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Montreal Canadiens recall Corey Perry from taxi squad

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The Montreal Canadiens have announced the recall of Corey Perry from the taxi squad, making the winger available for Saturday night’s game against the Vancouver Canucks.

Perry’s recall was necessary because of the concussion that Joel Armia suffered on Thursday night. Perry will likely slot into Armia’s position on the third line with Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Tyler Toffoli.

This will be Perry’s NHL debut with the Montreal Canadiens. The veteran winger signed a 1-year $750,000 contract during the offseason after tallying 21 points in 56 games with the Dallas Stars the previous season.

The absence of additional recalls likely means that Paul Byron will be in the lineup or — at the very least — that the team is comfortable placing Victor Mete in the lineup. This move allows the team to evaluate the cap situation and their injury situation during the upcoming four-day break prior to their home opener on Thursday.

Perry can stay on the NHL roster for 30 days or play 10 games without requiring waivers to return to the taxi squad.

Source:- Habs Eyes on the Prize

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Demko earns shutout as Canucks ride hot start to win over Jets – Sportsnet.ca

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WINNIPEG — When the Vancouver Canucks discovered that screened point shots were getting results, they kept doing it.

By the time the Winnipeg Jets figured things out, it was too late.

Vancouver scored three first-period goals in similar fashion Monday night in a 4-0 victory at Bell MTS Place. Nate Schmidt, J.T. Miller and Nils Hoglander staked the Canucks to an early lead and Thatcher Demko did the rest, making 27 saves for his first shutout of the season.

All three goals came from shots inside the blue line that were tipped, redirected or knuckled past Winnipeg goaltender Connor Hellebuyck.

“When you know you can get yourself into those areas, that’s where the goals are scored,” said Schmidt. “I was proud of our guys for how we got to those areas tonight.”

Elias Pettersson sealed it with an empty-net goal as the Canucks (9-14-2) won for the first time in five games and ended Winnipeg’s four-game winning streak.

“I think top to bottom we had some good efforts tonight,” said Canucks head coach Travis Green.

After being held to one shot on goal over the first eight-plus minutes, Schmidt sent a fluttering shot from the high slot past a screened Hellebuyck at 8:28.

A similar play just 18 seconds later doubled Vancouver’s lead. This time Schmidt’s point shot was redirected by Miller at 8:46.

Vancouver’s second power-play unit used the same formula to extend the lead at 14:50. Tyler Myers sent a wrist shot from inside the blue line that Hoglander tipped to make it 3-0.

Demko, meanwhile, was steady when needed in the Vancouver net. He gave up few rebounds and delivered when the Jets pressed late in the game.

“I think over the last handful of games, our defensive side of things is coming along really nicely,” Demko said. “Tonight was kind of the pinnacle of building up to this point.”

After a sluggish first period, the Jets (13-7-1) seemed more inspired in the second period but had difficulty delivering any sustained pressure.

Mark Scheifele had two decent chances midway through the third period and Blake Wheeler was denied after a crafty deflection on a Sami Niku shot.

The Jets pulled Hellebuyck with over five minutes left in regulation. Winnipeg hit the post on a deflected shot before Pettersson put the game away at 16:26.

The teams will face off again Tuesday night in the finale of the Jets’ four-game homestand.

“You’ve got to have a short memory in this league,” Scheifele said. “You can’t dwell on things too long. You’ve got to get a good sleep tonight and get ready for tomorrow.”

The Canucks had 19 shots on goal and improved to 4-8-0 on the road.

After Tuesday’s game, the Jets will take to the road for 12 of their next 14 games.

The Canucks will return home to kick off a five-game homestand Thursday against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Rogers Arena.

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Mitch Marner magic helps Toronto Maple Leafs navigate injury issues – TSN

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TSN Toronto Reporter Mark Masters reports on the Maple Leafs, who held an optional skate in Edmonton on Monday ahead of their evening game against the Oilers.


Sheldon Keefe smiled when asked about potentially making changes to a winning lineup. 

“Well, I think we’d always make room for Auston [Matthews],” the Leafs coach said. 

Whether Keefe will be able to write No. 34 onto his lineup card tonight in Edmonton remains unclear. The National Hockey League’s leading goal scorer missed Saturday’s game with a wrist injury. 

