighth playoff win, a pair of Detroit storeowners snuck a octopus into the game and threw it onto the ice, the eight legs symbolizing Detroit’s eight playoff wins.

The tradition faded during the “Detroit Dead Things” era of the 1970s and 1980s. With Detroit’s revival as a perennial powerhouse in the 1990s, the octopus tossing returned during the playoffs. Then, it expanded outside the playoffs as the Red Wings’ resurrection led to Detroit fans being the NHL’s version of the NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers.

Similar to the way Pittsburgh natives who left during the city’s economic transition packed stadiums for Steelers road games, Detroit-area natives who left during Motown’s economic turbulence of the last half century made the Red Wings the NHL’s best road draw during the 1990s and 2000s. And, on more than one occasion, one of them indulged in the octopus tradition.

Obviously and unfortunately, Saturday’s thrower didn’t obey proper octopus-throwing form to get proper ice-reaching distance.

WSVN reports the Sunrise police are looking into the incident.

Cheap Dallas Stars Jersey Wholesale From China

Dallas Stars

Dallas Stars

DENVER — If adversity builds character and road trips create bonding, the Stars are in the right place.

Dallas lost a 5-3 game at Colorado on Tuesday to start a five-game road trip on the wrong skate.

What’s worse, defenseman Stephen Johns left the game with concussion symptoms and goalie Ben Bishop was pulled in the second period after allowing three goals on 17 shots.

Suddenly, a back-to-back in Edmonton and Calgary on Thursday and Friday looks much more challenging for the 5-4-0 Stars.

“By no means did we put out the right effort to win a hockey game,” said captain Jamie Benn, who had a goal and two assists. “These guys came ready to play and we weren’t sharp enough early on. They deserved to win that game.”

The Stars couldn’t build on an early lead and then just seemed to find chaos. Bishop had been a rock in a recent four-game winning streak, but he seemed to get happy feet.

Still, the veteran goalie said “there was no reason” to pull him and that he was “not happy with the decision.”

Hitchcock said the reality of the situation was he just wanted to wake up his team after a slow start.

“It was time to make a change. We were slow and dozey across the board,” Hitchcock said. “The whole team needed a wakeup call. It has nothing to do with Ben Bishop, it has to do with wake up, let’s get playing. I’ll do the same with any other goaltender.”

Still, both defense and goalie were shaky at times.

When Gabriel Landeskog carried a puck in down the right side, it started the Stars defense scrambling, and Bishop tried to poke check the puck away to safety.

Instead, he sent it right to Matt Neito, and Nieto — who finished with a hat trick) — sort of knocked it past him as he struggled to regain his positioning.

That tied the score at 1-1 after one period, but it was clear Dallas was not playing the way Hitchcock had been preaching.

Two minutes into the second period, Bishop got caught behind the net and couldn’t get back in front quickly enough to stop Nieto from scoring his second of the game.

Then, Julius Honka had a giveaway that led to a frenetic shift in the Stars’ end, and Bishop ended up diving forward to try to stop Landeskog, who patiently carried the puck around Bishop and flipped it into the net.

“We played slow. We were light on the puck, we didn’t play through people,” Hitchcock said.

Kari Lehtonen came on in relief and looked pretty good against an aggressive Colorado attack, stopping the first eight shots he saw.

However, with time running down in the second period, Lehtonen overcommitted to a Tyson Barrie slap shot that went hard off the end boards and rebounded all the way out to Mark Barberio at the left point.

Barberio unleashed a tremendous shot, and Lehtonen couldn’t get back across the crease in time, as the eventual game-winning goal slipped past him with 9.8 seconds left in the second period.

Bishop will likely be back as the starter in goal Thursday against the Oilers, but Johns could miss some time.

The Stars have two defensemen — Jamie Oleksiak and Greg Pateryn — who are ready to come in and Hitchcock could decide to use both, as Honka struggled at times.

But whatever happens, they need to respond to a rough performance, or this road trip could get pretty seriously dangerous pretty fast.

“It’s a learning lesson,” Benn said. “Just because you win four in a row doesn’t mean you’re going to come in here and they’re going to give it to us.”

