TAMPA -- New Tampa Bay Lightning coach Jon Cooper may have looked calm as he prepared to coach his first game in the NHL, but looks can be deceiving.
"How am I looking right now? Am I looking OK?" Cooper asked the media after the morning skate. "OK, so take this and do the opposite and that's what is going on in here. I'm jacked. This is really, really exciting. I've got a plan. I've done it my way, and here I stand today. I wouldn't say that I'm really nervous, although five minutes before the game I'm sure I will be. There is a wave of emotions. I wish everyone could feel what I'm feeling right now. It's pretty cool."
Cooper will debut behind the bench Friday night when the Lightning play the New Jersey Devils at Tampa Bay Times Forum.
Would the Buffalo Sabres attempt to deal their rock between the pipes, Ryan Miller, in an attempt to acquire the assets necessary to re-establish themselves as a Stanley Cup contender?
Though it isn't out of the realm of possibility, the chances are unlikely leading up to Wednesday's NHL Trade Deadline at 3 p.m. ET.
Miller has one season remaining on his contract that comes with an annual salary-cap hit of $6.25 million, according to Capgeek.com.
According to ESPN.com's Craig Custance, Miller does have trade protection in that he can submit a list of teams he won't accept a trade to, but some clubs believe the All-Star goalie, who has spent the past 10 seasons in Buffalo, wouldn't mind a change in scenery.
The two top teams in the Western Conference face off, in what could be an interesting game. Despite being just 5 points behind the Blackhawks, Anaheim is in a slump and hasn’t won a game in 4 starts. That said, the Ducks have come out on top both times they’ve faced the Hawks this year. Chicago will miss elite forwards Patrick Sharp and Marian Hossa, but haven’t had much trouble putting pucks in the net no matter who’s on the ice this season. The Blackhawks will be out in force trying to get some revenge, but the game will come down to whether Anaheim can break out of their funk.
• Snap out of it – The Ducks have allowed 16 goals in their last 4 games, they need to be much stronger in, and in front of the net.
• Test the Tender – Chicago’s last win was an easy 16 save shutout, the Ducks need to get pucks on the net early and often, and make the Blackhawks’ backstop work.
Blackhawks’ Keys to the Game
• Respect the Competition – Despite the losing streak, the Ducks are no slouch, and are not far removed from their sizzling start to the season. The Blackhawks need to give 100% from the opening puck-drop, to the final buzzer.
• Find Scoring – Without Sharp and Hossa, the Hawks need to continue to get scoring from their defensive, and 3rd / 4th line players. Kane and Toews may not be enough if the Ducks wake up.
At 17:33 of the second period in the Blue Jackets/Oilers game, video review determined that Columbus forward Matt Calvert used his skate to kick the puck into the net. According to Rule 49.2 "A goal cannot be scored by an attacking player who uses a distinct kicking motion to propel the puck into the net." No Goal Columbus.
At 17:17 of the third period in the Kings/Blues game, video review upheld the referee's decision on the ice that Los Angeles forward Mike Richards shot crossed the goal line in a legal fashion. Good goal Los Angeles.
At 9:33 of the first period in the Coyotes/Predators game, video review upheld the referee's call on the ice that Nashville forward Rich Clune deflected the puck into the net with his stick below the crossbar.
According to Rule 60.5 "The determining factor is where the puck makes contact with the stick. If the puck makes contact with the stick below the level of the crossbar and enters the goal, this goal shall be allowed." Good Goal Nashville.
At 18:32 of the first period in the Jets/Penguins game, video review upheld the referee's call on the ice that Pittsburgh forward James Neal's pass deflected off Evgeni Malkin's left skate and into the net. According to Rule 49.2 "A puck that deflects into the net off an attacking player's skate who does not use a distinct kicking motion is a legitimate goal." Good Goal Pittsburgh.
Elliott will start for the Rivermen on Friday against Oklahoma City and Saturday against Lake Erie before returning to the Blues following Saturday’s game.
Elliott, 27, has appeared in 11 games for the Blues this season posting a 3-6-1 record including a 3.65 goals against average and a .851 save percentage. Elliott hasn't played since March 5 as Jaroslav Halak and Jake Allen have taken over the goaltending duties.
It's something that you don't really envision starting this way, but when you put the work in you don't feel like it's unwarranted. You definitely don't envision it unfolding this way, but you do think you can be successful at this level.
— Senators goalie Andrew Hammond, who defeated the Jets on Wednesday to improve to 6-0-1 since making his first NHL start on Feb. 18