Now that the Detroit Red Wings are out of the playoffs, so begins the
endless debate and hand wringing over the decision that Nicklas
Lidstrom must make this summer on whether to retire from the NHL or not.
He’s stated several times this season that he would prefer to go out
while still playing at a high level, not “pulling a Chris Chelios” and
seeing his minutes reduced each progressive season until he’s finally
done with hockey. Instead, Lidstrom has indicated that he could never
see himself not being a top pair defenseman and while he’s certainly far
from being just an “ordinary” player he has started to drop off a bit
the past season or so.
Of course, for Lidstrom, dropping off a bit means that he’s merely
looked great instead of legendary.
With Lidstrom’s season over and still without a contract extension
for next season, he says that he’s yet to think about his immediate
future. Per Eric
Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail:
“I haven’t thought about it yet,” he said. “It’s not on my mind right
“I don’t have a timetable.”
Any other player, and you know it’s been on their mind. Mike Modano
enjoyed one heck of a tribute in Dallas and Minnesota in his final games
of the season, you know he was thinking about it. With Lidstrom, you
have no choice but to believe him he says he’s done nothing but focus on
his team and the playoffs; that’s just the way he’s been his entire
If one had to guess, Lidstrom will take a bit of paycut
and sign an extension with the Red Wings. He’s still one of the top 5
defensemen in the NHL and he’s far from reaching the point where his
game has dropped and he starts to lose minutes. Of course, Lidstrom
still needs to have some long chats with his family, and with his son
getting accepted to a prestigious school in Sweden who knows what may
Tonight is a big game for the Arizona Coyotes, as they host Vancouver, one of the teams they’re jockeying with for the final wild-card spot in the West.
If the Coyotes can beat the Canucks in regulation, they’ll move to within two points of Colorado for that final wild-card spot, with three games in hand on the Avs. Not only that, Vancouver’s playoff hopes would be dealt a significant blow.
Of course, that’s a pretty sizable “if” the way the Coyotes have been playing. The Desert Dogs are winless in their last four, with 21 total goals surrendered.
“We have to shore up some things and our goaltending has to be better,” Coyotes coach Dave Tippett told reporters, while confirming that Louis Domingue would get the start versus the Canucks.
Domingue, the NHL’s rookie of the month in January, has struggled of late, allowing five goals in each of his last three starts. In the Coyotes’ last game, they turned to Anders Lindback, only for Lindback to surrender five goals himself in a 5-2 loss to Anaheim.
For the Canucks, Ryan Miller is expected to start, after Jacob Markstrom got the win last night in Denver.
— Henrik Lundqvist for the Rangers in Pittsburgh, where Marc-Andre Fleury is expected to start for the Penguins.
— Craig Anderson for the Senators in Detroit, where Petr Mrazek will make his third straight start for the Red Wings.
The Buffalo Sabres have recalled forward Justin Bailey from AHL Rochester.
It’s the first time Bailey, a second-round pick in 2013, has ever been called up to the NHL. The 20-year-old joins the big club after piling up 11 points (5G, 6A) in his last eight games for the Americans.
Most Sabres fans will know that Bailey is from Buffalo (technically, Williamsville), the son of former Bills linebacker Carlton Bailey. (To learn more, click on this Buffalo News story from July.)
The Sabres play Thursday in Philadelphia, where Bailey will reportedly make his NHL debut.
To make room for Bailey on Buffalo’s roster, Zemgus Girgensons (lower body) was placed on injured reserve.
Thing have gone from bad to weird in Minnesota, where embattled Wild coach Mike Yeo was “disappointed” to see Zenon Konopka’s rabbit holding a sign that read, “YEO MUST GO.”
Hey, we told you things had gotten weird.
Konopka, a former Wild player, took to Twitter last night after Minnesota’s latest loss.
Here’s what Konopka tweeted:
And what did Yeo think about that?
“I really don’t care what he says,” he told the Star Tribune, apparently adding with a laugh, “I will say I was very disappointed to see Hoppy holding that sign.”
Now, according to the newspaper’s Michael Russo, “Konopka and Yeo had a lot of issues behind the scenes and that’s why [Konopka] ended up on waivers two Januarys ago.”
Still, that doesn’t change the fact that a lot of Wild fans agree with Hoppy, er, Konopka, and it doesn’t change the fact that the Wild could really, really use a win tomorrow at home to Washington.
Nice work from Artem Anisimov and Matt Niskanen this week, but Connor McDavid‘s tally is on a different level.
You can pretty much bank on McDavid being in Goals of the Year, too. Just saying.