Cheap Chicago Blackhawks Jersey Wholesale From Sale

If there is a hockey deity, Tommy Wingels must have attended services Saturday before the Blackhawks’ 4-2 victory over the Coyotes.

Wingels had an apparent penalty-shot goal taken away in the second period when replay officials ruled goaltender Louis Domingue had hit the puck — officially ending the play per NHL rules — as Wingels attempted a backhand-forehand move in front of the net.

But Wingels scored his first Hawks goal later when he sealed the game with an empty-netter. The “hockey gods,” as Wingels and lineman Lance Bouma said, must have been smiling down on Wingels.

“Definitely that was the hockey gods giving him one back,” Bouma said. “Because that was a heck of a move he put on the goalie in the shootout; I think it was a goal for sure.”

But what’s important about both Wingels’ non-goal and his empty-net goal is the circumstances that led to them. On the penalty shot, Wingels and his line had worked the puck in the Coyotes’ zone and he made a strong move to draw a hooking penalty on Max Domi.

As for Wingels’ empty-netter, the fourth line had played so well that it earned Quenneville’s trust to be on the ice late in the game with the Hawks protecting a 3-2 lead — a lead that, by the way, the Hawks had because Bouma had given it to them with his first goal of the season 15 minutes, 36 seconds into the third.

Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville has referred to his fourth line of Bouma, Wingels and John Hayden as his “energy line.” On Saturday, they gave Quenneville something a little more tangible than energy. They gave him a pair of important goals.

“There are different ways to impact a game, and as a line we talked about finding a way to impact them on a nightly basis,” Wingels said. “Are we going to score every night? No, I don’t think so. Are we going to get two in a night? Probably very rarely. But we can find a way to win battles, finish checks and be a force out there, create some energy. It did feel good to get a couple goals and get rewarded.”

The Hawks signed Wingels and Bouma to add veteran depth and a physical presence on the bottom lines, something they felt was missing in last season’s playoffs.

At times, Tanner Kero has been at center for Wingels on that line, but the group has looked its best with Wingels at center. That has been a surprising development, considering the Hawks had Wingels penciled in as a winger before the season.

Bouma, meanwhile, has helped the Hawks gain possession in the offensive zone during five-on-five play despite having only 48 percent of his faceoffs begin in the offensive zone. That means he has helped flip the ice and get the puck into the Hawks zone. The Hawks have had more five-on-five shot attempts than opponents (69 to 68) when Bouma is on the ice, according to NaturalStatTrick.com.

“They give us a different look,” Quenneville said. “It’s not just skill, it’s some hard work, some physicality, some puck possession, and those are the kind of goals you score in our league — those second opportunities, traffic at the net. I think that’s something moving forward, we can take a page out of what they’re doing.”

As Wingels said, they probably won’t score every night, but they don’t have to score to be effective.

Cheap Buffalo Sabres Jersey Free Shipping From China.

Evander Kane

Evander Kane

A 1-2-1 road trip, a 1-4-2 season record. The bottom lines for the Buffalo Sabres aren’t pretty at this point.

The team’s uneven jaunt to the West Coast ended late Tuesday night with a 5-4 overtime loss to the expansion Vegas Golden Knights, a game that saw the Sabres wipe out a 4-1 deficit in the final 10 minutes of regulation.

It was a mostly disappointing performance that left coach Phil Housley stewing. And it was even more of a surprise, given how the team’s play had gotten appreciably better on the trip’s first three stops, culminating with Sunday’s 3-1 win in Anaheim.

“We had a chance to build on something and I know this is a process but the process was a little broken tonight,” Housley said after the contest in T-Mobile Arena. “The lack of preparation, accountability and urgency to start the game the way we finished was lacking.”

The Sabres took Wednesday off and will return to practice Thursday in HarborCenter. They host Vancouver Friday in KeyBank Center, with no real idea which version of their team will show up.

Share Tweet

A 1-2-1 road trip, a 1-4-2 season record. The bottom lines for the Buffalo Sabres aren’t pretty at this point.

The team’s uneven jaunt to the West Coast ended late Tuesday night with a 5-4 overtime loss to the expansion Vegas Golden Knights, a game that saw the Sabres wipe out a 4-1 deficit in the final 10 minutes of regulation.

