Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch is reporting another tough loss for the Blue Jackets — this time, from the practice rink.
Rick Nash nailed goaltender Steve Mason in the mask at with a shot this morning, sending the goaltender to his knees before trainers helped him off the ice. Mason was able to leave the skate under his own power, but won’t play tonight against Calgary. Head coach Scott Arniel confirmed that Curtis Sanford will start against the Flames while Allen York — the pride of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute — has been summoned from AHL Springfield to back him up.
“He’s not good,” Arniel said of Mason. “Yorkie’s on his way in here. (Mason’s) going to miss tonight and we’ll re-evaluate him tomorrow. He got hit pretty good there, hit pretty hard.”
At the risk of further beating a dead horse (*makes whip noise*), I’d once again like to point out what Columbus GM Scott Howson went into the season with in goal:
— Mason (who basically lost his starting gig last year)
— Sanford (who was in the AHL)
— York (who was playing college hockey)
— Mark Dekanich (formerly the No. 3 in Nashville)
So there was depth at the position — but outside of Mason, not a ton of experience at the NHL level. Sanford had over 100 games but had been out of the NHL since 2009.
Impeccable hindsight makes you wonder why a veteran presence like Ray Emery (who Chicago brought in on a tryout) or Marty Turco (still unemployed) wasn’t brought in to compete for a job.
Flames keep showing life, Stars stumble once again
If you think the Dallas Stars are struggling because of defense more than anything else, then you’ll make sure to keep the video above “on file.”
There Kari Lehtonen was, helpless on a 2-on-0 rush for the Calgary Flames, which Johnny Gaudreau finished with calm and ease. For some, that goal is the symbol of the Stars’ season.
Either way, it was a painful goal in the Flames’ 2-1 win against the Stars. Calgary won despite Dallas firing 30 shots on goal versus the Flames’ 20.
One team climbing, the other stumbling
With that, the Flames are now on a four-game winning streak. Since falling to 5-10-1 on Nov. 12, the Flames have gone 9-3-1 in their last 13 games, pushing them to 14-13-2 overall. Gaudreau coming back is the icing on the cake after Chad Johnson really took charge of the Flames’ top job.
During a similar span, the Stars can’t seem to get it together. Dallas stood at 6-6-3 after beating the Oilers 3-2 on Nov. 11. They’re now 10-11-6, essentially standing in place as a .500 team.
Dallas can’t seem to get momentum going, a thought that might have left them envious of the team on the other end of the ice on Tuesday.
On Tuesday, it wasn’t just about Jack Eichel vs. Connor McDavid. Instead, it was a clash between a fleet of young scorers who were in their prime, with the Buffalo Sabres coming up on top against the Edmonton Oilers.