Red Wings sticking with Howard for Game 7

Howard2.jpgIt’s tough to fault Jimmy Howard for yesterday’s Game 6 loss to the
Phoenix Coyotes. His team, after starting so strong, wasn’t the same in
the final 40 minutes of the game and allowed the Coyotes to once again
control play as the game progressed.

Plus, it’s not Howard’s fault that the Red Wings failed to score on
numerous power play chances.

Yet, there will be some consternation over the rookie’s performance
(admittedly, there were a few goals allowed that should have been
stopped) and while the Red Wings do have veteran Chris Osgood as a
backup, the Red Wings will be going with Howard once more in Game 7.

Says Osgood, via
Chris McCosky of The Detroit News:

“He’ll be
ready,” veteran back-up Chris Osgood said. “He had a good attitude even
after (the game). We were talking, not joking around, but just laughing
about different scenarios. He’s cool. He’s just going to go out and
play. He’s played the same way positionally and everything else the
whole series.

So, with a multiple Stanley Cup-winning
goaltender Osgood sitting on the bench the Red Wings’ season will hinge
on a rookie goaltender. It’s not as if he’s struggled all series; as
long as it’s not an afternoon game on NBC he should be fine.

Kassian suspended without pay, placed in Stage 2 of Substance Abuse Program

Anaheim Ducks v Vancouver Canucks
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Zack Kassian may have avoided major injuries stemming from his Sunday car accident, but it likely sent the signal that he may need help.

The response: he was placed in Stage Two of the Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program (SABH) of the NHL and NHLPA on Monday.

According to the league’s release, Kassian “will be suspended without pay until cleared for on-ice competition by the program administrators.”

Speaking of being suspended without pay, here’s a key detail:

The 24-year-old ended up with a broken nose and broken foot from that accident. The 2015-16 season was set to be his first campaign in the Montreal Canadiens organization after a tumultuous time with the Vancouver Canucks.

Kassian spoke of becoming more mature heading to Montreal, but the Canadiens were critical of his actions, wondering how many wake-up calls someone can get.

In case you’re wondering about the difference between stage one and two:

Add Lecavalier to list of expensive Flyers healthy scratches

Vincent Lecavalier

Are the Philadelphia Flyers aiming for some sort of record when it comes to expensive (potential) healthy scratches?

While lineups are obviously subject to change, notes that Vincent Lecavalier appears to be among a rather rich group of Flyers who are expected to sit during their season-opener.

Also likely to be in street clothes: Sam Gagner and Luke Schenn.

That’s $11.3 million in cap space rotting on the bench.

“I really don’t know what to say,” Lecavalier said. “I’ll practice hard and be ready when they call me up.”

The quotes from Lecavalier, Gagner and Schenn only get sadder from there, a reminder that there are human beings attached to these numbers – whether you focus on disappointing stats or bloated salaries.

Flyers fans with the urge to reach for an Alka-Setzler can at least take some comfort in knowing that the team will see $6.8 million in savings after this season, as both Gagner and Schenn are on expiring deals.

It could be a long season, though, and this Lecavalier headache may not truly end until his contract expires following the 2017-18 campaign.