It’s no secret that I’ve been extremely critical of the the Chicago Blackhawks lately; they are a great team and are in prime position for a Stanley Cup run but I’m one of many that is convinced their goaltending is not good enough.
After today’s loss to the Flyers, I’m not certain whether my concerns have been validated or proven wrong.
On one hand, I thought Cristobal Huet played well enough. But the Blackhawks were felled by even better goaltending on the other end. And while their team defense has been touted as the best in the NHL all season long, it was a critical mistake in the final seconds that led to Chris Pronger’s winning goal.
So will the exceptional offense of the Blackhawks be able to overcome their shortcomings elsewhere? Today it wasn’t. But perhaps today was just an example of a team getting beat by great goaltending — it happens all the time and it’s certainly nothing to get worried about in the long run. If it was just once.
I will say that Huet’s reaction to Pronger’s goal was alarming. Goaltenders get angry all the time, but his slamming and breaking of his stick on the goal post spoke of an underlying frustration that has to be eating at Huet from the inside. This is certainly not what the Hawks need to be dealing with, especially with a big game coming up tomorrow against
With training camp and the preseason now in full swing, it appears the Bruins are bringing in a veteran blue liner — at least on a professional tryout.
On Friday, TSN’s Bob McKenzie reported that unrestricted free agent blue liner Christian Ehrhoff is about to join Boston on a PTO following his showing at the World Cup of Hockey.
In six games with Team Europe, Ehrhoff had three assists — all at even strength — and nine shots on goal.
Ehrhoff is now 34 years old, and the Bruins already have a pair of seasoned defenders in Zdeno Chara (39 years old) and John-Michael Liles (35 years old) on their roster. Adam McQuaid turns 30 years old in October.
He was most productive during two seasons in Vancouver, a puck-moving defenseman that could effectively skate the puck out of trouble and move the attack that way if need be. But that was from 2009 to 2011. His production has dipped, especially over the last three years.
He was also pivotal to Vancouver’s power play, especially in 2011 when the Canucks won the Presidents’ Trophy and made it to the Stanley Cup Final — against Boston.
Again, that was five years ago.
Lehner (forearm contusion) to miss preseason game versus Maple Leafs
The Toronto Maple Leafs play the Buffalo Sabres on Friday. But No. 1 overall pick Auston Matthews won’t be in the lineup, according to multiple reports.
“Sooner or later, he’s going to get in, but not tonight,” said assistant coach Jim Hiller, as per the Toronto Sun.
“The lineups are day by day. They (World Cup players such as Matthews, Milan Michalek, Leo Komarov and James van Riemsdyk) went through a solid three weeks. It’s a little break, a little down time. There are tons of games coming. They’ll get a lot of ice time. They’ll get in shortly.”
(The report also notes that Matthews is not dealing with a health issue, which is obviously good news for the Leafs.)
Matthews played for Team North America at the World Cup held in Toronto. He had two goals and three points in three round robin games, but the young North American team was unable to advance to the semifinal round.
The Maple Leafs play the Montreal Canadiens at home on Sunday.
McLellan: Maroon’s lower-body injury not considered serious
It appears Patrick Maroon‘s injury from Wednesday’s preseason game against the Vancouver Canucks looked worse than it is.
The Edmonton Oilers forward was in obvious pain immediately after he went hard into the boards from an awkward hit delivered by James Sheppard just past the midway point of the third period. Maroon needed help to the bench and was unable to put much, if any, pressure on his left leg.