Teemu Selanne

Hot Ducks topple the slumping Blackhawks

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The Chicago Blackhawks ended their drought of 39 consecutive power-play opportunities without a goal, but that’s about all that went right for them on Sunday. They suffered their third straight loss, while the Anaheim Ducks stayed hot with their sixth victory in eight games.

Patrick Kane netted Chicago’s first power-play goal in over a month to give Chicago a 1-0 lead midway through the first period. Marian Hossa registered an assist and reached the 60-point mark for the first time since 2008-09. Unfortunately for Chicago, with just 20 seconds remaining in the first period, Andrew Cogliano netted a questionable goal to even the score.

Chicago was thoroughly thrashed after that, being outshot by Anaheim 26-9 over the final 40 minutes. Sheldon Brookbank netted just his third goal in 257 career NHL games while the ageless Teemu Selanne had a goal and an assist. Between the pipes, Jonas Hiller kicked out 18 of 19 shots and has allowed just 10 goals in his last seven starts.

The Blackhawks time at the top of Central Division now seems like a distant memory and at this point, they have next to no chance of catching up to Detroit. Instead, Chicago needs to put this rough patch behind them simply to hold onto their playoff spot. They have a five point lead on the ninth place Los Angeles Kings, but the Blackhawks have played in two extra games. Chicago has two full days off to regroup before they are scheduled to play the Toronto Maple Leafs.

On the Ducks’ side, this win helps to keep their dreams of making the playoffs alive against all odds. Anaheim is six points behind the eighth place Dallas Stars. They’ll try to carry their momentum into Colorado for Monday’s game.

It looks like Havlat won’t make Panthers

Martin Havlat
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As PHT’s mentioned before, the Florida Panthers stand as a fascinating contrast between youth and experience.

Let’s not kid ourselves, though; fresh faces usually beat out gray beards, at least when it comes to teams that are still trying to build toward contender status.

While it’s by no means official, two Panthers beat writers – the Miami Herald’s George Richards and the Florida Sun-Sentinel’s Harvey Fialkov – report that the Panthers are likely to pass on Martin Havlat.

It wasn’t just about the likes of Jonathan Huberdeau and Nick Bjugstad leading the charge. Other young Panthers (maybe most notably Quinton Howden and Connor Brickley) made the team, thus making Havlat less necessary.

One would assume that it might be tough for the 34-year-old to find work, at least if he insists upon only an NHL deal.

Health issues continue to dog him, but he’s no longer one of those guys who tantalizes with talent when he is healthy enough to play.

Havlat also doesn’t really bring much to the table defensively. While other veterans can kill penalties and show a little more verstaility, Havlat’s greatest selling point is scoring.

Could this be it for a solid career that may nonetheless end with a “What if?” or two?

Silfverberg is set to practice again after Torres hit

Jakob Silfverberg
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Considering all of the controversy surrounding the 41-game suspension for Raffi Torres, some might have lost track of the guy who received that hit: Jakob Silfverberg.

The good news is that, at the moment, it seems like he’s OK.

The Anaheim Ducks announced that he skated on his own and will be involved in the team’s next practice:

That falls in line with some of the fall-out from the hit, as head coach Bruce Boudreau let out a relieved “thank goodness” at the young forward seemingly dodging a bullet.

Here’s video of the hit and the suspension decision:

Silfverberg, 24, enjoyed a nice breakout in 2014-15, especially during the playoffs.

Keep in mind that injuries can sometimes crop up later than expected, especially potential head injuries/concussions. Still, it seems like the initial reaction is that the damage was minimal.