Kevin Bieksa played his best game of the playoffs on Sunday night in
Chicago, an overall inspiring effort that his team will need more of as
the series heads back to Vancouver tonight. While Sami Salo hasn’t
exactly been ruled out for tonight’s game, you have to think he’s likely
out as he tries to recover from a direct shot to his tender area.
Alain Vigneault was quick to share his unabashed opinion early in the
series, he’s turned to a more tight-lipped approach as the team
approaches Game 6 tonight.
When asked about Bieksa’s big game, he
was quick to move on.
“He played under control, played real hard, gave us a good game,”
“Under control” is the key word here, especially for a player like
Bieksa who has succombed to his emotions one too many times during his
stint with the Canucks. He’s been labeled as inconsistent and a bit
hotheaded at times, but if Salo is indeed going to miss time the Canucks
will need more of the Bieksa they witnessed in Game 5.
You have to think that Vigneault is wanting to keep Bieksa hungry,
not ready to prop him up with too much praise just yet. If he continues
to play like he did on Sunday, there’s no doubt that Vigneault will be
more willing to sing the praises of who he hopes to be his best
Derek Roy has finally found work — but it’s not in the NHL.
Roy, who spent the entire preseason in Washington’s camp on a PTO, has signed with SC Bern of Switzerland’s National League A, the club announced on Friday.
The news comes after Roy narrowly missed out on making the Caps roster, and just one year after he had something of a bounce-back campaign in Edmonton, scoring 22 points in 46 games while developing chemistry with young winger Nail Yakupov.
A 12-year NHL veteran, Roy is one of the more prominent names to be squeezed out of work this season, and head overseas. The 31-year-old has scored over 500 points in 738 career contests, and has twice represented Canada at the World Hockey Championships.
With Bern, Roy will play on one of Switzerland’s stronger teams, alongside a trio of ex-NHLers: Chuck Kobasew, Andrew Ebbett and Cory Conacher.
Robin Lehner might not be back anytime soon.
Making his debut with the Buffalo Sabres, the 24-year-old goaltender couldn’t complete Thursday’s game against his former squad, the Ottawa Senators, due to what has now been revealed to be a right leg injury.
When he left the arena, he was wearing a walking boot on that nearly went up to his knee.
“It doesn’t look like it’s short term,” Sabres coach Dan Bylsma told the Buffalo News. “It’s more than day-to-day at this point, but we need to evaluate further.”
It’s a rocky start to what’s an important campaign for Lehner. He has been given an opportunity to demonstrate that he’s ready to be a starting goaltender after being acquired by the Sabres over the summer, but it looks like that will have to be postponed.
While he’s sidelined, Chad Johnson is likely to be leaned on heavily.