Matthews stayed out late at Monday’s optional workout and skated hard, which is something only the projected scratches usually do. Toronto’s No. 1 centre still doesn’t appear to be shooting the puck particularly hard. Keefe referred to Matthews as a game-time decision. 

The Leafs played extremely well without Matthews during a 4-0 win on Saturday. 

“A really special player who’s having an incredible year, so any time you have a guy like that out … the whole team has to step up,” said winger Zach Hyman. “We did that.”

The absence of Matthews may open up more shooting opportunities for crafty winger Mitch Marner, who scored his 10th goal of the season on Saturday. 

“When you’re playing with a guy like Auston you’re always trying to find him in spots and not really thinking of shooting,” Marner said after the game. “This year, now, my mindset is still to try and find Auston if I think I can get it to him but, if not, then it’s trying to get it on net and realizing that sometimes a play off a goalie is better than a pass. I’m trying to do that more. I worked on my shot a lot this year and I just feel confident when I’m shooting nowadays.”

The new-look line of Marner, John Tavares and Joe Thornton found instant chemistry. It was the first time Tavares and Thornton lined up together in a game this season. The trio all touched the puck on Marner’s goal. 

“Joe puts himself in a good spot and stretches the ice and [Morgan] Rielly finds him and he finds John in the space that Joe’s created underneath,” Keefe said. “John attacks the middle of the ice and kicks it back to Mitch and drives through the middle of the ice making it harder on the defence and the goalie and it leads to a goal so there’s a lot of things that go into that.”

Marner also picked up an assist on the William Nylander power-play goal. 

More impressive than the offence was the responsible two-way play. Toronto’s top line outscored the Connor McDavid line 1-0 and kept the Oilers captain quiet most of the night. 

“We didn’t really over-complicate things,” Marner said. “We were playing smart with the puck. When we were getting it down low we were talking to each other, finding exits out of corners and off the wall. We got to make sure we keep doing that. The communication throughout our D-zone and getting the puck in our hands to go up the ice with speed was very, very good.”

The whole Leafs team was very good and very disciplined. Toronto didn’t take a single penalty. 

“They played such a good game,” said McDavid, who managed just one shot on net. “They were so solid everywhere. They were never in a desperate situation where they needed to hook or hold a guy. Part of that is us not going hard enough to the net or making enough plays. Another part is them just playing so well and being in the right position all of the time.”

Back pressure key as Leafs aim to frustrate McDavid, Oilers again

Connor McDavid finished Saturday’s game with just one shot as the Leafs shut out the Oilers. T.J. Brodie credits Toronto’s forwards for providing good back pressure and preventing Edmonton’s stars from executing their preferred pull-up plays. Sheldon Keefe anticipates a tougher challenge on Monday. “We’re expecting them to be more like themselves,” the coach said.

Frederik Andersen and Jack Campbell are also listed as game-time decisions. Andersen, like Matthews, stayed out late at the morning skate. Keefe indicated yesterday it was unlikely Toronto’s No. 1 goalie would be ready to return from a lower-body injury on Monday. 

For the second straight day, Campbell wasn’t on the ice. He returned from a leg injury on Saturday and stopped all 30 shots faced, but also looked to be in discomfort after being run into by Tyler Ennis in the first period. 

Michael Hutchinson was in the starter’s net at Monday’s skate and also the first goalie off the ice. He’s 2-1-0 with a .924 save percentage this season. Hutchinson was in net last season when McDavid scored a highlight-reel against the Leafs in Toronto. 

Leafs Ice Chips: Matthews, Andersen, Campbell appear doubtful to play

Auston Matthews is listed as a game-time decision for tonight’s game in Edmonton. The Leafs’ forward skated hard, and stayed late after practice with the projected scratches. TSN’s Mark Masters has more on his status, as well as who could draw in as Toronto’s starting goalie.

The Leafs signed T.J. Brodie in the off-season with these type of matchups in mind. The veteran blueliner stared down McDavid and Leon Draisaitl on Saturday and didn’t blink during 22 minutes and 15 seconds of work. 

“He doesn’t care who he’s playing against,” said Keefe. “It doesn’t rattle him. It doesn’t concern him. He’s comfortable in his own game and realizes he’s got to stay within his skill set and do what works for him. Even if he gets beat or makes a mistake, he’s just going to go back and drink some water and go out and give his best shot the next time out and more often than not it works out for him. That’s why he is who he is in the league.”

