The National Hockey League’s leading scorer will take to the stage when the Buffalo Sabres and Pittsburgh Penguins meet Sunday.
And no, it’s not Sidney Crosby, although that may very well be the case at the end of tomorrow’s NHL on NBC game.
Thomas Vanek leads the league in scoring right now with 11 goals and 23 points in 14 games. Crosby is part of a four-player log jam at 21 points, accrued over 15 games.
“He has such a quick release, good shot, always in the right spot it seems around the net,” Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury told reporters about Vanek.
“Definitely a guy we have to keep an eye on.”
The Sabres come in to Sunday’s match-up with a 4-2 win over the Boston Bruins under their belts from Friday night. It’s a very modest one-game streak, and Buffalo will go up against the fourth best team in the Eastern Conference.
There’s a chance the Penguins could be atop the conference by the end of tomorrow.
“We know that they’re playing well,” Sabres head coach Lindy Ruff told the Buffalo News.
“They’ve probably got as much team speed as Boston. I think the depth of their lineup is just as deep as Boston. Maybe the Boston defenders have a slight edge when it comes to the back end, but I think overall they’re one of the teams that you’re going to have to deal with if you want to get to the top in the East.”
Last night, we passed along news that veteran d-man James Wisniewski — acquired from Carolina at the draft — suffered what looked to be a serious injury just 47 seconds into his ‘Canes debut, and was ruled out for the remainder of the night.
Now, he’s been ruled out for a lot longer than that.
From the club:
Ron Francis, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that defenseman James Wisniewski will undergo surgery on his left knee after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) during Thursday night’s game in Nashville.
Recovery time for the injury is estimated at six months.
This is, obviously, a tough development for both player and club. The ‘Canes were counting on Wisniewski to be a regular contributor on defense this year, and help improve last year’s middle-of-the-pack power play.
Wisniewski, meanwhile, was looking to bounce back from a disappointing ’14-15 campaign. He was shipped out of Columbus at the deadline to Anaheim but never made an impact for the Ducks, failing to see any playoff action as Anaheim made it all the way to the Western Conference final.
Two days after an uninspiring performance versus San Jose, the Los Angeles Kings will be getting an injection of youthful enthusiasm tonight versus Arizona.
Coach Darryl Sutter confirmed today that Jordan Weal will make his NHL debut at Staples Center.
A 23-year-old center, Weal is expected to replace Andy Andreoff and skate between Kyle Clifford and Jordan Nolan on the fourth line.
“It’s really exciting,” Weal told LA Kings Insider. “A lot of work has gone into getting to this part of my career, and the hard work’s just going to continue. It’s going to keep going, and I’m trying to do as much as I can in this game and keep improving from this game moving forward in trying to solidify a solid spot in the lineup.”
The 70th overall pick in 2010, Weal had 69 points in 73 games last season for AHL Manchester.
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