The former first-round pick of the New York Rangers spent 11 seasons in the NHL and while he never quite lived up to the billing of a top pick, his career never lacked for highlights.
Whether it came from fighting other goalies (Tommy Salo still has nightmares) or giving up crushing center ice goals in the playoffs (Red Wings fans are still thankful), Cloutier had a memorable career. His time in Vancouver as a player was perhaps the high point of his time as a player, leading the Canucks to the playoffs three years in a row and reaching the second round in 2002-03.
Now he’s back in Vancouver to work with the organizations goalies in Chicago of the AHL. There he’ll spend a lot of time with prospect Eddie Lack. Maybe there he can teach him a mean right cross while helping him avoid heartbreaking goals like this one:
Eichel makes everyone look silly, Varlamov gets the early hook
You know, with Connor McDavid hogging so much attention, it’s about time that Jack Eichel provided us with another awesome goal.
That tally came at the Colorado Avalanche’s (and especially Semyon Varlamov‘s) expense as that was the Buffalo Sabres first shot of the game.
Patrick Roy apparently felt like this just wasn’t Varlamov’s afternoon, as Colorado’s head coach decided to pull him after Varly allowed two goals on as many shots. Evander Kane nabbed the other goal for Buffalo.
You can watch the goal in the video above, which reminds us that “Eichel Tower” might not be a unique pun.
To be fair to Varlamov, Calvin Pickard has already allowed a goal as well. The Sabres are currently off to a 3-0 lead, and maybe a small roll considering how well they played against Montreal on Friday?
NHL on NBC: Red Wings, Bruins fight for Atlantic positioning
While Jeff Blashill continues to establish himself following up Mike Babcock, Claude Julien recently hit a milestone with his 500th win and earned plaudits from CSNNE.com as one of the best coaches in the league.
(Speaking of milestones, Brad Richards is expected to play in his 1,100th game.)
Boston currently holds the second spot in the Atlantic with 66 points in 55 games played, but Detroit is right behind them with 65 in as many contests. With the Tampa Bay Lightning hovering nearby, each team likely recognizes this as an important game.
Goalie nods: Backups battle as Kinkaid faces Enroth
The New Jersey Devils and Los Angeles Kings prefer to lean on workhorse goalies Cory Schneider and Jonathan Quick respectively, but Sunday presents a change of pace.
In the Kings’ case, Jhonas Enroth is playing in part because of (what Los Angeles hopes is) a minor injury to Quick.
It’s true that the under-sized goalie sports a mediocre 4-4-1 record, but he’s given the Kings legitimate chances to win games considering his impressive (especially for a backup) save percentage of .925. Perhaps he can earn a few more reps if he plays well in what may be a tight game?
Speaking of earning more reps, Keith Kinkaid must continue to work to prove that he’s able to make the jump from AHL goalie to at least an NHL backup. The Kings aren’t likely to make it easy for him, either.