Two different superstar goalies whose teams rely on them heavily to win games for them won’t be hitting the ice tonight. New Jersey’s Martin Brodeur who left the Devils’ last game early with an apparent elbow injury won’t be playing tonight as the Devils take on the New York Rangers. For Brodeur, he tried everything out today in practice and just didn’t feel right enough to play what a full and potentially frustrating game against the Rangers. Fire & Ice’s Tom Gulitti gets the word from Brodeur himself.
Brodeur made it clear that his elbow feels much better than it did on Wednesday.
“Not even close,” he said. “It got better. There was no way I could have finished the game in Chicago and yesterday was painful going through and I thought everything was going good. This morning I thought everything was going to be all right, but I needed to get on the ice to really find out. If I took the morning off, I probably would have played tonight, but I needed to go on and see how I felt.”
Brodeur said “the first couple of shots even feeling the puck was fine.”
“I just swatted a puck out, just a rebound, and I kind of felt like a sharp pain and from there, after that it’s not worth it,” he said.
Johan Hedberg will start for New Jersey in his place. The Devils also called up Jeff Frazee from Albany to play as Hedberg’s backup tonight as Brodeur won’t suit up at all. We’re sure that Sean Avery will be disappointed that he won’t get to whisper sweet nothings in Marty’s ear tonight.
In Buffalo, things are a bit sketchier for Ryan Miller. Miller missed the Sabres previous game against the Bruins and it appears that he’s not going to play at all this weekend either missing tonight’s game against Montreal and Saturday’s against Toronto. Bill Hoppe tweets that the Sabres say Miller is out for this weekend’s games.
For the Sabres, being without Miller is a huge problem as was shown in their 5-2 loss to the Bruins that saw Jhonas Enroth get chased from the game. Patrick Lalime hasn’t been a solid backup option for Buffalo playing poorly when he has started. Any hopes of seeing the Sabres right the ship this weekend took a big hit with Miller’s news. The pressure is now on the offense to step up and try to help either Enroth or Lalime out.
The New Jersey Devils and Los Angeles Kings prefer to lean on workhorse goalies Cory Schneider and Jonathan Quick respectively, but Sunday presents a change of pace.
In the Kings’ case, Jhonas Enroth is playing in part because of (what Los Angeles hopes is) a minor injury to Quick.
It’s true that the under-sized goalie sports a mediocre 4-4-1 record, but he’s given the Kings legitimate chances to win games considering his impressive (especially for a backup) save percentage of .925. Perhaps he can earn a few more reps if he plays well in what may be a tight game?
Speaking of earning more reps, Keith Kinkaid must continue to work to prove that he’s able to make the jump from AHL goalie to at least an NHL backup. The Kings aren’t likely to make it easy for him, either.
Avalanche at Sabres: Semyon Varlamov vs. Robin Lehner
Bruins at Red Wings: Possibly Tuukka Rask vs. Petr Mrazek
Blues at Lightning: Best guess – Brian Elliott vs. Ben Bishop
Flyers at Rangers: Steve Mason vs. (possibly) Henrik Lundqvist
Bummed out on this holiday? Look on the bright side: at least you’re not as sore as Florida Panthers defenseman Alex Petrovic likely is right now.
Not long after suffering three defeats at the hands/fists of Evander Kane, Petrovic likely lost another bout to Nashville Predators tough guy Anthony Bitetto.
(Note: some might consider this more of a draw, for what it’s worth. You can watch that latest fight in the video above.)
Hey, at least Bitetto didn’t taunt Petrovic after their fight …
It was a rough night for the Panthers overall, as they suffered a gruesome injury or two and fell to the Predators by a score of 5-0.
Love is in the air on Valentine’s Day, and so are rumors about hockey fans bundling up for outdoor games next season.
Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman went over two possible outdoor matchups coming for 2016-17 during Saturday’s Headlines segment.
A smart move for a potential game in Winnipeg: Imagine the Jets hosting a game in Winnipeg in February? Ilya Bryzgalov almost turned off his TV in protest.
Instead, Sportsnet’s John Shannon reports that the Jets are likely to host the Edmonton Oilers in October. That would be a smart logistical move, as long as it isn’t too hot.
(Also, playing it then would hopefully increase the odds of the mainstream sporting public seeing Connor McDavid in an outdoor game.)
Toronto’s turn: Friedman reports that the Toronto Maple Leafs are likely to host the Detroit Red Wings in the 2017 Winter Classic (or at least an outdoor game), almost certainly on New Year’s Day 2017.
The two teams combined for a great Winter Classic at Ann Arbor in 2014, so that could be a fun time.
Keep in mind these are reports (and well-placed ones at that) rather than official announcements for the NHL. These things could always change.
Related: Could the Penguins host the Flyers outdoors next season, too?
“Costly victories” may have been one of the themes of Saturday night, as some teams paired impressive wins with worrisome injuries.
The good news is that, in each case, it appears that the early word is optimistic about those players (Tyler Seguin got stitched up in the Stars’ win, for example).
The Anaheim Ducks are reportedly readying to recall Anton Khudobin on Sunday after John Gibson suffered an upper-body injury during a collision with Chicago Blackhawks forward Richard Panik.
Again, so far the hope/expectation is that this might not be a major issue:
The pessimistic take would be to wonder “Uh oh, is the Ducks goalie carousel starting again?”
Frederik Andersen has seen some runs as Anaheim’s No. 1 guy, so maybe this issue is a reminder that the Ducks may be better off keeping both Gibson and Andersen around … at least while they can.