For at least one game, Justin Peters silenced the doubters who believe that the Carolina Hurricanes need to acquire a goalie to stay in the playoff hunt.
He’s struggled since being thrust into the starting job because of injuries to Cam Ward and Dan Ellis, but came up big on Saturday, stopping 34 out of 35 shots to help Carolina end a seven-game losing streak. The Canes beat the Winnipeg Jets 3-1.
The rest of the game followed the Hurricanes’ blueprint for success: Eric Staal and Alexander Semin were the difference-makers. Both played more than 22 minutes and collected a goal and an assist each today.
For all the negativity that came with Carolina’s seven-game skid, the Hurricanes are back in the thick of the playoff hunt. They have 34 points in 33 games, leaving them a point behind the ninth-place New York Islanders (35 points in 35 games) and the eighth-place New York Rangers (35 points in 33 games).
The Hurricanes have two games left against the Rangers and one more bout remaining versus the Isles, so things could get interesting.
We’ll see if today’s game prompts the Hurricanes to trust Peters, 26, enough to bridge the gap.
As PHT’s mentioned before, the Florida Panthers stand as a fascinating contrast between youth and experience.
Let’s not kid ourselves, though; fresh faces usually beat out gray beards, at least when it comes to teams that are still trying to build toward contender status.
While it’s by no means official, two Panthers beat writers – the Miami Herald’s George Richards and the Florida Sun-Sentinel’s Harvey Fialkov – report that the Panthers are likely to pass on Martin Havlat.
It wasn’t just about the likes of Jonathan Huberdeau and Nick Bjugstad leading the charge. Other young Panthers (maybe most notably Quinton Howden and Connor Brickley) made the team, thus making Havlat less necessary.
One would assume that it might be tough for the 34-year-old to find work, at least if he insists upon only an NHL deal.
Health issues continue to dog him, but he’s no longer one of those guys who tantalizes with talent when he is healthy enough to play.
Havlat also doesn’t really bring much to the table defensively. While other veterans can kill penalties and show a little more verstaility, Havlat’s greatest selling point is scoring.
Could this be it for a solid career that may nonetheless end with a “What if?” or two?
Considering all of the controversy surrounding the 41-game suspension for Raffi Torres, some might have lost track of the guy who received that hit: Jakob Silfverberg.
The good news is that, at the moment, it seems like he’s OK.
The Anaheim Ducks announced that he skated on his own and will be involved in the team’s next practice:
That falls in line with some of the fall-out from the hit, as head coach Bruce Boudreau let out a relieved “thank goodness” at the young forward seemingly dodging a bullet.
Here’s video of the hit and the suspension decision:
Silfverberg, 24, enjoyed a nice breakout in 2014-15, especially during the playoffs.
Keep in mind that injuries can sometimes crop up later than expected, especially potential head injuries/concussions. Still, it seems like the initial reaction is that the damage was minimal.