In the first week of the playoffs, every game seemed like it would be a nail-biting barn burner. The last couple days, though, there have been a few contests that weren’t hanging in the balance in the final period. While Phoenix-Detroit was quite competitive, Vancouver gave the Kings a (don’t write royal don’twriteroyal don’twriteroyal) profound beating.
Detroit 4, Phoenix 1
Red Wings lead series 3-2
In the last two games, the Coyotes have only managed to score a single goal on Calder candidate Jimmy Howard. This one was tied through the middle of the third period until Detroit unloaded with two goals only 1:09 apart to take control of the game. Tomas Holmstrom scored a nice deflection goal and Pavel Dastyuk then padded Detroit’s lead with a sweet backhander. Henrik Zetterberg scored an empty netter for his sixth tally of the playoffs in the final minute to seal the deal.
The series goes back to Detroit for Game 6 and you have to wonder if Shane Doan might force himself to fight through the pain and give his sagging team a much needed boost.
Vancouver 7, Los Angeles 2
Canucks lead series 3-2
Here’s a good rule of thumb: if your goalie is pulled but then returns later on in the game and the backup hasn’t been injured … your team is probably getting destroyed. That was exactly the case with the Kings, who took a severe beating via the Vancouver Canucks. The first period was fairly pedestrian with Vancouver up 2-1, the Sedins and Mikael Samuelsson dominated the second period and the third was just an absolute mess. With two goals in that game, Samuelsson already has a career high in playoff goals for a single post-season with 7. Considering the fact that he’s frequently played deep into the summer, it’s obvious that the Swedish sniper is having a career year.
I hate to say it, but cue the Jonathan Bernier talk … even though he’s in the minors right now.
Even with all the young players that have been healthy scratches this season, don’t expect the NHL to change its waiver rules.
Deputy commissioner Bill Daly told PHT in an email that it’s not something that’s “ever been considered.”
“For better or worse that’s what waiver rules are there for,” Daly wrote. “They force Clubs to make tough decisions.”
Today, Montreal defenseman Jarred Tinordi became the latest waiver-eligible youngster to be sent to the AHL on a two-week conditioning loan.
Tinordi, 23, has yet to play a single game for the Habs this season. If he were still exempt from waivers, he’d have undoubtedly been sent to the AHL long before he had to watch so many NHL games from the press box.
In light of situations like Tinordi’s, some have suggested the NHL change the rules. Currently, the only risk-free way for waiver-eligible players to get playing time in the AHL is via conditioning stint, and, as mentioned, those are limited to 14 days in length.
So the Habs will, indeed, need to make a “tough decision” when Tinordi’s conditioning stint is up. Do they put him in the lineup? Do they keep him in the press box and wait for an injury or some other circumstance to create an opportunity for him to play? Do they risk losing him to waivers by attempting to send him to the AHL? Do they trade him?
Your call, Marc Bergevin.
Related: Stanislav Galiev is stuck in the NHL
Joni Ortio has cleared waivers and been assigned to AHL Stockton, the Calgary Flames announced today.
The 24-year-old goalie was always likely to clear, what with his dreadful numbers this season (0-2-1, .868),
But we suppose there was always the chance he’d get picked up, so it’s a relief for the Flames all the same. With a little more time to hone his game in the AHL, Ortio could still turn out to be a quality NHL netminder.
In a related move, veteran goalie Jonas Hiller has been activated from injured reserve. Hiller and Karri Ramo are the only goalies on the Flames’ active roster now.
Two injury updates in one post.
First, the situation with Montreal goalie Carey Price, who was hurt last night versus the Rangers.
According to Canadiens coach Michel Therrien, Price has been placed on injured reserve with a lower-body injury. That means he’ll be out at least a week, though no exact timeline was provided.
“We don’t know how long Carey will be out, but for us it’s business as usual,” said Therrien.
Mike Condon will get the start tomorrow in New Jersey.
As for Oilers forward Nail Yakupov, he’ll be out 2-4 weeks after spraining his ankle last night in Carolina while getting tangled up with a linesman.
Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf wasn’t impressed with at least two things last night in Arizona:
1. His team’s performance in a 4-2 loss to the Coyotes.
2. The atmosphere inside Gila River Arena, where the announced attendance was just 11,578.
“It’s hard. When you come into a building … it’s dead,” Getzlaf told the O.C. Register. “Nothing against the fans. It’s hard to fill a big building like this and have the amount of people in it to build your energy. So you have to do it yourself. You have to be ready when you step on the ice. I thought we came out flat.”
Anaheim’s record fell to 8-11-4 with the defeat.
The Coyotes’ average attendance also fell, to 13,144 in eight games.