Edler hit

Sabres’ Kaleta, Canucks’ Edler face NHL hearings


It looks like there might be some supplemental discipline handed out today, according to the league’s website.

The NHL has offered Buffalo’s Patrick Kaleta an in-person hearing for his high elbow to Columbus’ Jack Johnson. The fact that it’s in-person is significant because that would allow the NHL to suspend Kaleta for more than five games.

Kaleta wasn’t penalized for that hit, but it did lead to a fight with Jared Boll and both players got five minutes for that.

The Sabres forward is a repeat offender. Last season he was suspended for five games due to his “extremely dangerous” hit on Brad Richards. He also got four games in 2011 for headbutting Jakub Voracek.

You can view the incident in question below (the hit is at about 0:28):

Meanwhile, Vancouver Canucks defenseman Alexander Edler has a hearing scheduled as a result of his hit on San Jose Sharks rookie Tomas Hertl.

Hertl appeared to be going in for a check on Edler and caught Hertl’s head in the exchange. Edler didn’t receive a penalty on the play.

This isn’t the first time Edler’s gotten in hot water though. He got a two-game suspension last season after colliding with Phoenix Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith. Edler also got in trouble internationally over his knee-on-knee hit to Eric Staal.

That incident can be viewed below (skip to the one minute mark for the hit):

Hertl and Johnson both seemed to avoid head injuries on Thursday.

Goalie nods: Niemi expected for Stars against Penguins

Antti Niemi, Jonathan Toews
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Talk about getting thrown into the fire.

Antti Niemi is expected to be the starting goalie tonight in Dallas when his Stars host Sidney Crosby, Phil Kessel, Evgeni Malkin and the rest of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Niemi has, not surprisingly, been given the assignment over Kari Lehtonen, the latter of whom struggled badly during the preseason, allowing 15 goals on 84 shots.

Not that Niemi was razor sharp himself. He allowed eight goals on 65 shots, for a save percentage of .877.

Considering the Stars have a combined $10.4 million in cap space tied up in those two veteran netminders, it’s no wonder the number-one question facing the club is whether the goaltending has indeed been fixed.

We’ll start to find out tonight.

Marc-Andre Fleury will undoubtedly be in goal for Pittsburgh, though that hasn’t been confirmed.


Craig Anderson, the goalie the Senators decided to keep, versus Robin Lehner, the one they traded to the Sabres.

Cam Ward will start for Carolina when the Hurricanes visit the Predators, who will obviously go with Pekka Rinne. The consensus is that Eddie Lack will eventually supplant Ward as Carolina’s starter, but that apparently hasn’t happened yet.

Brian Elliott goes for the Blues versus Cam Talbot for the Oilers. Elliott was excellent in the preseason, stopping all but two of the 57 shots he faced, while Jake Allen allowed six goals on 60 shots.

Steve Mason for the Flyers versus Ben Bishop for the Lightning.

Ondrej Pavelec for Winnipeg versus Tuukka Rask for Boston.

Devan Dubnyk likely for the Wild versus Semyon Varlamov for the Avs.

Flyers want to prove doubters wrong

Jakub Voracek, Claude Giroux
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Jakub Voracek totally understands why nobody’s expecting much from the Philadelphia Flyers. When a team finishes 14 points out of the playoffs the year before, that’s typically going to be the case.

“We weren’t good enough last year, let’s face it,” Voracek told CSN Philly. 

So, no, it doesn’t upset him that the Flyers aren’t considered among the Stanley Cup favorites.

That being said, “it makes you feel you want to prove them wrong.”

The Flyers get going tonight with a tough game against the Lightning in Tampa Bay. They also play Saturday in Florida against the Panthers, before a rematch with the Panthers Monday in Philadelphia.

“My biggest concern would be getting off to a good start,” GM Ron Hextall said. “That’s one thing that we need to do.”

That’s something they didn’t do last year. In fact, they won just once in their first six games. By the end of November, they were 8-12-3 and in a big hole — one that proved too deep to climb out of.

Related: Flyers to start season with seven defensemen