Sportsnet is reporting that Ottawa Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson will miss tomorrow night’s game in Carolina with a hip flexor injury. It’s a tough loss for the Sens — the 38-year-old veteran has 3G-2A-5PTS in eight games this year and served as the elder statesman/mentor on a line with Nick Foligno (23 years old) and Mika Zibanejad (18) for most of this season.
In a corresponding move, Ottawa called up name-of-the-year candidate Kaspars Daugavins from Binghamton of the American Hockey League.
Other game notes:
— Tomorrow marks the start of Carolina’s first homestand of the season. If the New York Rangers staked claim to the worst schedule to open the season (a seven-game road trip), Carolina could claim second-worst — the ‘Canes have played in Carolina, Washington, New Jersey, Carolina, Buffalo, Boston, St. Louis and Winnipeg to start the year.
— The Mika Zibanejad Games Played Watch (which I’m sure is breaking all sorts of Nielsen records) continues tomorrow as he’ll play his ninth game of the season. Game No. 9, of course, being the benchmark where Ottawa must decide to keep him in the NHL or return him to the Swedish Elite League. If he stays, he uses up a year of his entry-level deal. If he goes back, he returns next year in the first season of his contract.
— Of the 10 worst plus-minus players in the NHL, the Sens-Canes game features four: Eric Staal (-10, the worst in the NHL) Stephane Da Costa (-8), Erik Karlsson (-6) and Justin Faulk (-6).
Breaking: the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers don’t like each other.
The stakes might be higher for the Penguins than the Flyers – aside from those who still believe Philly has a shot at a playoff run – their rivalry rarely subsides.
With that in mind, it’s no surprise that Sunday featured at least one fight, with Cameron Gaunce squaring off against Brandon Manning in a pretty spirited bout.
Manning isn’t shy about fighting, by the way; this was his seventh bout of the season, according to Hockey Fights.
Higher on the radar for the Penguins is the situation for Conor Sheary, who has been absent from the ice since about midway through the first period. PHT will keep an eye out for updates on what could be yet another injury for the health-challenged Pens.
Life is difficult, complex and confusing. Good thing we have dog videos.
Forgive this video being one night late, but for those of us who watch cute animal clips, time is a furry circle. Or something like that.
Anyway, this golden retriever got a little “ice time” before the Washington Capitals’ game against the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday in what would end up being a 4-1 win for the Caps. It’s an excellent video featuring a top-notch, hilarious pooch.
Alternate joke: Now that is some puck retrieval.
Patrik Laine and Auston Matthews are locked with identical goals (34), assists (27) and points (61) on Sunday, which is remarkable since Laine has played in 67 games versus 75 for Matthews. He won’t get a chance to beef up his numbers on Sunday, either.
It looks like the high-scoring rookie is missing the Winnipeg Jets’ contest against the Vancouver Canucks because of an illness, according to TSN’s Sara Orlesky.
The Jets are almost assured to miss the playoffs, so seeing Laine lose a chance to bolster his Calder argument adds a little extra sadness to the night.
The NHL’s Department of Player Safety announced a Monday hearing for San Jose Sharks tough guy Micheal Haley for his “roughing/sucker punch” on Calle Jarnkrok of the Nashville Predators.
The league didn’t specify if Haley will face a telephone or in-person hearing on Monday afternoon. They did, interestingly, use the phrase “sucker punch” in that official announcement.
Haley received a match penalty during the game. Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer was highly upset about the hit that inspired Haley’s actions.
“When you run someone from behind in a game like that, you probably deserve to get a punch in the mouth,” DeBoer told reporters.
In other bad news for the Sharks, CSN Bay Area’s Kevin Kurz reports that Logan Couture‘s situation isn’t looking promising after he was hurt on Sunday.