Andrew Ladd

Ladd on Winnipeg’s scoring woes: “We probably could use some help”

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It seems the Jets reached a new low following a 3-1 loss to the Islanders on Tuesday night.

It wasn’t that their offense fell to 25th in the league (it had been 24th coming in.) And it wasn’t that their power play went 0-for-3 on the night (now 2-for-25 in its last 10 games.)

No, the low point was Jets captain Andrew Ladd asking the front office to make a deal for more offense.

Asking publicly, no less.

“With the troubles we’ve had scoring, if it’s not going to come from within this room, we probably could use some help, there,” Ladd told the Winnipeg Sun. “We’ve got a great goaltender, we’ve got D that can move the puck and play both ways.”

It’s a pretty bold statement from the guy that led the Jets (then the Thrashers) in scoring last season with 29 goals and 59 points. Ladd’s since been surpassed by a number of teammates — including RW Blake Wheeler, who currently leads the team in scoring — which is fine, because Ladd isn’t a gifted scorer by trade. He’s a grit guy, a heart-and-soul guy…who recognizes that if he leads the team in scoring one year and Wheeler the next, something might be wrong with the team.

Speaking of things wrong with the Jets, check out head coach Claude Noel’s post-game reaction:

“The best players aren’t even executing passes that are simple plays,” Noel said. “Maybe we just gotta get new guys out there.”

Noel called his team’s effort “decent” in the first period, the power play “demoralizing.”

But his biggest headache might be the way this team got its collective want-to sucked right out of it when the Isles grabbed a 2-1 lead, a minute and a half into the third period.

“We had no life,” Noel said. “What is that — belief system?”

It’s not the first time the Jets threw in the towel far too easily, and too early.

It’s not even a conscious thing. But deep down, they seem to know they can’t come from behind.

“Am I discouraged?” Noel repeated a question. “How do I look? I’m not real happy. It was a big game against an opponent we should have been able to beat.”

Despite Ladd’s and Noel’s comments, Winnipeg just doesn’t look ready to become a trade deadline buyer. Even though they’re just four points out of eighth in the Eastern Conference, the Jets haven’t been able to make up any ground on the likes of Ottawa, Toronto and Washington, despite the fact all three have been bad-to-mediocre-at-best lately.

Kings place Ehrhoff on waivers

LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 05:  Nick Bonino #13 of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Christian Ehrhoff #10 of the Los Angeles Kings head for the piuck during the first period at Staples Center on December 5, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
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The Los Angeles Kings have placed defenseman Christian Ehrhoff on waivers, according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie.

A veteran of almost 800 NHL games, Ehrhoff has not fit well with Los Angeles after signing a one-year, $1.5 million deal in August. The 33-year-old has just 11 points in 40 games and is a team-worst minus-10. Though he had two assists in last night’s 9-2 win over the Bruins, he also took a careless tripping penalty in the first period that led to a Boston goal.

In a related story, the Kings are rumored to be looking for help on the back end. In fact, they were reportedly quite interested in Dustin Byfuglien, before he re-signed with the Jets.

According to Jon Rosen of LA Kings Insider, 23-year-old defenseman Kevin Gravel is “on the verge of a recall” from AHL Ontario.

The Kings play Thursday in Brooklyn.

Report: Kadri’s throat-slashing gesture being reviewed by NHL

Nazem Kadri
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Nazem Kadri‘s throat-slashing gesture is under review by the NHL, according to TSN.ca.

The Maple Leafs forward made the gesture while sitting on Toronto’s bench last night in Calgary, moments after he was laid out by Flames captain Mark Giordano.

The NHL first started cracking down on the throat-slashing gesture in 2000. Former NHLer Nick Boyton was suspended twice for making the gesture, first in 2006 then again in 2010. He was banned one game for each incident.

Fix coming? Blues activate Schwartz after 49-game absence

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After Tuesday’s loss to the Jets — the Blues’ fourth in their last six games — head coach Ken Hitchcock said his club has “got to play harder than this” and “got to compete at a lot higher level than this.”

He then added “it’s up to us to fix it.”

Well, help is on the way.

On Wednesday, the Blues activated forward Jaden Schwartz off injured reserve, after he missed the last 49 contests with a fractured left ankle. Schwartz is expected to be in the lineup on Friday when the Blues take on the Panthers in Florida.

The 23-year-old should provide an immediate boost to the lineup. Schwartz had four points in seven games before getting hurt, and that came on the heels of a successful ’14-15 campaign in which he posted career highs in goals (28) and points (63).

The Blues’ first-round pick in 2010 (14th overall), Schwartz is a 17-18 TOI per night guy, so he’ll be a big presence almost immediately. His return also inches the team back to full health, though there’s still a ways to go — Alex Pietrangelo and Jake Allen are still week-to-week with knee and lower-body injuries, while Steve Ott is out until late February following hamstrings surgery.

Related: Armstrong wants Blues to get healthy before any trades are made

‘Very upset’ Jokinen blasts NHL’s handling of Abdelkader-Barkov hit

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You can add Jussi Jokinen to the list of Florida Panthers livid with Justin Abdelkader‘s hit on Aleksander Barkov.

“I’m very upset,” Jokinen said, per the Florida Sun-Sentinel. “I don’t know if I’m too emotional because that’s my best friend on the team. It looked really dangerous.”

Barkov was knocked woozy by a big Abdelkader check during Detroit’s 3-0 win over the Panthers on Monday. The hit forced the young Finn from the game, and also forced him to miss yesterday’s contest in Buffalo.

Abdelkader wasn’t fined or suspended for the hit and, according to the Sun-Sentinel, the NHL’s Department of Player Safety didn’t contact him at all.

It’s also worth pointing out that Abdelkader wasn’t penalized at the time of the incident.

But that didn’t stop Nick Bjugstad and head coach Gerard Gallant from calling the hit “cheap,” with Gallant suggesting Abdelkader left his feet to make the hit, and caught Barkov in the jaw.

Jokinen put the onus on the league to wipe out checks of this nature.

“There are too many hits like that an no suspensions,” he explained. “Fans want to watch Barkov, not those guys. The league has to do a better job of taking those hits out of the game.”

Florida and Detroit next play on Mar. 19, in case you’re wondering.