Khabibulin impaired driving trial delayed once again

khabibulindui.jpgThe trial for Edmonton Oilers goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin in his impaired driving case has been delayed once again. Sarah McClellan of the Edmonton Journal shares the news.

Edmonton Oilers goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin arrived in an Arizona court Wednesday for the second time this month to appear before a jury on charges of impaired driving and speeding, but his case was once again postponed.

“The calendar’s congested,” said Khabibulin’s attorney Mark DuBiel as he exited a Scottsdale Municipal courtroom with Khabibulin.

Judge B. Monte Morgan offered DuBiel two options: a court date at the end of August without a jury in which Morgan would act as the judge and jury, or a date at the end of September with a jury trial.

“We don’t know which one we’re gonna take yet because we have to talk to the hockey club first,” DuBiel said.

Morgan also suggested an interim judge take the case, but DuBiel said that was a route the prosecutor would not like to take.

Khabibulin is going to have to face the music on this charge eventually and it’s one that looks pretty ugly considering the seemingly tame-ish nature of the charge. Khabibulin was cited for an extreme DUI and took a blood test to check the alcohol content in his system. The results came up as being more than twice the legal limit. Not good. With the trial now being delayed until September, Khabibulin’s participation in Oilers training camp will now face a major distraction.
Given that Khabibulin’s contract with the Oilers is rather interminably long for the 37 year-old (he’s got three years left at $3.375 million per), we took a look at what the Oilers could do a couple weeks ago should Khabibulin face jail time and found that the Oilers could void his contract if things got that far. Whether the Oilers would do that and battle with the NHLPA would remain to be seen.

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    Hockey tough: Mark Stone shakes off skate to face, scores

    Ottawa Senators right wing Mark Stone celebrates his game winning goal during overtime against the Boston Bruins during an NHL hockey game in Ottawa, Ontario, Saturday, Jan. 9, 2016.  The Senators defeated the Bruins 2-1. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT
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    You’d think the reaction to taking a skate to the face would be something like “Not coming back to that game, getting some ice and maybe do some soul-searching.”

    Nope, not in the NHL, at least.

    In this league, the real reaction is almost always to come back to the same game … and barely miss a beat.

    Ottawa Senators Mark Stone provides the latest example of hockey toughness, as he bounced back almost immediately from this.

    What did he do? He scored a nice goal in the Senators’ 6-1 blowout of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

    Latest way the Wild lost? Killed by penalty kill

    Minnesota Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk sits on the ice after giving up a goal to St. Louis Blues' Jori Lehtera, of Finland, during the second period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
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    It’s said that variety is the spice of life, yet it seems to be the spite of the Minnesota Wild.

    As head coach Mike Yeo said, this struggling team appears to find a new way to lose virtually every night. That couldn’t have happened once again on Saturday, when they fell 4-1 to the St. Louis Blues, could it?

    Actually …

    If you ask Jarret Stoll, the latest problem was the penalty kill.

    Honestly, Stoll may have been too specific, likely trying to throw his own unit under the bus. Instead, it might be more accurate to say that Minnesota’s special teams let them down.

    Indeed, the Wild struggled to limit the Blues’ power play, which went an unsettling 3-for-6. That said, Minnesota had a chance to trade blows with St. Louis. Instead, the Wild managed one power-play goal on seven opportunities.

    The silver lining is that the Wild believe that they showed more fight than this fragile bunch had been generating before.

    On the other hand, with Jonas Brodin on IR and Jared Spurgeon apparently hurt, that silver lining may not be so easy to see.

    Statement in Blackhawks’ blowout of Stars? Coach Q says they’re even

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    Worry (if you’re pulling for the Stars) or gloat (if you’re a Blackhawks fan) all you want, but the bottom line is that the Central Division’s No.1 spot is clearly in Chicago’s control after Saturday night.

    The Blackhawks earned a decisive 5-1 win against the Dallas Stars, giving them a five-point standings lead over Dallas for the Central Division lead.

    You may feel like that’s more of the same, but consider this: things would look a lot closer if Dallas won or gained points, as they hold three games in hand on the ‘Hawks.

    At least one Blackhawks player admits this game means a little more than your average W.

    Indeed, while Antti Niemi was pulled from the game and Kari Lehtonen faced his own struggles in Dallas’ net, Corey Crawford ranked as one of the big reasons why the score was so lopsided.

    (Artem Anisimov had a big say in that, too.)

    As a wise coach with 1,000+ games of experience would do, Joel Quenneville didn’t go overboard in assessing the victory.

    Was this a statement game? Who knows, but a certain statement is that the Blackhawks now have a five-point standings lead.

    Brad Marchand wins it … on a penalty shot … in overtime

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    Looking at the standings, beating the Buffalo Sabres was pretty important for the Boston Bruins. The Atlantic Division’s run for spots appears particularly congested out East.

    Of all the Bruins to get a chance to win it all, the team might have wanted Brad Marchand to have that opportunity. He’s on pace to destroy his previous career-highs for scoring, and Marchand’s been particularly hot lately.

    Either way, Marchand came up big indeed, scoring the rare overtime game-winner on a penalty shot. Check out the drama below:

    That can be a big extra point and ROW (regulation/overtime win) when the regular season is finished.

    Note: Many believe that Marchand should not have received a penalty shot on the play.