Brodie picked up an assist and finished Saturday’s game with a plus-2 rating. The former Flame sees a lot of similarities between current partner Rielly and former running mate Mark Giordano​. 

“They’re both great defensively and look to jump offensively,” the 30-year-old observed. “They’re the type of guys who know how to get open and be available for you to get that outlet pass and, at the same time, they make great, quick passes out of the zone so it’s been a pretty easy transition.” 

‘It doesn’t rattle him’: Brodie helps Leafs handle elite opposition

T.J. Brodie has been assigned to cover other teams’ best players this season. His calm demeanor and chemistry on and off the ice has earned high praise from his coaches and teammates.

Hyman is playing through some discomfort right now after blocking a couple of shots off his foot. 

“You can battle through a little bit of pain,” he said. “I feel like I am able to skate and do all the things that I can do otherwise. It’s more painful not playing, to be honest, when you’re out and you’re watching games.”

Hyman, who missed a couple games with the injury, blocked another shot on Saturday. 

“It’s part of the game,” he said. “You don’t have enough time to think, ‘Oh, I should get out of the way on this one.’ When you’re out there playing, you’re not hurt or injured or anything, you’re just playing the game so you don’t think about it. For me, just go out there and do my job and if there’​s an opportunity to block a shot then get in the lane.” 

Hyman wears plastic coverings on his skates, but the initial shot that hurt him hit him in a vulnerable spot. 

“The second time I was lucky I was wearing shot blockers so that definitely helped,” he said.

Hyman on dealing with shot blocks: ‘It’s more painful not playing’

Coming off of a lower body injury, Zach Hyman hasn’t held back sacrificing his body by blocking shots despite the possibility of aggravating his foot, claiming that it is just part of his job. ”It’s more painful not playing.”

— 

Jason Spezza snapped a 10-game goal drought in style on Saturday. The 37-year-old completely fooled veteran Oilers goalie Mike Smith.

“That was a sweet move,” said linemate Travis Boyd. “We were joking a little bit about how that’s his trusty, old go-to move from back in the day. He really got Smith to bite on that fake and that was a sweet move.”

“Wow! What a treat it was to watch that,” Campbell gushed after the game. “He does it in practice so it was nice to see it on our end.”

It was career goal No. 346 for Spezza. How is he able to keep goalies guessing on his go-to move? 

“He sells the shot really well,” Boyd said. “A lot of people fake a shot, but it’s kind of quick and it doesn’t actually fake anyone out. You can kind of read that it’s a fake. He sold the fake on the slap really hard and then just pushing it that few feet before he shot it gave him that whole side and really locked up Smith.”

Leafs projected lines for Monday’s game: 
 
Thornton – Tavares – Marner 
Barabanov – Kerfoot – Nylander
Mikheyev – Engvall – Hyman 
Vesey – Boyd – Spezza 
 
Rielly – Brodie 
Muzzin – Holl 
Dermott – Bogosian 
 
Hutchinson 
Woll 

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Watt to sign with Cardinals on reported 2-year, $31M deal – theScore

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J.J. Watt is signing with the Arizona Cardinals, he announced Monday.

The three-time Defensive Player of the Year and former Houston Texans defensive lineman will ink a two-year pact worth $31 million, $23 million of which is guaranteed, a source told Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.

Watt hit free agency early because the Texans released him from his contract. The 31-year-old asked out of Houston after growing disgruntled with the organization’s culture.

In the desert, Watt will join a squad that features former Texans co-star DeAndre Hopkins, who began recruiting him following his release. Arizona missed the playoffs for a fifth straight season in 2020 and is entering a pivotal third year under head coach Kliff Kingsbury.

The Cardinals now have a pair of high-profile pass-rushers in Watt and Chandler Jones, though the latter could become a casualty of the declining salary cap. General manager Steve Keim said recently that he won’t cut Jones, but that was before he landed Watt.

Watt had only five sacks in 16 games last year, but he was still proficient in generating pressure. His 101 career sacks rank 31st in NFL history. Watt’s greatest concern is the injury bug, which has limited him to eight games or fewer in three of the past five seasons.

The Cardinals were seldom mentioned as a possible landing spot for Watt, who reportedly drew offers from numerous teams. The Cleveland Browns, Green Bay Packers, Buffalo Bills, and Pittsburgh Steelers were speculated to be his top suitors.

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