Earlier today, I had a sad thought: the 2012 playoffs haven’t had enough “highlight reel” moments. That’s probably the thought of a spoiled hockey fan, but it was there nonetheless. For anyone who had that same thought, Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty overshadowed an impressive period by the New Jersey Devils by scoring a beautiful goal that almost seemed unthinkable in this skin-tight postseason:
Bruce Arthur called it “the closest thing to a Pavel Bure rush” he’s seen in the playoffs, yet the venue (SCF), position (defenseman) and opponent (Devils) made it easier for me to think of Scott Niedermayer’s end-to-end instead. Either way, it was amazing – and might just be the first bullet point in the case for Doughty’s Conn Smythe argument.
Here’s the Niedermayer goal, by the way:
Since we’re on the subject, what have been some of your favorite goals from this year’s playoffs?
Kyle Turris is gearing up for his fifth season with the Ottawa Senators, but this campaign will be a little different.
Ottawa announced that Turris will be joining Chris Neil as one of the team’s alternate captains. Turris is assuming that role from Chris Phillips as the 37-year-old defenseman remains out indefinitely due to a back injury.
Since being acquired from the then Phoenix Coyotes in 2011, Turris has established himself as one of Ottawa’s top forwards. He tied for second in the team’s scoring race last season with 64 points in 82 contests and gelled with rookie linemate Mark Stone.
With the Senators favoring a youth movement, Turris actually stands out as one of the Senators’ more experienced players at the age of 26. He’s also set to play a big role with the Senators for years to come as he’s locked to an affordable $3.5 million annual cap hit through 2017-18.
Meanwhile defenseman Erik Karlsson is getting ready for his second season as the team’s captain.
Another Sabre hurt: Gionta (lower body) day-to-day
On the eve of their season opener, the Buffalo Sabres got another bit of bad health news.
Captain Brian Gionta missed practice and is day-to-day with a lower-body injury, per head coach Dan Bylsma. The ailment puts the 36-year-old’s availability for Thursday’s game against Ottawa in jeopardy.