If you were to ask who the blue liner was this season with the most goals and the most terrifying shot to handle from the blue line you might hear names like Sheldon Souray or Sami Salo. Those are good guesses, but they’re not right. Welcome Jason Garrison to the party of guys with big shots putting fear into goalies.
Garrison is the Panthers defenseman who took the defenseman goal scoring lead last night with his seventh goal of the year in a 6-0 rout of Dallas. Seeing Garrison and Souray in the same game meant that both Kari Lehtonen and Scott Clemmensen had to be on their toes, but it would be Lehtonen seeing the full fury of Garrison’s work.
Garrison is evoking thoughts of big boomers of days gone by like Al Iafrate or Al MacInnis, but unlike Iafrate and more like MacInnis, when Garrison’s shot finds the mark he’s finding the back of the net.
Out of nowhere, Garrison has become one of Florida’s best defensemen and seeing him team up with Brian Campbell on the point on power plays is helping the Panthers become a lethal unit on the man advantage. Three of Garrison’s seven goals are on the power play after all.
Craziest stat of them all for Garrison? His seven goals this year equal the number of goals he’s had in his career before this season. If you’re going to break out, you might as well go big and the same could be said of the long dormant Panthers.
The Buffalo Sabres have recalled forward Justin Bailey from AHL Rochester.
It’s the first time Bailey, a second-round pick in 2013, has ever been called up to the NHL. The 20-year-old joins the big club after piling up 11 points (5G, 6A) in his last eight games for the Americans.
Most Sabres fans will know that Bailey is from Buffalo (technically, Williamsville), the son of former Bills linebacker Carlton Bailey. (To learn more, click on this Buffalo News story from July.)
The Sabres play Thursday in Philadelphia, where Bailey will reportedly make his NHL debut.
To make room for Bailey on Buffalo’s roster, Zemgus Girgensons (lower body) was placed on injured reserve.
Thing have gone from bad to weird in Minnesota, where embattled Wild coach Mike Yeo was “disappointed” to see Zenon Konopka’s rabbit holding a sign that read, “YEO MUST GO.”
Hey, we told you things had gotten weird.
Konopka, a former Wild player, took to Twitter last night after Minnesota’s latest loss.
Here’s what Konopka tweeted:
And what did Yeo think about that?
“I really don’t care what he says,” he told the Star Tribune, apparently adding with a laugh, “I will say I was very disappointed to see Hoppy holding that sign.”
Now, according to the newspaper’s Michael Russo, “Konopka and Yeo had a lot of issues behind the scenes and that’s why [Konopka] ended up on waivers two Januarys ago.”
Still, that doesn’t change the fact that a lot of Wild fans agree with Hoppy, er, Konopka, and it doesn’t change the fact that the Wild could really, really use a win tomorrow at home to Washington.
Nice work from Artem Anisimov and Matt Niskanen this week, but Connor McDavid‘s tally is on a different level.
You can pretty much bank on McDavid being in Goals of the Year, too. Just saying.
Laurent Brossoit is getting another crack at the NHL.
On Wednesday, the Oilers announced they demoted Anders Nilsson — who, earlier this year, was carrying the starting gig in Edmonton — and recalled Brossoit from AHL Bakersfield.
Brossoit, 22, is an interesting story. Taken in the sixth round of the 2011 draft (164th overall), he’s really made strides over the last year. He made his big-league debut at the end of last season and performed extremely well, making 49 saves on 51 shots in a loss to San Jose.
This year, Brossoit was named an AHL All-Star. He’s posted a 14-8-3 record for the Condors thus far, with a 2.70 GAA and .921 save percentage.
As for Nilsson, his demotion comes after losing the starting gig to Cam Talbot. Nilsson has also struggled to find the good form shown in November, when he made 10 starts and posted a .915 save percentage.
In his last outing, the lanky Swede allowed three goals on 10 shots in an embarrassing 8-1 loss to the Isles.