Florida Panthers v New Jersey Devils

Devils look to add ‘pieces’ instead of making a ‘splash’


The shoulder injury to New Jersey Devils star forward Ilya Kovalchuk could force the hand of general manager Lou Lamoriello prior to the NHL’s April 3 trade deadline.

But, even though it’s reported the Devils are seeking a forward with goal-scoring capabilities, Lamoriello seems interested only in acquiring complimentary players rather than a massive blockbuster move.

“There is no question in my mind a splash usually upsets things. Adding pieces complements,” Lamoriello told the Star Ledger.

“That’s not saying it will always be the case, but adding pieces would be more the norm (for the Devils).”

The original prognosis on Kovalchuk’s shoulder injury was that he could be out two-to-four weeks.

The Devils, last year’s Eastern Conference champions, are currently seventh in the Eastern Conference standings, two points up on the eighth-place New York Rangers.

But putting the puck in the net has continued to be an issue, even when Kovalchuk was healthy.

New Jersey sits 25th in the league, averaging 2.42 goals-for per game.

Even before the injury, Kovalchuk was struggling to find his scoring touch. He had 10 goals in 32 games and was in the midst of a five-game drought without a goal.


GM says Blue Jackets are ‘off the rails’ right now

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On Monday, PHT discussed the Columbus Blue Jackets’ troubling start, even if it felt like it may be too early to raise concerns.

Apparently Blue Jackets management is a little shaken by the second 0-3-0 start in franchise history, however.

Columbus GM Jarmo Kekalainen shared his shock and dismay with the Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline on Tuesday.

“I’m surprised how, in just five days, we’ve gone from a very confident group to something that’s the opposite of that,” Kekalainen told The Dispatch on Tuesday. “Our confidence, our game … it’s off the rails right now.

Maybe losing to the Buffalo Sabres stings a little bit extra?

Kekalainen said “there’s no excuse for how we played in Buffalo,” pointing out that every team in the NHL is a “good team.”

Indeed, just about every squad boasts some dangerous weapons if they catch an opponent sleeping.

Portzline goes deeper on Columbus’ recent history of stumbling out of the gate, but consider the foreboding stretch coming up.

Next four games: Three out of four at home
Eight games following that: Seven out of eight on the road.

As you can see, winter is coming for Columbus, so they best get things together. All things considered, this is the right time for a wake-up call.

For bonus chuckles, here’s a photo of Kekalainen on a railing.

via AP

Personal reasons: No Ovechkin for Caps tonight

Alex Ovechkin
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Alex Ovechkin won’t play for the Washington Capitals on Tuesday because of personal reasons, the team confirmed.

He entered the building considerably later than usual, but his presence at least opened the door for the possibility of No. 8 suiting up against the San Jose Sharks.

Instead, the Capitals will face the hot-starting Sharks without Ovechkin (personal reasons) and Nicklas Backstrom (injury).

That’s a tall order, yet it’s also an opportunity for Barry Trotz to prove his system is a difference-maker … and that the Capitals have the young players to take up the mantle when the big stars are out

This is how Washington’s forward lines may look tonight:

No, the Capitals have not shared details regarding what his “personal reasons” might be, by the way.