It was a mostly disappointing performance that left coach Phil Housley stewing. And it was even more of a surprise, given how the team’s play had gotten appreciably better on the trip’s first three stops, culminating with Sunday’s 3-1 win in Anaheim.

“We had a chance to build on something and I know this is a process but the process was a little broken tonight,” Housley said after the contest in T-Mobile Arena. “The lack of preparation, accountability and urgency to start the game the way we finished was lacking.”

The Sabres took Wednesday off and will return to practice Thursday in HarborCenter. They host Vancouver Friday in KeyBank Center, with no real idea which version of their team will show up.

Advertisement

It’s the conundrum of the early portions of the Sabres’ season. They skated well and had 45 shots on goal in their season-opening shootout loss to Montreal. Then they got pounded by the New York Islanders and New Jersey Devils, giving up six goals in back-to-back games.

Out West, some elements of the Sabres’ game fell apart from time to time. Defensemen struggled. The penalty kill went 0 for 3 in Los Angeles, including the game-winning goal that came with two minutes left. But General Manager Jason Botterill liked some of the perseverance he saw as well.

“Our compete level and response to getting on the road was very good,” Botterill told The News prior to Tuesday’s game. “We had opportunities in San Jose and LA to win games but didn’t get the results. Our play was going in a positive direction even though it was a difficult loss on Saturday in LA.

“The fact that Phil and the players were able to rebound and stay focused for the game on Sunday showed some mental toughness in the group and we were certainly happy to get that win.”

The Sabres found more of that toughness in Vegas, getting two of their three power-play goals to spark the comeback and finally tying the game on Evander Kane’s goal with 8.9 seconds left in regulation.

“We can’t take periods off and shifts off,” Kane said afterward. “We just played the way we need to play. Unfortunately it took until the third period to get in the right mindset as a group.

“Put pucks on net, to forecheck with five, to get our ‘D’ to get aggressive. We basically played in the zone the entire period, when we were moving our feet and not being slow like we were in the second.”

The Sabres outshot Vegas, 17-6, in the third period. Kane finished with a three-point night to push his season total to 10, which entered Wednesday two off the league-leading total of 12 shared by Tampa Bay teammates Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov.

“Phil has spent a lot of time trying to develop relationships with Evander and some of the core players and that’s been paying off,” Botterill said. “From day one of training camp, Evander has been great. You’re seeing what he’s capable of in all aspects of the game. He’s been doing everything the coaching staff has asked him.”

Well, maybe not everything. Kane had a run of penalties in Los Angeles and Anaheim that included his offensive zone trip with 2:04 left that led to the Kings’ game-winning goal four seconds later.

The Sabres’ solid victory over the Ducks made them the second-last team in the league to get a win this year and Botterill said he felt the team needed to see some rewards with its play.

“You’re excited for Phil and the players,” he said. “Phil has talked to them about things that need to improve and you want them to be rewarded for their response. Frankly, it was a relief to people within the organization. The fact that they’re listening to Phil is really good. There’s a buy-in but you have to get the results.”

Botterill is still in observation mode with his team, even as it lingers in the bottom three clubs of the NHL’s overall standing. Zach Bogosian has yet to play in a game this season and his injury has hampered the defense. Jacob Josefson and Zemgus Girgensons were lost in the last two games on the road for undetermined periods, leading to the recall of Justin Bailey, who scored the first goal in Anaheim.

Botterill has taken a conservative approach with the Sabres’ roster, keeping Bailey in Rochester to start the season along with fellow prospects like Nick Baptiste and Brendan Guhle. None of them showed much at training camp, other than the need for more AHL seasoning, but it could have been tempting to simply keep them in the NHL over the likes of Josefson, Seth Griffith or Matt Tennyson.

“You’re not just hoping they play in the National Hockey League. You’re hoping they play a bigger role,” Botterill said. “To me, there’s such a focus on making a team opening night. We put too much of an emphasis on that in this sport right now. You look back at the end of the year and I want to see your total contribution to Buffalo over the season.

“I give a guy like Justin Bailey credit. He went down and gave our team a spark the first night there with two goals. The challenge is to maintain that intensity and level of play.”

The same can be said for the entire team.