Roughly 48 hours after taking Jaroslav Halak off IR and sending Jake Allen to the AHL, the Blues are reversing course.
That’s the story out of St. Louis on Tuesday as the club recalled Allen from the Peoria Rivermen — a move likely related to reports that Halak could miss another week with his groin issue.
RDS’ Renaud Lavoie passes along word that the Slovak netminder will ‘probably’ miss the next seven days (he hasn’t played since Feb. 1) after re-tweaking his groin during warmups prior to Monday’s 4-1 loss to Los Angeles.
Brian Elliott was forced into emergency action (Halak was slated to start against the Kings) and allowed four goals on 23 shots.
An All-Star in 2011-12, Elliott has struggled mightily while Halak’s been shelved — he’s allowed 20 goals on his last 105 shots faced and has been the goalie of record for all of St. Louis’ recent losing skid.
It’ll be interesting to see who Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock starts in goal for Wednesday’s game in Detroit.
Hitch has been vocal with his displeasure with Elliott’s play as of late, saying “he’s got to be better” while suggesting that, if Halak was unable to play against Los Angeles, he would’ve gone with rookie netminder Jake Allen between the pipes.
Just one problem — when Halak cleared IR on Sunday, Allen was sent back to AHL Peoria.
Update: According to NHL.com’s Lou Korac, Halak was on the ice Tuesday with Elliott and Allen.
Brian Campbell doesn’t score as many points as he used to, but he came up with a huge goal against the Red Wings on Sunday afternoon.
With the game tied, 1-1, in overtime, Campbell skated into the slot and beat Petr Mrazek with a perfect wrister to end the game.
It was also a pretty nice passing play between Jussi Jokinen, Jonathan Huberdeau and Campbell.
Dylan Larkin opened the scoring in the second period before Reilly Smith leveled the score with just over five minutes remaining.
The Wings have blown a lead in three straight games.
Detroit was up 2-0 and 3-2 in their last game, against Edmonton, before they finally closed the game out with an overtime goal by Niklas Kronwall.
They weren’t so fortunate against the Bruins on Wednesday, as they lost 3-2 in OT after leading 2-1 with under two minutes remaining in regulation.
This was the first meeting of the season between Detroit and Florida, but they’ll see each other three times between Feb. 4 and Mar. 19.
You can’t blame Mike Babcock for siding with the relatively unknown when the other option is Jonathan Bernier, a goalie who’s 0-8-1 so far in 2015-16.
With that in mind, meet Garret Sparks, the Toronto Maple Leafs’ expected starter for Monday’s game against the Edmonton Oilers.
Sparks was a seventh-round pick (190th overall) in 2011, a guy who was off to a great start in the AHL. That much wasn’t lost on Babcock.
Let’s face it, though; this is as much about the Leafs’ other two goalies as it is about Sparks (whose name inspired a very obscure reference in this post’s headline).
In Bernier’s case, there’s an “enough’s enough” feel:
Meanwhile, James Reimer‘s not quite healthy enough to play yet, so the window of opportunity is open for Sparks … a little bit.
Sparks will get a chance to make an impression, even if it’s just a small one.
So far, the 2015-16 crop of rookies is living up to the hype, if not exceeding it. Connor McDavid‘s unfortunate injury hasn’t even derailed this year’s crop.
The Detroit Red Wings are watching their own blue chip blossom, as Dylan Larkin is making an instant impact.
No. 71 scored his 10th goal of the season against the Florida Panthers on Sunday, fattening his rookie goals lead.
He still needs five points to match rookie points leader Artemi Panarin, though.
There’s one thing we seem to know about Carey Price‘s injury situation: he first got hurt stepping on a puck on Oct. 29, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.
Contrary to earlier reports about him missing about a month, it sounds like his window of recovery is still up in the air (which, to be fair, could mean that he’ll still miss about a month when it’s all said and done).
ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun reports that Price underwent testing with Montreal’s team doctor on Saturday and is expected to go through more; we may not know more about his expected injury timeline until early this coming week.
So, basically, Price’s situation is fuzzier than his mustache right now.
Leg injuries can be tricky anyway, so we shouldn’t be too surprised that there are mixed signals regarding Price, and this may remain a fluid situation for some time.
(But we’ll hopefully know more soon enough.)