Charlie Coyle

Tough not to love the picture above – if you’re in alone on a breakaway and that’s the end result, you’ve done your job. (Video within the post.)


Drew Miller scored with a lob wedge

The Penguins beat the pants off the “Red Wings” (not exactly their actual NHL team) 5-1 last night, but the goal Detroit scored was pretty awesome. With the puck in no-man’s land and Drew Miller racing for it, Marc-Andre Fleury had a choice: wait and face a breakaway, or possibly beat him to the puck and stop the opportunity from ever happening.

Well, he made the wrong call. Great soccer-esque chip from Miller:


The Phoenix Coyotes are promoting tailgating

Phoenix is not the most amazing hockey city in the world, but it has a lot going for it in other ways. Namely, the weather is beautiful all winter. They’ve decided to cash in on this reality (smart move) because hey, why not?

“We are excited to introduce tailgating prior to all Coyotes weekend home games this season,” said Coyotes president and CEO Anthony LeBlanc in a release. “We are very fortunate to live in a city that has such great weather during the hockey season so we are encouraging fans to come early to our weekend games and enjoy the great atmosphere outside Arena. We are continually looking for new ways to enhance the game experience for our fans.”

Of course, by “enhance the game experience” he means “allow people to get blasted before the game just outside the front door.”


Charlie Coyle from Ryan Suter: I approve

The Minnesota Wild didn’t exactly pour pucks in the net last season, so you have to believe fans get excited when they see Ryan Suter-to-Charlie Coyle goals. There’s hope in the future!

Check out this Coyle juke:

Nah, I’m just kidding, I’m going to my forehand.


Mikhail Grabovski is killing it with the Caps

The Toronto Maple Leafs’ fans that I follow on Twitter swore up and down that Grabovski was a misused asset when he was in the blue and white. Randy Carlyle made him a defensive specialist of sorts, then they took his lack of offensive output as an excuse to buy-out his contract. Pretty hilarious sequence there.

The Washington Capitals picked him up, and so far, so good:

It is only pre-season, but you have to believe Adam Oates and the Caps have him in mind for a different role than the Leafs did.


Cody Franson re-signed with the Leafs

A lot of people thought that Dave Nonis had bungled the salary cap situation and wouldn’t be able to keep the talented defenseman, but he managed to get a deal done after all: one year, two million. It’s a steal really.

BUT, nothing in life is free, and the one year deal means both parties are back at the table doing this again next year, when they also need new contracts for… (deep breath) … Dion Phaneuf, Phil Kessel, Dave Bolland, Nikolai Kulemin, Jay McClement, Paul Ranger, Mark Fraser and Franson again (all UFAs), and also RFAs James Reimer and Jake Gardiner. Have fun with that.


More broken jaws

It must be contagious this year. Corey Tropp received a pretty solid punch from Jamie Devane (the punch that launched a thousand more, if you remember that Toronto/Buffalo game), and he’ll now be out about six weeks to let his jaw heal.

My impression is that the break isn’t quite like Sam Gagner’s, but still, that’s not a lot of fun.


Craig Anderson got a new mask

Sure did:

anderson's mask

I literally cannot tell what’s going on amidst this chaos. My understanding is that it’s a monster driving a Stingray, though I have no idea what those words mean.


News and Notes:

* Wade Redden is practicing with the Kelowna Rockets right now, and has no intention to retire. This dude has had one of the strangest careers of all-time. He’s earned his money, but man, he’s been through the wringer the last few years.

* Tim Thomas is apparently going to sign with the Florida Panthers…once there’s a new owner. Florida is supposed to have a new owner by Friday (sold for $250 mill), so once that’s all done and official, Thomas should put pen to paper and be a Panther.

* Thomas Vokoun is out of hospital. He had a blood clot in his leg, but it’s been dissolved, and he’s on the mend.

And finally…

Teams still want Jose Theodore? I know he looks young, but dude has been around the NHL since like ’95. Word is that three NHL teams have interest.