Brian Elliott

PHT Oddsmaker: Let’s gamble on the NHL

PHT Oddsmaker will be a regular feature where we set pretend odds and pretend to gamble on them. If you’d like to bet real money, meet us in the alley and we’ll talk.

Total number of goalies to finish with a GAA below 2.00 (2.5)

We’ll use the “minimum 25 games” Jennings Trophy rule here. Currently six goalies are on pace – Brian Elliott (1.63 GAA), Tuukka Rask (1.66), Tim Thomas (1.84), Henrik Lundqvist (1.95), JS Giguere (1.95) and Jimmy Howard (1.95). Others in the running include Martin Biron (1.84 GAA, but only nine games played), Josh Harding (2.13), Nikolai Khabibulin (2.14), Jonathan Quick (2.15) and Cory Schneider (2.17). This is a tough one, but I’ll have to take the under. There’s just so little margin for error. One bad stretch and it’s over. Last year no goalie pulled it off  – Thomas was the best at 2.00 on the button. Rask was the last to do it, registering a 1.97 mark in 2009-10. The most intriguing guy to watch should be Elliott, if only because he’s…Brian Elliott. The fact the Blues also have Jaroslav Halak might help, as Elliott is less likely to keep playing if he’s not on top of his game. Other goalies don’t have the luxury to take a rest and work things out in practice.

Odds Jarome Iginla gets traded by the deadline (+400)

If the streaking Flames  are still in the playoff picture by the end of February, would they even consider trading their captain? That seems like a serious long shot. Besides, even if they’re completely out of it, Iginla might stay put — he’s got a no-movement clause, so ultimately it’s up to him. Calgary’s been one of the better teams in the NHL since getting off to yet another poor start. The Flames are 8-3-3 in their last 15, and if they beat the Islanders Thursday, they’ll move to .500 for the first time all season. With a little help, they could also move into the top eight in the Western Conference. The odds are tempting, but I’ll pass.

Odds Erik Karlsson finishes with the most points among defensemen (EVEN)

At the moment he’s got 33, three more than Brian Campbell, four more than Shea Weber and eight more than Alex Edler (25). With points in 24 of Ottawa’s 37 games, Karlsson’s consistency is worth noting. The longest stretch he’s gone without a point is three games. Staying healthy will be important, but at 21 years old, he shouldn’t be hampered by nagging injuries. Sure, I’ll take this bet.

Rangers get good news on McDonagh, bad news on Nash

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Some good news/bad news for the Rangers.

Exactly one week after suffering a concussion against the Philadelphia Flyers, defenseman Ryan McDonagh returned to the ice with his teammates this morning.

The Rangers captain was wearing a non-contract jersey, but “looked good” according to coach Alain Vigneault.

McDonagh was hurt after taking a punch to the head from Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds (above).

The 26-year-old has missed each of his team’s last three games since suffering the injury.

McDonagh hasn’t been cleared for contact, but that could happen in the next few days according to Vigneault.

The news wasn’t as good for forward Rick Nash, who’s been dealing with a bone bruise in his leg.

Nash has missed each of New York last eight game’s and Vigneault admitted that he’s no longer considered day-to-day.

He’ll miss at least another week.

Video: Blandisi scores great between-the-legs goal vs. Flyers

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What a story Joseph Blandisi‘s been for the New Jersey Devils this season.

The 21-year-old played in his first NHL game on Dec. 11 and has stayed with the Devils ever since.

It took him five games to pick up his first career point, but he’s done a whole lot more damage since then.

Blandisi came into Saturday’s action with 10 points in his last 12 games and he added to that against the Flyers.

He opened the scoring with this beautiful between-the-legs goal on goalie Michal Neuvirth (top of the page).

That’s Blandisi’s fourth goal of the season.

Some Twitter reaction to the goal:

Bruins’ Bergeron ruled out for Saturday’s game against Wild

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The Boston Bruins will be without center Patrice Bergeron in Saturday afternoon’s matinee against the Minnesota Wild.

It’s unclear how Bergeron suffered the undisclosed injury, but there’s reason to believe it occurred after he dropped the gloves with Jets forward Blake Wheeler (above).

He’s considered day-to-day at this point.

Losing him for an extended period of time would be devastating for Boston.

“You don’t like seeing your star players (fight), but you also understand that it’s an emotional game and that stuff happens and at one point a player says, ‘Enough is enough and I’m going to stand up for myself,’” Bruins head coach Claude Julien said after the game, as per the Boston Herald.

“From what I gathered there was a lot of slashes behind the legs behind the play and stuff like that. He took things upon himself. As much as you don’t like it, you can’t tell him he’s not allowed. He’s a big boy and he can certainly make some decisions on the ice. And it’s not the first time that he’s fought. But I like the fact that he doesn’t fight much.”

After this incident, there’s no doubt that the Bruins will tell Bergeron to keep his gloves on from now on.

Jets will take one more crack at re-signing Andrew Ladd

Winnipeg Jets' Andrew Ladd (16) and Blake Wheeler (26) celebrate Ladd's goal against the Toronto Maple Leafs during third period NHL action in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015. (John Woods/The Canadian Press via AP)
Associated Press
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Jets captain Andrew Ladd still doesn’t have a contract for next season and with the Feb. 29 trade deadline approaching, something’s gonna have to give.

According to TSN’s Gary Lawless, the Winnipeg Jets will make one last push to sign the forward before making him available on the trade market.

Ladd doesn’t want to leave and the team wants to keep him, but after Dustin Byfgulien got an extension earlier this month, there may not be enough money to go around.

At one point, the Jets reportedly made Ladd a six-year offer worth $6 million per year, which he obviously didn’t accept.

Can they top that? Time will tell.

Waiting to trade Ladd is probably the smartest decision.

Keeping the captain around would be great, but if the two sides can’t agree to a new contract, there’ll be no shortage of suitors for Ladd’s services.

Lawless mentions the Penguins, Panthers and Blackhawks as potential landing spots for the 30-year-old.

The Kings have also been mentioned as a potential destination for Ladd.

Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff will have to make some crucial decisions over the next few weeks.