Ryan Miller won’t play in tonight’s game against the Lightning

1 Comment

The Buffalo Sabres have been forced to play some of the most important games of their 2010-11 season with Jhonas Enroth instead of Ryan Miller. It looks like they will need to do so for at least one more game (tonight’s contest against the Tampa Bay Lightning), according to NHL.com.

Enroth produced impressive enough work in his three appearances last week to manage a 2-0-1 record, which also earned him the third star of the week award from the league. That nice run of games included what could be Buffalo’s biggest win of the season, as the ninth-place Sabres dispatched the 10th-ranked Carolina Hurricanes in overtime with Enroth in net.

The Sabres aren’t out of the woods yet, so it’s too early for Enroth & Co. to breathe a sigh of relief. As well as Enroth played in a small sample of games this season, the team ultimately will go as far as Miller can take them, so it’s good news that he’s at least back to light workouts (according to NHL.com).

Miller spoke about his productive 30-minute workout, which didn’t include an actual practice with the team.

Miller, however, did skate on his own in full equipment for about 30 minutes and remained hopeful about his chances to play later this week.

Miller’s workout Monday consisted of drills to work on his positioning and lateral movements. Sidelined since last Tuesday with an upper-body injury the Sabres have provided no additional detail on whether the reigning Vezina Trophy winner planned on testing himself further during Tuesday’s morning skate.

“It’s just good to get back, feel the ice a little bit and graduate from there and see what they say after pratice tomorrow,” Miller said. “We’re at that time of year where we don’t want to deal in specifics [on injuries], but it’s something that didn’t allow me to give the team the best chance to win and it’s something I had to make sure I was good health-wise. And now we’re in a position where we are day-to-day and today was a good step forward. I really believe that it shouldn’t be something that’s going to linger too long and it’s something I can get back and play shortly.”

We’ll let you know how the all-world goalie progresses going forward, especially if he can return before the end of the regular season.

Video: This Kane-to-Panarin goal is all sorts of ridiculous

1 Comment

When people were arguing against Artemi Panarin‘s Calder case, they often discounted his work because of Patrick Kane‘s brilliance (at least when they weren’t focusing on age questions).

It always felt a little unfair to Panarin.

Do we blame a great wide receiver playing with an adept quarterback? Sure, it’s an interesting discussion to have, but it seems fairly clear that there’s a symbiotic relationship between Panarin and Kane.

One could see that plainly in a 1-0 goal for the Chicago Blackhawks against the Pittsburgh Penguins that … admittedly was driven by Kane’s almost audacious creativity and skill.

But still, Panarin has 26 goals this season because he’s really good, too. This season has been a nice showcase for such thoughts, and a reminder that – like most great combinations – they make each other better.

(Seriously though, Kane was out of his mind there.)

‘Old Time Hockey’ video game takes a bit of an early beating from reviewers

4 Comments

From the sound of things, “Old Time Hockey” is a video game with a lot of heart, but maybe not the skills to make it to the big time.

While “NHL 17” is pumped out by publishing giant EA Sports, this title is very much an independent labor of love by a company called V7 Entertainment. Puck Daddy’s Sean Leahy provided a great interview with the developers here. It’s worth noting that the game reminds one of 8-bit titles in another way: lacking an NHL license, these teams are instead fictional. This isn’t necessarily a drawback as much as it provides the title with its own unique “flavor.”

It’s hard not to get behind a scrappy development, especially in an age where sports video game options are so scarce. Some leagues barely see any licensed games any longer (see: the MLB, which feels woefully misrepresented these days), and the arcade-style that “Blades of Steel” and other old-school games popularized is even tougher to come by.

Combine these factors with an aesthetic inspired by “Slap Shot” and “Old Time Hockey” seems like it could really scratch an itch … except, it sounds like the puck missed the net.

So far, reviews are pretty mixed for the title, which is currently on PC and Playstation 4 (with planned releases on Xbox One and Nintendo Switch).

While there are a few good reviews here and there, the general reception is of disappointment.

A Sporting News review states that “the promising premise falls apart quickly.” Game Informer slams a “slew-footed story mode.” PC Gamer notes that, with EA not releasing an NHL game on that platform since 2008, there was a need here … but it wasn’t met.

Does that mean there’s no fun to be had? Not necessarily, but it’s a bummer that the game might be off the mark, especially since V7 Entertainment seems to have its heart in the right place.

Then again, maybe those who want that “NHL 94” fix merely need to dig a little. As this Vice article points out, there’s still an active community playing the sort of game that scratches the itch that “Old Time Hockey” – perhaps – can’t quite reach.

WATCH LIVE: Blackhawks at Penguins – Wednesday Night Rivalry

Getty
Leave a comment

The latest edition of NBCSN’s Wednesday Night Rivalry presents quite the treat: the Chicago Blackhawks at the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Both teams are at 103 standings points and each squad already punched a ticket to the playoffs. Even so, they’re dealing with mini-slumps that they’d like to work out tonight.

For all we know, this could be a preview of what would be one extremely fun, high-profile 2017 Stanley Cup Final. Either way, it’s a showcase of two premiere franchises brimming with star power.

You can watch on NBCSN, online and via NBC Sports App. Click here for the livestream.

Yes, NHL will share protected, available player lists for expansion draft

Getty
1 Comment

We can debate all day how much the NHL, Vegas Golden Knights and others involved really want to do this, but they’re making the right choice with the expansion draft nonetheless. The league will make protected and available players lists available at the same time they’re shared with teams, according to NHL.com’s Nick Cotsonika.

(The NHL tweeted out as much, too.)

Could this lead to feelings being hurt or perhaps even certain sneaky deals being scuttled? Perhaps, but those are headaches that management should be expected to absorb.

The bottom line is that an expansion draft is a dream come true for armchair GMs, rumor enthusiasts, fantasy sports fans and … really, just about anyone interested in hockey. It would be a bewildering decision to try to keep all of this information locked down, even for a league that frequently garners a reputation for choosing comfort over entertainment value.

Cotsonika reports that such lists will probably be made available on June 18, though that isn’t set in stone. NHL.com’s Dan Rosen also backs this up as a possible date.

(If you’re the type to take off work if a trade deadline was exciting, you might want to start drumming up excuses/putting aside vacation time/practicing your best “I’m sick” voice just in case …)

Cap Friendly provides a handy timeline for the expansion draft process: