Whether he’s the future of the New Jersey Devils defense, it’s clear that Adam Larsson isn’t the go-to guy in the present.
It sounds like he’s on the verge of being a healthy scratch for the third game in a row on a struggling team. The 20-year-old admitted more than a little frustration about his situation to The Bergen Record.
“I guess that’s up to the coach. It isn’t up to me,” Larsson said. “If I get a spot in the lineup, I will give all I can to stay in there. But it’s pretty tough right now and I don’t have probably the best confidence. I guess that’s normal when you’re sitting. Like I’ve always said, it’s never fun. I don’t think it ever will be fun to sit out. So, it’s frustrating, it’s tough, but I guess that’s part of the process.”
The fourth overall pick of the 2011 NHL Draft didn’t sound all that convincing that he’s really taking it in stride, though.
“To be honest, of course I know that my defensive play has to be better and I think I improved that this year,” Larsson said. “But, at the same time, I don’t have the same confidence with the puck right now and that’s probably one of the reasons I focus more of the defense. But, like I and the coaches said, it’s a process and I’m still learning.”
You almost wonder if getting a little playing time in the AHL might do Larsson some good, but the Devils obviously have their own (historically successful) way of doing things.
Get set for the Heritage Classic with hot dog facts and more
The Winnipeg Jets host the Edmonton Oilers at the 2016 Heritage Classic at Investors Group Field this afternoon. You can watch it on NHL Network, Sportsnet, TVA Sports 2 or NHL.tv at 3 p.m. ET.
With that in mind, let’s get prepped with super-important stats about unhealthy food, interesting photos and fun facts.
Want to get an in-depth look at the rivalry between the Jets and the Oilers? NHL.com and Sportsnet both have some great retrospectives.
The CBC notes that there was rain ending in the morning but it’s expected to be cloudy. Overall, sounds like a nice climate for an outdoor hockey game. NHL.com’s Nick Cotsonika wonders if the sun’s glare might cause some issues.
The Arizona Coyotes received (mostly) good news on Sunday: Mike Smith‘s injury isn’t believed to be “severe,” even if he’s considered week-to-week, according to reporters including TSN’s Darren Dreger.
While Louis Domingue and Justin Peters isn’t the sort of goalie duo that will make shooters think twice about firing the puck, they’re both at least fairly experienced netminders.
(Considering Smith’s struggles with injuries and inconsistency, it’s not surprising that Arizona invested in a little insurance in Peters.)
Domingue is slated to start in net for the Coyotes against the New York Rangers on Sunday. It’s been a bumpy start for him so far, but Arizona has at least a theoretical advantage in that the Rangers played on Saturday.
As far as when Smith will be back? Well here’s a slight idea.
Dave Tippett does not think Mike Smith will be ready for home game vs. Colorado on Oct. 29, but he is not far from getting back on the ice.
Chances are, plenty of hockey fans – and maybe some members of the Colorado Avalanche – were uttering that question after Saturday night.
Well, we know this about Shane Harper: he scored his first two NHL goals at age 27, helping the Florida Panthers beat the Colorado Avalanche 5-2.
You can watch both of Harper’s goals in the recap video:
Harper also drew enough ire from the Avalanche to get into a bit of a skirmish following a hit.
So, who is Shane Harper?
For one thing, he’s from Valencia, California and did not go drafted.
His best junior season came in 2009-10, when he scored 42 goals and 80 points for the Everett Silvertips. He’s become quite the seasoned AHL veteran since then, and while his numbers won’t wow you, he did do enough in 2014-15 to maybe turn a head or two. Harper scored 32 goals and 50 points for the Chicago Wolves that season.
You can tell his teammates were happy for him – gentle ribbing and all – when the media asked about his career milestone: