Enforcer Aaron Downey to get tryout with Red Wings

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aarondowney.jpgThe Detroit Red Wings of recent years have never been a team to go crazy with enforcers and turn the rink into a boxing ring. After all, the days of the Bruise Brothers are long gone. One player that in recent years got a short run with the Red Wings in that role was Aaron Downey. Downey was out of hockey completely last year but things may change for him now. Mlive.com’s Ansar Khan reports that Downey will be getting a tryout with the Red Wings this year.

Downey is expected to attend Detroit Red Wings training camp on a tryout. It’s not official yet, but should be confirmed in the next couple of days.

Downey, who turns 36 on Aug. 27, played in 56 games for the Red Wings in 2007-08, after earning a one-year contract following a training camp tryout. He had no goals and three assists and racked up 116 penalty minutes, providing some much-needed toughness by sticking up for teammates who were getting run at by opponents.

Downey comes from a long line of affable but tough enforcers. Even after parting ways with Detroit, Downey was very well liked by Red Wings teammates. Downey’s main role in hockey is to play the part of peacekeeper but keeping a steady job in the NHL has been tough for him. Through his nine NHL seasons, Downey has played in just 243 games and scored just 18 points while piling up 494 penalty minutes.

Honest assessment: It’ll be stunning if he lands a job with the Red Wings. If he does want to play and makes the grade well enough, the Wings will likely make room for him in Grand Rapids in the AHL if he wants to go there.

Auston Matthews’ 33rd goal includes a dash of comedy (Video)

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This wouldn’t have been worth a chuckle if not for the correction. (Well, maybe a chuckle at Auston Matthews‘ expense.)

On the 33rd goal of his brilliant rookie season, Auston Matthews made it 2-0 for Toronto on the power play. Crusty “act like you’ve been there” types might grumble that he actually celebrated before a goal really happened, only to tap it in for real the second time around. The rest of us, again, get a mild chuckle.

William Nylander‘s pass was nothing to laugh at, however. That one just gets a big thumbs up.

Hnnngmgghh indeed.

That goal could end up being key as the Blue Jackets quickly scored to start the second period, shrinking Toronto’s lead to 2-1 on Wednesday.

Video: Leafs’ Carrick delivers thunderous hit on Blue Jackets’ Anderson

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Both the Columbus Blue Jackets and Toronto Maple Leafs have motivation to win their Wednesday game, but the Maple Leafs need it more.

So far, it shows, too.

The Maple Leafs have raced off to a 2-0 lead, with Auston Matthews scoring his 33rd goal of the season. If generating such offense didn’t highlight the urgency, Connor Carrick‘s huge hit on Josh Anderson makes a compelling argument. Witness that big impact in the video above.

There was also another high-impact moment when Nick Foligno went crashing into the boards:

Ouch, Blues consider Paul Stastny out week-to-week

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The St. Louis Blues announced that Paul Stastny is out week-to-week with a lower-body injury.

Stastny was limited to less than four minutes of ice time during last night’s 4-2 win against the Colorado Avalanche. Initially, head coach Mike Yeo indicated that the issue wasn’t serious.

There are only about three weeks left in the regular season, so it’s tough to tell if “week-to-week” would mean that the Blues will be without Stastny for any playoff time.

With Stastny out for an expended period of time and other injuries affecting Blues forwards, it sounds like Nail Yakupov gets another chance to prove himself:

Stastny generated 18 goals and 40 points in 66 games so far this season. He has played more of a defensive role this season (46.2 offensive zone start percentage after being closer to 50 earlier in his Blues days) and has been impressive in the dot, winning 53.8 of his faceoffs.

WATCH LIVE: Islanders at Rangers – Wednesday Night Rivalry

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A night after a feisty matcuhup with the Devils, the Rangers host an even bigger rival in the Islanders at Madison Square Garden for Wednesday Night Rivalry on NBCSN.

As nasty as Tuesday’s contest got at times, this one means more.

While the Rangers seem pretty safely seated as the East’s first wild card, the Islanders stand three points behind the Maple Leafs for the final spot in the conference. They’ve seen other bubble teams stumble, so this is their chance to close in on Toronto in what might be a shrinking field of contenders.

Spiting the Islanders might just give the Rangers a little extra life on back-to-back nights … especially since their fans would probably let them have it if they sleepwalk through this one.

It should be a fun, physical and dramatic one on NBCSN. You can also watch online and via the NBC Sports App.

Click here for the livestream.