Leafs coach Ron Wilson made it crystal clear that both Jonas Gustavsson and Ben Scrivens are not the answer they’re looking for in a backup goalie in Toronto. With James Reimer still out dealing with a whiplash-like injury, it’s been on those two to stop pucks. In their last few games they’ve done anything but that.
So what now? With Reimer’s status still up in the air as to when he’s getting back, the backup issue is going to stay terrible and isn’t changing without a trade being worked out. Marty Turco is readily available as a free agent but he wouldn’t do anything to fix the problem. Brian Burke does have a couple of teams he could talk to about a deal though.
Florida has a glut of useful goaltending at the top with Jose Theodore and Scott Clemmensen with Clemmensen being the guy most likely to be moved. Clemmensen has just one year left on his deal and with Jacob Markstrom back in the AHL for the time being and with a future as their eventual top guy, Clemmensen is just the guy holding things down in the mean time. Dale Tallon and Brian Burke working on a trade has the potential to be explosively glorious.
If that doesn’t tickle their fancy there’s always the Islanders. The Isles are rolling with Rick DiPietro, Al Montoya, and Evgeni Nabokov in goal and Nabokov is the guy most readily available to move. Nabokov isn’t a permanent solution but would likely improve their backup situation dramatically and give Ron Wilson a guy he’s more than familiar with from his days in San Jose. Only question here is what it would take to get Garth Snow to move Nabokov. It won’t be cheap.
One way or another, Burke has a move to make here to keep the Leafs riding high all season. Backup goalie is a huge Achilles Heel for this team and they’ll need a fix sooner than later.
Optimism won’t come as easily for Lightning after ugly loss to Canucks
They were able to find the bright side of recent troubles, but what do you really say after a 5-1 loss to the struggling Vancouver Canucks?
The Lightning have lost two straight, six of seven and seven of nine during a deeply worrisome run. While they did generate more shots on goal tonight, they’ve now given up at least 30 in all but three of their contests since the start of November.
If the playoffs began today, the Lightning would easily miss them.
“It’s time for us to step up here,” Ben Bishop said after a game in which he was pulled heading into the third period. “Nobody is going to feel bad for us.”
Blame it on injuries if you’d like, but Steven Stamkos isn’t coming back anytime soon. If they don’t get things back together, they won’t be playing for much once he can return.
#tblightning Cooper: "I don't even remember losing games by four goals. Ever. Maybe one a year. Now we're losing them once a week."
One team just can’t be denied. At times, the other team just can’t seem to defend.
It was a pretty wild one between the Edmonton Oilers and the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday night, with the ultimate result being a 6-5 win for the Flyers.
The ride was bumpy, dramatic and will probably provide Oilers head coach Todd McLellan with a lot of “teaching moments” (or, let’s be honest, reasons to yell really loud).
Things started promising enough for the Oilers, who built an early 2-0 lead thanks to a goal and an assist by Leon Draisaitl. You could then cue the horror music, as the Flyers scored three goals in a minute and 12 seconds to grab a brief 3-2 lead:
There might be some concern about a young team like the Oilers cratering from such a letdown, yet they bounced back … to an extent.
Edmonton rattled off three unanswered goals, giving them a 5-3 lead about five minutes into the third period. It seemed like it would be a redemptive moment after that three-goal blunder.
The Oilers? They didn’t even get what sometimes feels like a customary “charity point” by getting to overtime. Three isn’t a magical number for Edmonton lately, as they’ve now lost three in a row. It’s probably safe to say that this one will burn the most.
Avalanche beat Bruins, even as Pastrnak remains almost unstoppable
David Pastrnak is scoring at an astounding pace. Sometimes it’s still not enough to earn a win for the Boston Bruins.
The 20-year-old wunderkind scored both of the Bruins’ goals on Thursday, giving him a patently absurd 18 in 23 games. Pastrnak now has five goals in his last three games (not to mention a five-game point streak with those five goals and two assists).
Calvin Pickard was perfect against Bruins not named Pastrnak, however, and the Colorado Avalanche beat Boston 4-2.
Perhaps part of the problem was that the Bruins “other” MVP wasn’t in action, then. Tuukka Rask has been right up there with the NHL’s best, but it was Anton Khudobin in net, and he gave up four goals on just 22 shots.
Rather than taking a step up the ladder, Pastrnak’s made leaps. Similarly, Rask is more than merely rebounding from what was – for his lofty standards – a disappointing campaign in 2015-16.
The Bruins need more from their supporting cast members, however, especially when one of these two players can’t suit up.
Even the best goalie in the world – one who makes it look easy – can lose his cool sometimes.
(Heck, that used to be the domain of Patrick Roy, right?)
It was quite the sight on Thursday nonetheless: Carey Price absolutely lost his cool and went after Kyle Palmieri during the Montreal Canadiens’ game against the New Jersey Devils. You can watch that spectacle in the video above.
Palmieri received an interference penalty while Price received a roughing double-minor. Apparently fits of Price anger are rare:
Carey Price loses it?! That's like seeing a unicorn.