Let’s take a little stroll through some of the other stories from today, shall we?
- Penguins star Evgeni Malkin reportedly re-aggravated a foot injury after falling into the boards against the Carolina Hurricanes last night. The good news is that it seems to be a mostly minor problem. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has more on his ailment.
“I lost my balance and hit the boards,” Malkin said Saturday after his team fell, 3-2, to Carolina at Mellon Arena “It’s a little bit sore. It’s a little bit of bad luck, but it’s OK.”
Malkin iced the foot after the game. He expects to sit out the team’s practice today but likes his chances of being able to play Monday at Detroit — the Penguins’ first trip to Joe Louis Arena since June 12 when they won Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final.
Am I alone in thinking the Pens should err on the safe side here? The Penguins didn’t need to win their division last year to win the Cup, so why not be careful with Malkin? Just saying, everyone, just saying.
It’s kind of strange to think that the Colorado Avalanche “settled” for Joe Sacco when Patrick Roy decided not to coach the team. The Denver Post looked back at that situation and discussed (quite logically) the fact that he’s probably going to have some good job security because of the team’s unexpected playoff run.
But now that the Avalanche seems likely to claim a playoff spot in the first season of Sacco’s coaching tenure, and the first season since Greg Sherman was promoted to succeed Francois Giguere as general manager, Sacco not only is what passes for secure in a ridiculously insecure league – he’s a legitimate candidate for the Jack Adams Award, which goes to the NHL’s coach of the year.
Eh, I might have to disagree with Terry Frei on him being the coach of the year (it has to be Dave Tippett, in my opinion), but overall it’s a good point.
Just how much does Lubomir Visnovsky appreciate being out of Edmonton?
“For the life, it’s unreal,” Visnovsky said Saturday. “Look at the weather every day. Look at me. I’ve got shorts and sandals on. In Edmonton, it’s so cold right now.”
For the record, it was a balmy 50 degrees in Edmonton late Saturday afternoon and 69 degrees in Anaheim. But the point was made.
Sorry, Oilers fans.
This summer looks like it could be one of changes for the Detroit Red Wings, even beyond the most obvious storyline of Pavel Datsyuk‘s future.
One area where the Red Wings would like to make some tweaks is in net, namely in trading Jimmy Howard. The Detroit Free-Press points out that GM Ken Holland admitted that moving the former franchise netminder “might be good for the organization.”
It’s reasonable to wonder what kind of market there will be for Howard, whose deal ($5.29 million cap hit through 2018-19) looks pretty tough to stomach on paper.
Maybe it’s best to consider the Red Wings’ options if Howard starts the 2016-17 season off on a strong note, or something of that nature. Perhaps an expansion draft could “solve” that problem if Detroit cannot find any takers?
The Red Wings remain forward-thinking and patient, which likely explains why the Free-Press focuses on their confidence with prospect Jared Coreau.
“In the big scheme of things, he’ll play in Grand Rapids for another year, but now we know he can play a lot of minutes if needed,” Goalie coach Jeff Salajko said. “Jimmy Howard played four years in the minors. We’re not rushing Jared, but he is going to be an NHL goalie, there is no doubt in my mind about that.”
In other words, a pairing of Petr Mrazek and Coreau wouldn’t just be a cost-effective duo … it might just be the Red Wings’ ideal scenario in the not-too-distant future.
From the NHL:
Pretty veteran crew, including three returnees from last year’s final.
Per the NHL, O’Halloran and O’Rourke will call tonight’s series opener from Consol.
PITTSBURGH — When Pete DeBoer was hired to coach the San Jose Sharks, he wasn’t totally cognizant of how much heartbreak the fan base had experienced throughout the years.
Now he knows.
“First year in the community, I didn’t realize kind of the baggage that was carried around,” DeBoer said this morning ahead of Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final. “Twenty-five-year season-ticket holders coming up to you with tears in their eyes and crying.”
The Sharks, of course, have never been this far in the playoffs. Prior to this year, they’d made it three times to the Western Conference Final, losing each time.
More painful were the first-round exits. Like in 2009 when they won the Presidents’ Trophy and got knocked out by the Ducks, and two years ago when they led the Kings 3-0 before dropping four straight.
It was only after the Sharks beat the Blues that DeBoer fully realized the “gravity of what they’ve been through” as fans in San Jose, and “how important this is to them.”
Not that he’s satisfied with getting this far.
“The business at hand now is to get off on the right foot, plant the right seeds for this series, impose our game,” he said. “Every series is the same — it’s whatever team can impose their game on the other team the quickest and for the longest. That’s our goal here tonight.”
Related: For Pete DeBoer, San Jose was the perfect landing spot
Los Angeles Kings center Anze Kopitar will spend part of his offseason trying to help Slovenia qualify for the Olympics.
RTV Slovenia has the story here.
The qualification games will be played September 1-4 in Minsk. Slovenia is in a group with Belarus, Denmark and Poland. The winner of the group will qualify for the Olympics.
The NHL reportedly has no issue with Kopitar’s participation, even though the league has yet to commit to sending its players to Pyeongchang.
Slovenia made its Olympic debut in ice hockey at the 2014 Games in Sochi.
Kopitar will also represent Team Europe at the 2016 World Cup later in September.
Related: Slovenia beats Slovakia for historic win