When Flyers GM Paul Holmgren was searching for a goaltender in the summer of 2011, he signed Ilya Bryzgalov to a massive nine-year, $51 million contract. That didn’t work out and it sounds like they aren’t interested in repeating history.
Holmgren is looking to acquire a goaltender once again, but this time he wants one with “no or one-year left” so he can “get a read on that player before committing,” according to a CSN Philly source.
Finding a capable starting goaltender that will become a free agent in the summer of 2014 isn’t impossible, but certainly his options are limited. St. Louis’ Jaroslav Halak would fit that description and he’s already been linked to Philadelphia.
Buffalo’s Ryan Miller is the other noteworthy possibility and the Sabres are gauging the trade market for him. However, he comes with a $6,250,000 annual cap hit, which would be hard for the Flyers to handle unless Buffalo retains some of it.
An alternative is Evgeni Nabokov, who is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent. At the age of 37, Nabokov will probably only be looking for a one or two-year deal.
It’s worth noting that this might not be entirely about just avoiding going through a situation similar to the one they had with Bryzgalov. Steve Mason was great in his short stint with the Philadelphia Flyers, but he was also coming off years of struggles with the Blue Jackets.
Philadelphia might not be comfortable having him serve as the team’s starter in 2013-14 given his history, but if he has another strong season, they might want the flexibility to use him as their undisputed number one in 2014-15.
Looking at the standings, beating the Buffalo Sabres was pretty important for the Boston Bruins. The Atlantic Division’s run for spots appears particularly congested out East.
Of all the Bruins to get a chance to win it all, the team might have wanted Brad Marchand to have that opportunity. He’s on pace to destroy his previous career-highs for scoring, and Marchand’s been particularly hot lately.
Either way, Marchand came up big indeed, scoring the rare overtime game-winner on a penalty shot. Check out the drama below:
That can be a big extra point and ROW (regulation/overtime win) when the regular season is finished.
Note: Many believe that Marchand should not have received a penalty shot on the play.
For quite some time, it looked like the Florida Panthers would keep the Pittsburgh Penguins under wraps.
Florida nursed a 1-0 lead into a 2-0 margin almost halfway through the third period, looking to win its sixth consecutive game. That looked great … and then Sidney Crosby + Kris Letang happened.
Let’s put it this way: this GIF of Crosby being frustrated is amusing, yet it doesn’t exactly tell the story of Saturday’s 3-2 overtime win for the Penguins:
Instead, Crosby grabbed his 900th point assisting on a Letang goal, and finished the night with 902 by collecting the game-tying goal and grabbing a helper on Letang’s overtime game-winner.
Crosby crossing that barrier is indeed special, even if it prompts “What if?” questions about No. 87’s health.
The resurgence of Crosby and Letang already played a big role in the Penguins going from disjointed and frustrating to sneaky and scary, so it shouldn’t be that surprising to see them play so well. Doing so in such brisk order is a little bewildering, however.
Saturday’s been unkind to the Toronto Maple Leafs, and not just on the scoreboard (where it’s 3-0 early on against the Ottawa Senators).
The Maple Leafs lost Tyler Bozak to an apparent upper-body injury thanks to a questionable hit by Sens forward Mika Zibanejad.
You can judge that check (which drew a minor penalty for illegal check to the head) in the video above. Again, Bozak will not return to tonight’s game.
It’s unclear if Bozak will miss time beyond this contest.
Update: It didn’t get much better going forward; the Senators beat the Maple Leafs 6-1.
Scary stuff on Saturday: multiple reporters (including the Maine Hockey Journal’s Chris Roy) note that Malcolm Subban was taken to a hospital after a puck struck his throat during warm-ups.
There’s no word yet on Subban’s condition beyond that he was taken away in an ambulance.
The AHL’s Providence Bruins seem like they’ve been left scrambling for a backup goalie in Subban’s absence.
Subban stated days ago that he’s taken some significant steps forward during the 2015-16 season.
Update: This seems fairly positive.