As I mentioned earlier this morning, Friday’s Goal of the Night was a really tough call but I decided to award it to Dallas Stars forward Jamie Benn. There were plenty of other good candidates, but the closest runner up (in my mind, at least) was probably Minnesota Wild forward Martin Havlat.
Havlat is actually putting together a quietly strong season with the Wild, even though many probably were only aware that his agent Alan Walsh made some complaints about how he was being used early on in 2010-11.
After scoring two goals and one assist in last night’s dominant performance against the Nashville Predators, Havlat now has 20 points (five goals and 15 assists) in 21 games. The book on Havlat in his days with the Ottawa Senators and Chicago Blackhawks was that he was a talented player who couldn’t stay on the ice because of injuries (sort of a poor man’s Marian Gaborik), but lately it seemed like he just was losing it with Minnesota.
Instead, Havlat is a big reason they might be able to claw their way into the playoffs. He made a lot of plays on Friday, but this goal was the highlight of them all.
They’re just one game into their regular season, but the Buffalo Sabres have already had to shift things around in their crease.
The Sabres announced that they have placed starting goaltender Robin Lehner on injured reserve after he was knocked out of Thursday’s game with a lower-body injury.
In a corresponding move, the club has recalled Nathan Lieuwen from their AHL affiliate in Rochester.
The 24-year-old didn’t play in the NHL last season, but he did have a 1-4-0 record with a 2.98 goals-against-average and a .906 save percentage in seven games during the 2013-14 season.
Lieuwen was Buffalo’s sixth round pick, 167th overall, in the 2011 draft.
The Sabres also announced that they have loaned defenseman Jake McCabe and goaltender Linus Ullmark to the Rochester Americans (AHL).
McCabe was a healthy scratch in Thursday’s game against Ottawa, while Ullmark is being activated off I.R. after having double hip surgery during the off-season.
It looks like the Boston Bruins will be without their captain again on Saturday night.
Head coach Claude Julien told members of the media that Zdeno Chara is considered doubtful for tonight’s game against the Montreal Canadiens.
Chara suffered an upper-body injury during the preseason and he’s already been forced to miss Boston’s season opening loss to the Jets.
Per CSN, Chara says he’s improving but he won’t return to the lineup until he’s as close to 100 percent as possible.
“Every area of the injury is improving,” said Chara. “Hopefully it’s not long before I’m free of any kind of discomfort. That’s what we’re doing right now…we’re being patient. For sure you don’t want to come back, and be half of what you are…and basically hurting yourself and the team. And you’re putting yourself in a position where you could be missing more time. At this time of the season, I think it’s important to be as close as you can be to 100 percent.”
Based on the number of defensive mistakes they committed on Thursday, the Bruins need Chara back as soon as possible: