Morning Skate: Were we all wrong on Malcolm Subban?

golden_knights_malcolm_subban_101517.jpg

Morning Skate: Were we all wrong on Malcolm Subban?

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while the snow globe effect is in, well, full effect.  

*Okay, it’s time to start getting the mea culpa ready. I might have been wrong in thinking that Malcolm Subban simply couldn’t play in the NHL. After a 41-save win on Friday night, the former Bruins first-round pick has a .924 save percentage and is pretty clearly taking to the goalie coaching he’s receiving with the Golden Knights organization. It’s still early and things could fade for him as shooters focus on his weak spots, but Subban is beginning to look like he was better than anybody with the Bruins thought he was before losing him for nothing over the waiver wire.

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Kevin Allen with the USA Today says that it’s not tough to imagine an NHL with 34 teams in the near future, including new expansion teams in Seattle, Quebec City and Houston.

*If you’re a Blues fan, you’ll want to check out the Full 60 podcast from The Athletic featuring Jeremy Rutherford this week as their guest.

*The sale of the Carolina Hurricanes is imminent, and that’s a good thing for both the NHL and for the Carolina community.

*Fighting is diminished in the NHL, but Minnesota Wild forward Chris Stewart isn’t afraid to drop the gloves even in this day and age. God bless him.

*For something completely different: It’s great to hear that Kevin Feige is excited about welcoming the "Fantastic Four "and the "X-Men" into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. That would be awesome.

 


 

Morning Skate: Golden Knights happy to get Malcolm Subban back

golden_knights_malcolm_subban_101517.jpg

Morning Skate: Golden Knights happy to get Malcolm Subban back

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while watching old Super Friends episodes with my 4-year-old on a Saturday morning.

*Has anybody ever been as excited to get a healthy Malcolm Subban back in the lineup as the Vegas Golden Knights are this weekend? Pro Hockey Talk is asking the question, and I think I can honestly answer with a resounding “No.” We’ll see if he’s actually worth all the excitement, but obviously, he’s better than what the injury-plagued Golden Knights had in the interim.

*The Buffalo Sabres continue to get very little return for any of the investments they’ve made in the team over the last couple of years.

*Ryan Suter knows what it takes to remain among the NHL defenseman workhorses in the NHL, and he is consistently there year in and year out.

*Dustin Brown has been a resurgent performer for the Los Angeles Kings this season and is one of the big storylines behind their turnaround.

*The Detroit Red Wings are beginning to more openly adopt Jeff Blashill’s speed game, but the question is how much that will pay dividends for them.

*For something completely different: Good piece in the Boston Globe about Danny Ainge’s relationship with recently passed Red Sox great Bobby Doerr.

 

Krug starting to feel good about his game

Krug starting to feel good about his game

BRIGHTON, Mass – Torey Krug said prior to the game Thursday night against Las Vegas that he’d have to wait and see how much of a difference it would make shedding the protective gear off his helmet with his fractured jaw finally healed.

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Well, clearly it was a factor after Krug enjoyed one of his best games of the season in the 2-1 victory at TD Garden. Krug nearly doubled his season point output by assisting on both goals and appeared much more involved in the offensive zone after an uncharacteristically quiet start to the season.

Clearly, there had been some evidence that his game was beginning to turn prior to Thursday night. Krug has three shots on net in his past two games after registering a big, fat donut in the shots on net category in the previous three games.  

“[It was] really good. The peripheral vision was better and overall, I just felt more comfortable [shedding the protective gear],” said Krug, who has two goals and five assists in 10 games, along with a minus-7 rating, after his two assists and plus-2 evening vs. Vegas. 

“Physically, I missed training camp, a lot of exhibition games. On the mental side of things, you get pretty frustrated because you know how well you can play, but you’re just not playing up to your potential. The stars aren’t lining up for you. It’s a grind both mentally and physically.

“That’s the hope,” added Krug when asked if he was ready to go on an offense-heavy streak now. “I just want to feel good out there…breaking pucks out, feel comfortable with my game. Those little streaks, they’ll come when you feel good about your game.”

The first period certainly wasn’t Krug’s best as he still battled a couple of turnovers against the Vegas pressure, but he turned those early “burps”, as Bruce Cassidy called them, into smart, aggressive plays around the net in the latter two periods. For both goals, it was hard, accurate shots from Krug that forced Vegas goalie Maxime Lagace into scrambling saves and eventually set up the dirty work goals from Riley Nash and Sean Kuraly.

That’s exactly the kind of thing that the Bruins are going to need from Krug over the next stretch as they battle through a number of injuries that have significantly weakened them down the middle of the ice.

“I think [the facemask] hinders a person – especially a guy that plays a finesse game,” Cassidy said. “You’re not used to having that on there. It’s a reminder that you’re protecting an injury. You know, there’s enough going on the ice that you don’t need those reminders. So,  probably [now] in the back of his mind, ‘okay, I’m healed, I’m even more prepared to play.’ I think he’s been coming out of his [funk]…his game has been coming around anyway. For the most part, it’s been solid.

“There have been a couple of burps here and there that we weren’t able to get out from under in terms of just tough luck, to a certain extent. We didn’t get a save or we didn’t get a clear after or whatever. So, I think for the most part he’s been managing the puck well, making his plays, and starting to feel like Torey again. [His game vs. Vegas] was good. We need his offense, especially now since we’re a little bit depleted. If he can add some secondary scoring like he generally does then we will be that much better.”

Thursday night was Grade-A evidence of that as Krug played a major role in the two goals required to get the two points against a gritty, competitive Vegas bunch that wasn’t going to go away easily.