Saturday’s loss to Buffalo notwithstanding, St. Louis has been on fire lately under new head coach Mike Yeo. The Blues are 7-2 in their last nine, and will get a big piece of the lineup back this evening when they host Florida at Scottrade.
Paul Statsny, who’s missed the last four games with a lower-body injury, will draw in for the first time since Feb. 9, per NHL.com’s Lou Korac.
Stastny had been on fire since the dismissal of former head coach Ken Hitchcock, racking up six points over his last five games played (in which the Blues went 4-1-0).
The 31-year-old currently sits fourth on the team in assists and points, while averaging 19:25 TOI per night, so he’s clearly a big part of the St. Louis attack. And based on his form prior to getting hurt, it was clear things were clicking with Steen and Tarasenko — which should make for an exciting test tonight against the red-hot Panthers.
The Ottawa Senators have called up some reinforcements from the AHL.
No word yet on the status of Hoffman, Stone, or Wingels, but head coach Guy Boucher wasn’t all that optimistic yesterday.
“It doesn’t look good,” Boucher told reporters. “We have to wait until tomorrow to be clear and precise but right now we could be losing quite a few guys.”
The Sens kick off a four-game road trip tomorrow in New Jersey. They currently sit second in the Atlantic Division, but not that far ahead of Boston, Toronto, and Florida.
Kings legend and Hockey Hall of Famer Luc Robitaille has added a new role to his front office portfolio.
Robitaille, currently serving as L.A.’s president of business operations, has been named as the chairman of Eisbaren Berlin, one of the most storied clubs in Germany’s top league, the Deutsche Eishockey Liga.
Berlin is owned by the Anschutz Entertainment Group, the same outfit that owns the Kings. The two clubs have a fairly long history with each other, though this Robitaille appointment is part of what sounds like the biggest cooperative initiative to date.
UPDATE: The Kings have confirmed the development, with added information…
The Los Angeles Kings will now oversee all operations of Berlin Eisbaren Hockey, it was announced today at a news conference at Mercedes-Benz Arena.
Eisbaren Berlin of the German Ice Hockey League and the Los Angeles Kings of the National Hockey League are owned and operated by AEG Sports, a division of the Anschutz Entertainment Group. The LA Kings will now begin leading all hockey operations and administrative matters, directing the day-to-day leadership of Managing Director Peter John Lee.
“The results the last few years in Berlin have not been the championship standards that we all expect,” said Robitaille. “It became clear that our relationship needs to go beyond collaboration and move to a complete connection to ensure the team and organization has what it needs to return this club to the type of team our fans expect and have demonstrated passionate support for.”
From the Eisbaren Berlin website (translated):
“This is an important day for the polar bears Berlin,” said Eisbären CEO Peter John Lee. We have been interacting with Luc Robitaille and LA Kings for a long time. In the new constellation we have the leadership of the LA Kings directly on board the polar bears, so we can work even more intensively to turn the polar bears Berlin into a championship team again.”
(At this time, probably worth noting the team’s nickname translates to polar bears.)
Former Kings farmhand Alex Roach currently plays for Berlin, and the team is coached by Robitaille’s former teammate in Detroit, Uwe Krupp.
If the Toronto Maple Leafs make the playoffs, special teams will be one of the big reasons why.
Three quarters of the way through the season, the Leafs boast the NHL’s top power play, and their ninth-ranked penalty killing isn’t too bad either.
When the PP and PK are combined, Toronto has the best special teams in the league, followed closely by the Bruins, Blues, and Capitals.
Here’s how all 30 teams rank (best and worst PP and PK in bold):
As you can see, the bottom of the list is full of teams who will miss the playoffs. The Stars’ penalty killing has been particularly dreadful. In fact, Dallas is on pace to have the worst PK of the salary-cap era.