The Canucks will be without an underrated and important part of their defensive corps for an undetermined amount of time. Alexander Edler is going on the shelf for some time as he’s going in to get micro disectomy surgery on his back putting him out of the lineup indefinitely. Edler missed last night’s game against Nashville leading to Lee Sweatt becoming the hero of the night in the Canucks 2-1 win.
If you’re not familiar with Edler’s work this season on the blue line, perhaps it’s time to get acquainted with it. Edler leads all Vancouver defensemen in: goals, assists, points, and time on ice. While he doesn’t get the publicity usually given to such performers, the Canucks are very much going to miss his presence on the ice.
Somewhat conveniently, Vancouver is hoping to have Sami Salo back soon. While he’s a good defenseman, relying on him to stay healthy is a risky proposition as he’s been out all season with an Achilles tendon injury. The Canucks have had their share of annoying injuries along the blue line this season with Salo, Dan Hamhuis, and Keith Ballard all seeing time on the shelf. They’ve been able to withstand previous injuries but Edler’s absence will be a true test. As for how long he’ll be out, the team won’t know until after surgery is completed. An extended absence would put a dent in the team’s depth and really put the pressure on Christian Ehrhoff and Kevin Bieksa to keep their solid play up the rest of the way.
If you want to summarize the Capitals – Maple Leafs game in one sentence, you could do worse than:
“Washington is hot as Jonathan Bernier is cold.”
The Caps reeled off a 4-2 win against Toronto on Saturday, giving them five straight wins. They also jumped into first place in the Metropolitan Division today, as they keep climbing while the New York Rangers are experiencing some growing pains.
Again, James Reimer can’t get healthy and back in Toronto’s net too soon:
With this win, Washington is now 17-5-1, leading the Metro by one point with 35 standings points. They also hold a game in hand against the Rangers, and no other Metro team even has 30 right now.
Measuring stick stretch begins
Tonight’s game began a “prove-it” month-and-change for Washington.
This contest began a three-game road trip, and they’ll also play six of seven away from Washington.
It’s pretty rough through the start of 2016, really. The Capitals will only enjoy three home games through Jan. 9.
In other words, the Capitals seem like a convincing East contender, but look out if they remain hot through the next 5-6 weeks.
Yes, there’s a lot of drama surrounding the Pittsburgh Penguins, whether it’s founded on serious problems or merely speculation.
It’s easy to get swept up in all of that and ignore the fact that, hey, they still have Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby. Those two can really heal wounds with their on-ice play, and in Saturday’s case, Malkin is taking over against the Edmonton Oilers.
His spin-o-rama goal above was a real jaw-dropper. He also scored Pittsburgh’s second tally:
These highlights feel like Malkin’s way of saying “It’s going to be just fine.”
Update: It wasn’t enough for a win, however, as the Oilers beat the Penguins 3-2 via a shootout.
Fighting is down more or less across the board in the NHL, but the Tampa Bay Lightning might be the franchise least interested in dropping the gloves.
Ryan Callahan vs. Kyle Okposo already has some name recognition to it, yet it gets some bonus points for being the Bolts’ first fighting major of 2015-16.
It … probably loses those bonus points in being run-of-the-mill.
Hey, be fair; the Lightning are clearly out of practice.
It must be a helpless feeling to sit idly by while your team continues to flail, but such emotions are what opposing GMs love to prey on.
Edmonton Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli hasn’t been around through much of the suffering for this hapless franchise, yet that doesn’t mean he’s immune to the calls for improvement. To his credit, he’s not buckling under that pressure.
You can see and hear his full comments below:
If you don’t feel like playing the video, the message is simple enough.
Chiarelli isn’t happy with Edmonton’s record – he hasn’t “seen progression” in ways that he was expecting, but again … he doesn’t want to force moves.
Long story short, he can “sleep at night,” even if he’s disappointed.
Is he right to take a relaxed approach, though? Maybe it’s time to blow up a part of what isn’t working? Have some fun armchair GM’ing on this one.