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.
For two periods, the San Jose Sharks couldn’t solve Pekka Rinne.
Maybe it was because of that black cat that found its way on to the ice prior to the start of Friday’s game, or the video review that didn’t go in San Jose’s favor in the opening period.
But that all changed in the final period. It started with Tomas Hertl on the power play finding room just under the glove of Rinne to get San Jose on the board. Joel Ward followed that up with a gorgeous deke, tucking the puck in behind Rinne just as he started to go behind the net, as San Jose was able to take advantage of a defensive breakdown.
Logan Couture added the eventual winner. Within the span of 13 minutes, the Sharks had completely taken over, cashing in on two Nashville penalties and a defensive lapse.
When the onslaught was over, the Sharks skated off with a 5-2 win in Game 1 of this second-round series with the Predators, who only wrapped up a seven-game series win over Anaheim on Wednesday.
Ryan Johansen made it interesting, cutting into San Jose’s lead with under two minutes remaining, but any further comeback attempt was quickly halted by a pair of empty net goals from the Sharks.
The game ended with a dust-up along the boards, before cooler heads did prevail.
Another day, another University of North Dakota player deciding to enter the professional hockey ranks.
This time, it was 21-year-old forward Luke Johnson who turned pro following his junior year, as he signed a three-year contract with the Chicago Blackhawks, the team that selected him in the fifth round of the 2013 NHL Draft.
In 43 games with the NCAA champs this season, Johnson scored 11 goals and 21 points, just shy of his college career high of 24 points set the previous year.
Johnson will forgo his senior year at North Dakota, making him the fourth member of that program’s junior class to turn pro since the end of the season. Keaton Thompson signed with the Anaheim Ducks, Troy Stecher inked with the Vancouver Canucks and Paul LaDue signed with the L.A. Kings.
Senior forward Drake Caggiula, now a free agent, has reportedly narrowed down his list of NHL suitors to six teams.
Brock Boeser, Vancouver’s 2015 first-round pick and coming off an impressive freshman year, will return to North Dakota for his sophomore year, as per Canucks general manager Jim Benning earlier this month.
Perhaps it’s an ominous sign of bad luck to come, but for which team?
Prior to puck drop between the host San Jose Sharks and Nashville Predators in Game 1 on Friday, a black cat hit the ice at SAP Center, taking a nervous stroll along the boards.
Not sure exactly where it came from, although it’s possible someone was feeling extra superstitious before the start of this series.
Official update on the really important story of the evening:
The Dallas Stars scored a late winner, held on in the final minute and eventually struck first in their best-of-seven second-round series with the St. Louis Blues.
Once again, it was the speed and skill of the Stars that proved to be the difference in the end. Radek Faksa scored with less than five minutes remaining in the third period, breaking the deadlock and giving Dallas a 2-1 victory and 1-0 series lead over their Central Division foes on Friday.
As he entered the zone on the rush, Faksa dished off to a flying Ales Hemsky, who was denied by Brian Elliott in alone. But Faksa followed up, jamming in the rebound to give the Stars the lead, as both St. Louis defensemen Jay Bouwmeester and Alex Pietrangelo were caught by the speed of the Dallas forwards on the rush.
The Stars held on from there, as the Blues made a late push to tie the game.
Kari Lehtonen stopped 31 of 32 shots for Dallas, while Elliott was busy throughout the night, stopping 40 of 42 shots.
Elliott was furious after the Stars opened the scoring in the second period, as Antoine Roussel tallied on a rebound after yet another nice Dallas passing play in the offensive zone.
Stars forward Patrick Eaves left the game early in the third period and didn’t play another shift after being hit in the lower part of his leg with the puck from a point shot.