Nichols’ Notes

Nichols’ Notes: Luongo Recounts Unusual Return Against Maple Leafs

Nichols’ Notes: Luongo Recounts Unusual Return Against Maple Leafs
Chris Nichols

Roberto Luongo described the goalie-related injury craziness of last week’s game against the Toronto Maple Leafs, picking it up from the point following his CT scan when he was in the car, with the team doctor driving.

“I saw [Toronto] had tied the score and was like ‘aw man’,” Luongo said. “So I transferred over to Twitter to see what was going on and all of a sudden saw they were going to put Mac or Uppie in so I told doc ‘step on it, we need to get back.’ There was a lot of confusion on Twitter, I could only imagine what was going on in the locker room.

“I wasn’t sure what was going to happen once I got back but when I saw [Tallas’] face I knew I better get dressed as quick as possible.”

Source: Richards/ Herald 


Interesting look here at the ‘Connor McDavid effect’ in the OHL, specifically in the sense of his overwhelmingly positive impact on attendance in rinks across the league.

Barrie Colts coach Dale Hawerchuck was also asked about the on-ice product of the young superstar-in-the-making.

“Just watching video, doing pre-scouts, there’s no one else like him,” said Hawerchuck. “Whenever he gets into a certain area, I’m like ‘Ah, shit.’ Guys try to over-cover him, they get consumed with it. Two guys try to do the job and he finds the wide-open guy.

“He’s a generational player,” he said. “For a scorer like this, you’re looking at Crosby, Gretz, Lemieux. He’s following that same road.”

Source: Grange/ Sportsnet


An upswing in his offensive stats this season is seeing the stock of Vancouver Canucks prospect Jared McCann rise.

“I know, last year at the draft and being compared to the other prospects taken ahead of him or around him, he didn’t have the same offensive numbers, so a lot of the perception was that he’s going to be a reliable third-line centre,” said Sheldon Keefe, McCann’s coach with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds.

“But I’ve always felt since I’ve coached him that he had another offensive gear to put up numbers. I think he’s starting to find that now and he’s as dangerous as anyone in the league. Right now his confidence is really high. So if he’s taking that next step in his development, there’s no doubt in my mind he can push to be a second-line centre.”

Source: Jamieson/ Province


Patrik Elias may be nearing his 39th birthday, but he does not feel his play warrants being a fourth-line center – which is how the New Jersey Devils have been using him of late.

“If they want to play me on the fourth line, I’m not willing to do that,” Elias, who has one more year left on his current contract, said. “I think that’s a conversation I’m going to have after this season. I know what I’m capable of.”

Source: Chere/ NJ Advanced Media


Brad Richards is a few months shy of turning 35, but he definitely wants to keep playing beyond this season.

“I feel probably healthier than I have in three or four years,” said Richards, “just because it’s a different role. I’m not playing the minutes I have in the past. The health part’s not the issue. As long as you keep having the passion to play and finding the right place to play.”

He’s currently on a one-year pact with the Chicago Blackhawks.

Source: Zipay/ Newsday


The Rangers and Islanders will square off on Tuesday night with a lot on the line, which will also be the teams’ final regular season meeting at the Coliseum.

“The atmosphere is great there — our fans, their fans — it’s a lot of fun to be part of,” said Derick Brassard. “When you’re going to be done with your career, it’s those games that you’re going to miss the most. I think we’re pretty excited.”

Source: Cyrgalis/ Post


Darryl Sutter, on Justin Williams’ effect on younger players:

“I think Justin’s professionalism, leadership, experience, work ethic, practice habits, game preparation all those – if a young player doesn’t learn from that, then he’s not trying to get better in this league,” said Sutter.

Source: Rosen/ LA Kings Insider


Steve Yzerman added Braydon Coburn to the Tampa Bay Lightning’s blueline before the trade deadline, which likely added that little something extra to the players’ motivation down the stretch leading into the playoffs.

“We want to win, and we want to win now,” captain Steven Stamkos said. “You saw a lot of teams in the East get better, and we added a piece we thought could make our team better, and it already has. As a player, all you want is your ownership group and management group to give you the best chance to win, and (Yzerman has) done that by putting together the team that we have.

“It’s up to us now.”

Source: Smith/ Times


When it comes to the addition of Coburn, bench boss Jon Cooper already likes what the defenseman brings to the team.

“I can just tell in one game … but I thought his whole demeanor and everything with just one practice (were impressive), and that pretty much tells me that his hockey IQ is pretty high,’’ Cooper said. “He keeps things simple, he defends, he can skate. It’s just another guy you can throw out there and really not have to worry. I’m really excited to see where he’s at (moving forward) because the more he’s with us, you can tell the more comfortable he’s getting. We’ve needed to defend better, we’ve needed depth back there and he’s been a really good addition so far.’’

Source: Erlendsson/ Tribune


The Boston Bruins have won four of five games, and have five of six possible points in the three games since the trade deadline.

Is there a correlation?

“Guys talk about it time and time again,” Torey Krug said. “Now we finally have a group in here that we know ‘that’s it.’ Nobody’s moving and nobody’s leaving. We’re excited about the opportunity and the challenge to move forward, get in the postseason and go from there. So it’s definitely a different feel in this room. We’ve added a couple players here that they bring a lot, so that’s nice.

“We always say we don’t worry about it, it’s out of our control and you try your best to try not to think about it. But I’m sure when guys read their names it can be tough. Stress is a big part of this game. Mentally you got to be sharp, and if you’re coming to the rink stressed every day you’re not going to be able to put your best foot forward. I think it definitely can weigh on guys no matter what they say.”

Source: Haggerty/ CSNNE


So just how far has Paul Stastny’s game come for the St. Louis Blues since earlier in the season?

“A long ways,” said head coach Ken Hitchcock. “It was a tough deal for him because just as he gets going he gets hurt. “He comes back, Jori Lehtera is up and running, so he’s playing in the three-hole. He’s one of those guys, he’s not a great skater but the more minutes he plays the better he plays. So we find minutes for him. Zone faceoffs, if you look, he takes a lot of D-zone faceoffs, he plays both ends of special teams now, he plays between the third and fourth most minutes on the hockey club up front.”

Source: LeBrun/ ESPN


Cody Franson shared his thoughts on the biggest change for him in Nashville since coming over from the Toronto Maple Leafs via trade.

“The biggest difference has probably just been about how aggressive we have to be getting up the ice,” Franson said. “In Toronto, it was a little different that way, but we’re expected to be very aggressive from the back end, so you just have to get out of the habit of things you did in Toronto compared to the way things are supposed to be done here. It forces you to really focus on getting up in the plays and playing very tight-gapped hockey.”

Source: Glennon/ Tennessean


20-year-old Andre Burakovsky will be seasoning in the AHL for awhile now instead of with the Washington Capitals.

Winger Tom Wilson doesn’t agree with anyone who feels Burakovsky’s development would have been better served back in junior for the whole season.

“When you’re in junior you’re around younger kids, you’re not in the NHL and in that pro atmosphere,” Wilson said. “Becoming a part of this team and practicing with pros, you can’t replace that. If I was in junior last year maybe I could have had a lot of touches, a lot of minutes and more points, but there’s something to be said about being around professionals every day and learning what it takes.”

Source: Gormley/ CSN

Nichols’ Notes
Chris Nichols

Chris has written about both hockey and fantasy hockey for a number of media outlets over the last 14 years, including a combined decade with and He launched in February of 2014. An aversion to wearing socks sparked a move from his hometown of Edmonton to San Diego, California in the mid-’90s, and the Oilers have not won a Cup in his absence.

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