Landeskog treating rematch vs. Sharks, Stuart ‘like any other game’


Tonight will mark the first time Gabriel Landeskog will face Sharks defenseman Brad Stuart since absorbing this hit on Jan. 26 — a hit that knocked the Avalanche captain out of action for 11 games with a concussion.

So, an opportunity for revenge?

Not according to Landeskog.

“I’m treating it just like any other game,” he told the Denver Post. “It’s a game we need to win, and I’m just concerned with us getting two points.”

Landeskog returned to the Avalanche lineup on Saturday in a 4-1 loss to Los Angeles, recording an assist on Colorado’s lone marker.

On Sunday, he played over 20 minutes in a 4-3 OT loss in Anaheim, evidence that he’s returning to form and taking regular spins with new linemates Paul Stastny and David Jones.

(Though, according to the Post’s Adrian Dater, Landeskog could reunite with original linemates Matt Duchene and PA Parenteau on Tuesday.)

Theoretically speaking, Landeskog could just go after Stuart himself if he wanted to — the 20-year-old Avs forward goes 6-foot-1, 204 pounds; Stuart is 6-foot-2, 215 — but, should business need to be taken care of, he could leave it to Patrick Bordeleau and Cody McLeod, Colorado’s resident tough guys.

Whatever the case, it’s pretty obvious Landeskog isn’t focused on fisticuffs.

“We’ve got to find a way to get a win,” he told the Post. “We know we need to put points on the board, and it starts with me.”

Goalie nods: Niemi expected for Stars against Penguins

Antti Niemi, Jonathan Toews
1 Comment

Talk about getting thrown into the fire.

Antti Niemi is expected to be the starting goalie tonight in Dallas when his Stars host Sidney Crosby, Phil Kessel, Evgeni Malkin and the rest of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Niemi has, not surprisingly, been given the assignment over Kari Lehtonen, the latter of whom struggled badly during the preseason, allowing 15 goals on 84 shots.

Not that Niemi was razor sharp himself. He allowed eight goals on 65 shots, for a save percentage of .877.

Considering the Stars have a combined $10.4 million in cap space tied up in those two veteran netminders, it’s no wonder the number-one question facing the club is whether the goaltending has indeed been fixed.

We’ll start to find out tonight.

Marc-Andre Fleury will undoubtedly be in goal for Pittsburgh, though that hasn’t been confirmed.


Craig Anderson, the goalie the Senators decided to keep, versus Robin Lehner, the one they traded to the Sabres.

Cam Ward will start for Carolina when the Hurricanes visit the Predators, who will obviously go with Pekka Rinne. The consensus is that Eddie Lack will eventually supplant Ward as Carolina’s starter, but that apparently hasn’t happened yet.

Brian Elliott goes for the Blues versus Cam Talbot for the Oilers. Elliott was excellent in the preseason, stopping all but two of the 57 shots he faced, while Jake Allen allowed six goals on 60 shots.

Steve Mason for the Flyers versus Ben Bishop for the Lightning.

Ondrej Pavelec for Winnipeg versus Tuukka Rask for Boston.

Devan Dubnyk likely for the Wild versus Semyon Varlamov for the Avs.

Flyers want to prove doubters wrong

Jakub Voracek, Claude Giroux
1 Comment

Jakub Voracek totally understands why nobody’s expecting much from the Philadelphia Flyers. When a team finishes 14 points out of the playoffs the year before, that’s typically going to be the case.

“We weren’t good enough last year, let’s face it,” Voracek told CSN Philly. 

So, no, it doesn’t upset him that the Flyers aren’t considered among the Stanley Cup favorites.

That being said, “it makes you feel you want to prove them wrong.”

The Flyers get going tonight with a tough game against the Lightning in Tampa Bay. They also play Saturday in Florida against the Panthers, before a rematch with the Panthers Monday in Philadelphia.

“My biggest concern would be getting off to a good start,” GM Ron Hextall said. “That’s one thing that we need to do.”

That’s something they didn’t do last year. In fact, they won just once in their first six games. By the end of November, they were 8-12-3 and in a big hole — one that proved too deep to climb out of.

Related: Flyers to start season with seven defensemen