Martin Brodeur

Brodeur shocked, but happy with Schneider trade

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Just 24 hours ago, the New Jersey Devils’ goaltending situation looked murky. In the short term, there was no question that Martin Brodeur and Johan Hedberg would enter the 2013-14 campaign as the team’s starting and backup goaltenders respectively.

The duo did fine for the most part in 2013, but Brodeur is 41 and entering the final campaign of his contract. What will the Devils do when the legendary goaltender finally hangs up his skates?

Enter Cory Schneider, who the Devils took from the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday for the price of the ninth overall pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft (aka forward Bo Horvat). Suddenly the Devils have a talented netminder who is just entering the prime of his career.

Brodeur admitted that the trade shocked him, but it didn’t take him long to warm up to the move.

“I think for the future of the organization it’s the best move,” Brodeur told the Bergen Record. “Cory is one of the top five goalies, in my mind, in the NHL. (It’s) a chance for him to get away from the chaos of Vancouver.

“I’m not going to play forever. I think it’s great that I’m going to be able to play with him. I’m definitely going to try to push him and get my ice time as much as I can while I’m still able to play. Definitely, he’s the future of the organization.”

Despite Schneider’s skills, Devils GM Lou Lamoriello insisted that Broduer would still be the number one goaltender in 2013-14. Brodeur certainly still sees himself as a starter.

“In my mind, I am,” he said. “He’s going to have to fight me for it.”

There might be points in the 2013-14 campaign where the transition between Brodeur and Schneider feels awkward, but the Devils’ future between the pipes looks far brighter today than it did last week.

Related:

Luongo: ‘I’m shocked’ after Schneider trade

Stars end Capitals’ winning streak, pass Blackhawks for West lead

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For two periods, the Dallas Stars seemed to say, “Are you sure the Washington Capitals are the best team in the NHL?”

They chased Braden Holtby and built a 4-0 lead through those first 40 minutes, and that was enough … but barely. The Stars beat the Capitals 4-3 on Saturday, which accomplished the following:

  • Dallas ended Washington’s winning streak at five games. The Stars have now won three straight.
  • This win slides the Stars ahead of the Chicago Blackhawks for first place in the highly competitive Central Division. While both teams sit at 77 standings points, Dallas holds three games in hand.
  • By passing Chicago, the Stars now lead the Western Conference as a whole.

Impressive stuff. Some might even call it a statement game, although others may hold that nail-biting ending against them (possibly arguing that the Stars’ flaws may come back to haunt them in the playoffs).

Dallas’ biggest concern likely has little to do with doubters. Instead, they must monitor the statuses of forwards Tyler Seguin and Cody Eakin.

Long story short, the Stars are red-hot, yet bigger challenges likely lie ahead.

Blackhawks fall to Ducks in OT, lose Hossa to injury

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The Chicago Blackhawks are on edge on Saturday, and it’s not because of what’s currently a close game against the Anaheim Ducks.

(Not that they’re indifferent toward a match against their opponents from last year’s conference final match, mind you.)

Instead, the Blackhawks are quite concerned about the health of Marian Hossa, who needed help off of the ice following an awkward, scary-looking crash into the boards. (Hampus Lindholm delivered the hip check that sent Hossa sprawling, in case you’re wondering.)

You can see that moment in the video above, while My Regular Face’s GIF also captures that troubling moment:

It’s too early to tell if Hossa will bounce back or miss some time from this. Stay tuned for potential updates.

Update: Joel Quenneville seems optimistic about Hossa, broadly speaking:

Ryan Getzlaf scored the overtime game-winner as the Ducks won 3-2 (OT).

Understatement: Saturday was a rough night for Panthers

Nashville Predators center Colin Wilson (33) checks Florida Panthers center Jonathan Huberdeau (11) during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Sunrise, Fla. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)
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If it weren’t for Mike Yeo and the Minnesota Wild, you could argue that the Florida Panthers suffered from the worst night so far.

You can see that Saturday was unpleasant merely from looking at the scoreboard: the Nashville Predators pummeled the Panthers by an unkind score of 5-0.

The pain goes beyond that … literally so.

For one thing, Quinton Howden suffered an upper-body injury and did not return. That’s no good, but if you want to feel sick to your stomach, footage of Brandon Pirri‘s likely lower-body injury (ankle maybe?) may do the trick.

(Seriously, you may be happier if you don’t look.)

The Panthers didn’t make an announcement about Pirri one way or another, so we’ll see if he somehow avoided anything significant.

Either way, it was a night this team would like to forget.

Fractured jaw from fight sidelines Chris Stewart for 4-8 weeks

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It’s unlikely that Chris Stewart will generate another 30-goal season in the NHL, but he still might be missed by the Anaheim Ducks.

The team announced that the ornery forward is expected to miss four-to-eight weeks with a fractured jaw. If that’s the recovery window, Stewart may go into the playoffs a little rusty (if he can get in any regular season games at all).

The Ducks didn’t elaborate, but the Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline believes that the injury happened during a fight with Dalton Prout of the Columbus Blue Jackets. You can see that brawl in the video above.

One bright side for Anaheim: if they believe that they need to replace what Stewart brings to the table (rugged play with a dash of offense), then at least this injury happened before the the Feb. 29 trade deadline.