Mike Cvik, Mike Commodore

Commodore explains why he’s playing in the AHL

Mike Commodore explained to The Globe & Mail that while the lockout wages on, he hopes to make enough of an impression at the AHL level to eventually return to NHL action.

“I’m playing in front of people that I would like to see me play — NHL scouts, GMs and stuff like that,” Commodore said. “I’m just trying to put myself in the best situation.”

Commodore has played in two games with the Hamilton Bulldogs – the Montreal Canadiens’ affiliate – so far. Monte Stewart indicates that he’s had some ups and downs already, particularly during his Bulldogs debut.

Commodore finished even in the plus-minus department as Hamilton split a pair of games with the Heat. Playing his first game since last spring, he went minus-1 in a 5-1 loss, while racking up eight penalty minutes, all on minors. In the second game, he was on the ice as rookie Brendan Gallagher scored the only goal the Bulldogs needed in a 3-0 upset of the league-leading hosts.

While getting back to the big time is the primary goal, the bruising defenseman admits that he’s enjoying spending time with younger players. He’s been there himself, after all.

“It’s different,” Commodore said. “It’s fun. I was 20 once, too, playing in the American Hockey League (with the Albany River Rats) my first year, and I remember older guys that were on my team and how they treated me … It’s nice to be around some young blood and some fresh players. I’m enjoying it so far.”

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    Video: Gaborik (lower-body) not expected to return after awkward collision

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    The L.A. Kings are expected to be without forward Marian Gaborik for the remainder of Friday’s game against the New York Rangers.

    Gaborik was involved in a collision with Dominic Moore at the Kings’ blue line late in the first period, and L.A. up 2-1.

    Gaborik, 33, hobbled off the ice, favoring his left leg. In 53 games this season, Gaborik has 11 goals and 21 points.

     

    Video: Bergeron questionable versus Wild; could that be the result of his latest fight?

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    The Boston Bruins could be without Patrice Bergeron for Saturday’s game against the Minnesota Wild.

    He’s currently listed as questionable, according to the Bruins. The details are sketchy right now, however Bergeron was involved in a fight with former teammate Blake Wheeler during Thursday’s game against the Jets, and didn’t play much in the third period — only four shifts and 3:15 of ice time.

    (Granted, he did score in the third period, giving him 21 goals on the season.)

    Why Bergeron was fighting is also worth debating.

    Replays show Bergeron and Wheeler caught each other with a healthy slash in the neutral zone during the second period. A few minutes later, they squared up at center ice, with Wheeler landing a few heavy punches and a hard takedown.

    “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, 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.”

    The Bruins are third in the Atlantic Division.

    But with such a tight Eastern Conference playoff race, Boston needs Bergeron — considered one of the best two-way centers in the world — on the ice and in the lineup rather than dropping the gloves, which is something he doesn’t do often.

    Bergeron has four career fights.

    A potential loss for the Bruins could be a potential gain for the Wild.

    Minnesota’s free fall continues. The Wild has won once in its last 10 games, and currently sits two points out of a Wild Card spot in the West.

     

    Flyers staff give Gudas a talking to as questionable hits pile up

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    1The list of questionable Radko Gudas hits — some of which he’s been suspended for and others he has escaped discipline — has grown again, prompting Philadelphia Flyers coach Dave Hakstol to apparently have a chat with the 25-year-old defenseman.

    There was no hearing for Gudas from his latest infraction, a major penalty for charging called against him for a hit on Buffalo Sabres rookie Daniel Catenacci on Thursday.

    Catenacci has since been put on injured reserve, after he went through concussion protocol, as per John Vogl of the Buffalo News.

    The NHL didn’t hand out supplemental discipline in this case, but the Flyers brass held a meeting of their own with Gudas, because hits like this could end costing Philadelphia results and precious points in the Eastern Conference standings.

    The Flyers are four points out of a playoff spot.

    “There’s a big picture to all of it in terms of our main concern,” Hakstol told CSN Philadelphia. “Our main goal right now is to do all the little things necessary to win hockey games.

    “In keeping with that, how individually does everybody do their part to help us win games. That’s the basis of my conversation with Radko.”

    In December, Gudas was suspended three games for a head shot on Mika Zibanejad. Earlier this month, he was given a major penalty and game misconduct for clipping in a game against the Habs, but escaped discipline for that, as well.

    Gudas, who didn’t want to comment on the hit on Catenacci, also spoke with Flyers GM Ron Hextall about this latest incident.

    Asked about that conversation, Gudas told reporters, “Just making sure I pay attention and not get suspended again and make a good hockey play or make a good hit.”

    After 11-game absence, Savard (oblique) back for Columbus

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    These are pretty decent times for the Blue Jackets.

    The team is 7-3-2 in its last 12, recently re-upped with Ryan Murray on a two-year deal and, on Friday, announced that blueliner David Savard has been activated from IR after missing the last 11 games to an oblique strain.

    Savard, 25, was a pretty integral part of John Tortorella’s defense when healthy. He averaged over 24 minutes per night and had 15 points through 39 games prior to being sidelined by the ailment.

    He’ll presumably draw back into the lineup when the Jackets take on Ottawa on Saturday. No word yet on a corresponding roster move.