No Crosby and Miller rematch tonight; Lalime to start for Sabres

We’ll just have to wait until the playoffs to get that Sidney Crosby –
Ryan Miller rematch everyone is dying to see. After playing
out-of-this-world hockey for two weeks, the Buffalo Sabres are giving
Miller an extra day off, as
Patrick Lalime will get the start in net tonight.

“I’m playing [tonight] and looking forward to it,” Lalime said. “I
think he deserves the

“I feel good,” Lalime said
Monday after practice in HSBC Arena. “It’s nice to come back
actually when you have a couple days off. You’re nice and excited to see
the guys again, go on
the ice and get some work done. I’m looking forward to getting the show
started again.”

Thoughts after the jump.

There’s apparently been some debate as to whether Crosby’s overtime
goal was stoppable by Miller, and that we’d all love to see him face The
Kid once more. That the ‘rematch’ would come so quickly after the gold
medal game is fascinating, but you have to respect the Sabres’ decision
to rest Miller. Just like with Team USA, Miller is Buffalo’s best hope
for success.

And for the record, I never thought of that shot as stoppable. As a
goaltender myself, I know how tough that sort of play is to make. Crosby
grabbed the puck from behind him and swept in on net in one big, fast
motion; there was no warning for Miller as to where it might go. 80% of
goaltending is anticipation, and Miller was too close to Crosby to
really have time to react to such a hard shot.

It was just a great, great play by Crosby and it beat a great

Blues put Berglund on LTIR, use savings to sign Gomez

Scotte Gomez
AP Photo
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As was the case last season, Scott Gomez accepted a professional tryout offer because he went unsigned over the summer and once again he has used that opportunity to extend his career.

The St. Louis Blues announced that they have signed Gomez to a one-year contract. They didn’t disclose the financial terms, but it’s a two-way deal that comes with a base salary of $575K at the NHL level, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Jeremy Rutherford.

In order to free up the space necessary to sign him, St. Louis moved Patrik Berglund to the long-term injured reserve list. Berglund had shoulder surgery in August and isn’t expected to be available until January.

Gomez, 35, is coming off of a resurgence campaign where he recorded 34 points in 58 games on a Devils’ team that finished near the bottom of the pack offensively. The two-time Stanley Cup champion will be bringing more than a 1,000 games worth of NHL experience to St. Louis.

He’s not the only veteran forward to make the team off of a PTO as the Blues signed Scottie Upshall on Monday.

NHL key dates for the 2015-16 season

Alex Ovechkin, John Tavares
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Nov. 10 —  NHL General Managers Meeting (Toronto)

At last year’s November meetings, the GMs decided to kill the dry scrape. But these meetings usually serve as a table-setter for the rest of the season. It’s the more in-depth meetings in March where the majority of things get decided.

Nov. 27 — NHL Thanksgiving Showdown: Rangers at Bruins

The first of 12 “NHL on NBC” games in 2015-16. Click here for the full list, including the games on NBCSN.

Dec. 7-8 — NHL Board of Governors Meeting (Pebble Beach)

This is where we could find out about expansion. Will both Las Vegas and Quebec City get the nod? Only one of them? Neither of them?

Jan. 1 — Winter Classic: Canadiens at Bruins

From Gillette Stadium in Foxborough. Please don’t make any “deflated pucks” jokes. You’re better than that.

Jan. 28-Feb. 1 — All-Star Break

This year’s festivities are being held in Nashville, which is a pretty fun town we hear. Skills competition on Saturday the 30th, game on Sunday the 31st. Over/under has been set at 25 goals and 60 percent effort.

Feb. 29 — NHL trade deadline

Leap day! Click here for a list of pending unrestricted free agents, a.k.a. potential rentals.

Mar. 14-16 — NHL General Managers Meeting (Boca Raton)

As mentioned, these are the more in-depth meetings where any recommendations are typically made. Last season, the GMs recommended 3-on-3 overtime and a coach’s challenge.

Apr. 9 — Last day of the regular season

All 30 teams in action on this Saturday. Playoffs begin four days later on Wednesday. Also, the draft lottery’s date is still to be determined, but should be held sometime around here.

June 18 — Last possible day for the Stanley Cup Final

Click here for PHT’s Cup picks.

June 24-25 — NHL draft

In Buffalo this year. Click here for Central Scouting’s “players to watch” list, led by Auston Matthews.

July 1 — Free agency begins

And then it’s summer.