As trade rumors swirl, struggling Kiprusoff gets start in Columbus

4 Comments

Of all the NHL goalies with at least 10 starts this season, not one of them has a lower save percentage than Calgary’s Miikka Kiprusoff (.869).

Kiprusoff started yesterday’s 5-3 loss to the Predators in Nashville, surrendering five goals on just 23 shots. Yet the Flames will reportedly have the 36-year-old back in net again tonight in Columbus.

Not that Calgary has an obvious alternative — veteran Joey McDonald is the backup, and he hasn’t been fantastic either.

Besides, Kiprusoff has been a rock for the Flames for around a decade.

Like teammates Jarome Iginla and Jay Bouwmeester, Kiprusoff has been forced to address trade rumors as the April 3 deadline gets closer and Calgary remains out of the playoff picture.

“I try to stay out of that,” he said recently. “I try to keep it simple, still. I try to help team here. Try to win games.”

Kiprusoff has one year remaining on his contract, which features a big cap hit of $5.83 million. However, it’s worth noting his salary for 2013-14 is just $1.5 million, a figure that could make him attractive to a club with budget constraints.

Just to throw it out there — might Florida be interested in acquiring Kiprusoff to act as a mentor for young Jacob Markstrom?

According to the Calgary Herald, Chicago and Toronto are rumored to be “sniffing around” as well.

Video: Trisha Yearwood sings national anthem for Preds-Ducks

Leave a comment

Keith Urban sang the national anthem for Game 3. Kelly Clarkson did the honors for the Nashville Predators before Game 4. Next up: Trisha Yearwood for Game 6.

The Predators hope to close out the Anaheim Ducks on Monday, and they got off to a nice start with Austin Watson scoring a quick 1-0 goal. Not long after, the Predators added another to build to a 2-0 lead.

Garth Brooks spoiled Yearwood’s appearance a bit before the contest.

Brooks also revealed Yearwood’s early fan creds:

Nick Ritchie ejected after boarding, bloodying Viktor Arvidsson

Getty
4 Comments

Anaheim Ducks forward Nick Ritchie scored a goal in Game 4, but he won’t be able to provide such a scoring boost for his team in Game 6.

That’s because he was ejected during the first period after hitting rising Nashville Predators star Viktor Arvidsson from behind, bloodying the slick Swede.

Ritchie was whistled for a game misconduct and major. Remarkably, the Ducks killed the entire five-minute power-play opportunity, with Ryan Kesler‘s shorthanded chance being one of the better opportunities for either team.

It’s still a big blunder, but if the Ducks can get back in it, remember that big kill.

Video of the hit is coming soon. For now, check out the GIF:

Oddly, Arvidsson left the ice with a wound that more or less spelled out “R,” presumably for Ritchie, maybe celebrating the return of “Twin Peaks.”

(Such an obvious move might not be surreal enough for David Lynch, though. Alex Prewitt’s Zorro reference might be more, um, on the mark.)

Video: Predators storm off to 2-0 lead, beguile Bernier early on

Leave a comment

It was already loud at Bridgestone Arena, but the Nashville Predators are making it a madhouse with a strong start against the Anaheim Ducks in Game 6.

First, it was Austin Watson, who sent a puck off a Ducks skate to score a 1-0 goal on Nashville’s first shot on Jonathan Bernier, who is starting instead of John Gibson. That came about 90 seconds into the game, really revving up the crowd.

Colton Sissons scored his first goal of the Western Conference Final – on his first shot on goal of the series – to make it 2-0. At that point, Bernier had allowed two goals on three shots on goal. Bernier’s made a few stops since then, but it’s a shaky start for a Ducks team facing elimination.

There’s some solace in that Anaheim’s often at its best in dire situations, though you have to wonder how many times they can bounce back from this?

No Mike Fisher or Craig Smith for Predators in Game 6

Getty
1 Comment

The Anaheim Ducks won’t have John Gibson back, but the Nashville Predators are dealing with some injury-related letdowns, too.

Craig Smith skated before Game 6, but he opted not to play on Monday. Mike Fisher is also unable to go for the Predators as they aim to eliminate Anaheim.

The Ducks also won’t have Rickard Rakell back in the mix, so this physical Western Conference Final continues to feel like a battle of attrition.

Click here for the official roster report.

Game 5 is airing on NBCSN right now. You can watch online and via the NBC Sports App.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE.