Ryan Miller/Martin Brodeur update: Expect to see New Jersey and Buffalo’s backups tomorrow night

Sometimes, sports fans are treated to epic confrontations. Whether it’s Bird vs. Magic, Ali vs. Frazier or any other irresistible force squaring off against the latest immovable object, we occasionally get to witness parity-defying showdowns of athletes at the top of their respective games.

Wednesday’s match between the woefully inept New Jersey Devils and the wounded Buffalo Sabres is about as far as you can get from that, so perhaps it makes sense that the two teams’ workhorse goalies probably won’t play.

In one corner, you have the Sabres, who are tied for the second worst record (10 points) in the NHL. Word from the Buffalo News is that Ryan Miller should be in a snappy Sabres uniform, but only as a backup to Jhonas Enroth because Patrick Lalime is injured too.

Meanwhile, in the swampy Jersey corner, Johan Hedberg is the odds-on starter for the Devils, although that might be determined during Wednesday’s morning skate. Martin Brodeur might end up serving as a backup, too, if you believe coach John MacLean’s slip-up via Fire & Ice.

MacLean later slipped up, though, when asked if the team would call up a backup in case Brodeur isn’t ready.

“We’re just day to day with Marty, so we’ll see,” MacLean said. “We’re hoping Marty can skate tomorrow. It’s getting better every day. If he can take warm-up in the morning, I’m sure he’ll be able to back up.”

MacLean then paused for several seconds before adding, “If that’s the way we go.”

Oh, MacLean, you savvy cat.

Anyway, the winner of this game can rest easy in knowing that they’re probably not the worst team in the NHL (only somewhere between the second and fourth). It probably won’t be a barn burner … but if things go well, we might at least have a warmer barn on our hands.

Report: Islanders cut first-rounder Barzal from camp

Mathew Barzal
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It seems Mathew Barzal has played in his last game in a New York Islanders’ uniform for a little while.

Barzal took part in the Islanders’ preseason finale against the Washington Capitals on Sunday, but after that contest the Islanders decided to return him to WHL Seattle, per Newsday’s Arthur Staple.

He was taken with the 16th overall pick in 2015 NHL Entry Draft. That selection was well-traveled as it originally belonged to the Pittsburgh Penguins, but was involved in the David Perron trade and then moved to the Islanders as part of Edmonton’s deal to get Griffin Reinhart.

Barzal is noteworthy for his skill and speed, but he may have slipped in the draft due to a knee injury he sustained during the 2014-15 campaign.

The Islanders also reassigned Kirill Petrov, Kevin Czuczman, Scott Mayfield, and Adam Pelech to the AHL’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers.

Torres offered in-person hearing, potentially setting up long suspension

Torres hit

What will Raffi Torres get this time?

The 33-year-old forward that has become known primarily for his controversial hits has once again put himself in the sights of the NHL’s Department of Players Safety. They confirmed that he was offered an in-person hearing following his hit on Jakub Silfverberg Saturday night. He declined the opportunity to meet with them face-to-face, but the offer itself is an important detail because it gives the league the option to suspend him for more than five games.

It certainly seems like the stage is set for a lengthy suspension. While Torres is not considered a repeat offender as his last suspension came more than 18 months ago, the NHL still retains the right to consider his history when deciding on this matter.

Among other incidents, he was once was banned from 25 games for his hit on Marian Hossa in 2012, although it was later reduced to 21 contests after an appeal. The NHL found that Torres was guilty of breaking three rules for that hit; namely interference, charging, and illegally hitting the head. The NHL is reviewing Torres’ latest incident for the same three violations.

You can see the hit below:

And here it is slowed down:

Torres got a match penalty and Silfverberg left the game. Fortunately, Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said that Silfverberg could have returned, but was kept out for precautionary reasons.