Riding the Zamboni – February 14; Blues surprise Canucks, Flames embarrass Avalanche

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St. Louis 3 – Vancouver 2

Vancouver can’t be perfect every night and tonight they caught a motivated Blues team in their barn. Andy McDonald had a goal and an assist and Alex Pietrangelo had two assists to lead the way for St. Louis. Jaroslav Halak made 23 saves to get the win. For Vancouver, they got down 3-1 in this one and Jannik Hansen’s third period goal was able to make it closer, but it wasn’t meant to happen. Bad news for the Canucks came in the form of a broken wrist for defenseman Andrew Alberts. Alberts now heads to LTIR and joins an astounding blue line injured list that features Alex Edler, Dan Hamhuis, and Keith Ballard.

Phoenix 3 – Washington 2

Calgary 9 – Colorado 1

On the day where the Avalanche saw Peter Forsberg retire from hockey, the team went out tonight and played as if they were in a funeral home getting destroyed by Calgary.Calgary jumped out to a 5-0 lead after the first period and never slowed down. Olli Jokinen and David Moss each had four point nights as they both had a goal and three assists. Jokinen’s night was ended early after being the victim of a terrible knee-on-knee hit from Philippe Dupuis. Dupuis received a five-minute major for kneeing and a game misconduct. Jokinen left the game and did not return to action.

Instead of freaking out and fighting everyone and their brother, the Flames just kept scoring, tallying nine goals in all and causing Avs goalies Peter Budaj and Craig Anderson to be cycled in and out of the game as the score kept going up. The loss is the seventh in a row for the Avs and tonight’s loss is the sort of game that could cause big changes to happen soon as the Avs played like they’ve given up on everything. Making matters worse for them, both Matt Duchene and David Jones left the game in the third period with separate injuries. Calgary also lost Tim Jackman during the game with a lower body injury.

Blue Jackets’ Wennberg done for night with upper-body injury

Alexander Wennberg, Jay Bouwmeester
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It wouldn’t be a regular season game without a Columbus Blue Jackets injury, right?

OK, the Blue Jackets hope that 2015-16 looks different from the medically challenged mess of last season, but at least one player is banged up tonight.

Alexander Wennberg suffered an upper-body injury and won’t return on Friday, as the team noted.

There’s no word yet regarding how serious the issue might be. It looks like he might have suffered an injury thanks to a Chris Kreider check:

Naturally, the Blue Jackets must hope that this doesn’t begin another trend.

Kings grab goalie insurance by signing Budaj

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 22: Jhonas Enroth #1 and Peter Budaj #31 of the Los Angeles Kings stretch before a game against the Arizona Coyotes at STAPLES Center on September 22, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NHLI via Getty Images)
via Los Angeles Kings
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In slightly less interesting Los Angeles Kings news than the latest in the Mike Richards fiasco, the team handed Peter Budaj a one-year, two-way deal on Friday.

The veteran goalie’s contract pays $575K on the NHL level and $100K in the AHL (though it’s $150K guaranteed), according to Hockey’s Cap.

At the moment, it sounds like Budaj will be third on the Kings’ goalie depth chart. That says as much about how things have been going lately for Los Angeles than Budaj’s work on a PTO.

As noted above, one of the more significant moves in Budaj’s favor came when the New York Islanders claimed Jean-Francois Berube off of waivers this week.

The Kings actually waived Budaj before signing him, so this has to be a relief to a goalie with a fairly robust resume as a backup.

All apologies to Budaj, but it’s probably true that the Kings would prefer not to see him at the NHL level very often in 2015-16.