The “minor issue” that’s kept Henrik Lundqvist out of practice this week is more major than first thought.
On Wednesday, the Rangers announced that Lundqvist would miss Thursday’s game in Philadelphia, paving the way for 26-year-old Cam Talbot to make his NHL debut against the Flyers.
“[Lundqvist] is not playing tomorrow,” Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault told the New York Daily News. “Cam’s going tomorrow. I’ve already told him today at practice. [Lundqvist] is not going to be the backup either.
“If this would have been a playoff game, he’d probably be playing. It’s something that’s day-to-day that we think we can nip it in the bud. It might take one more day, maybe two, but it’s something he should be able to turn the page on and you won’t hear about it anymore.”
Vigneault added Lundqvist’s injury is “something he’s had for, I want to say, maybe 10 days. But it wasn’t anything significant. He played real well in Washington, and it acted up a little bit after the Jersey game.”
As for Talbot, Thursday’s start marks the latest in his unlikely ascension from the University of Alabama-Huntsville. An undrafted free agent, he signed with the Rangers in 2010 and spent three years grooming in the AHL.
The 2012-13 campaign marked Talbot’s finest at the professional level, as he finished 25-28-1 with a 2.63 GAA and .918 save percentage with the Whale.
Talbot’s backup with be Jason Missiaen. The pair got into the mix after the Rangers placed Martin Biron on waivers last week — after clearing, he opted to retire rather than report to the American League.
Teuvo Teravainen has played both center and right wing over the course of his brief NHL career.
Now, he’s got a new position — left wing — and a pair of shiny new linemates to boot.
Teravainen will open the year playing alongside captain Jonathan Toews and right wing Marian Hossa, per the Sun-Times.
The move could be a boon for the young Finn. Several ex-Chicago wingers thrived playing alongside Toews and Hossa, most notably Brandon Saad and Patrick Sharp.
It’ll be interesting to see what kind of production Teravainen, who just turned 21 last month, can manufacture on Chicago’s top line. His numbers from last year weren’t spectacular (nine points in 34 games), but he did a solid job of racking up points en route to the Stanley Cup, with 10 in 18 games.
It’ll also be interesting to see how long he sticks with Toews and Hossa.
Head coach Joel Quenneville has been known as a frequent user of the line blender, often switching up his combos at at moment’s notice.
That said, Quenneville is hoping to find some stability with this new-look group.
“[Teuvo will] play there to start the season,” he said. “Hopefully, all year.”
Pretty cool story out of Texas, where Mattias Janmark, the 22-year-old rookie that’s played a grand total of nine games in North America, has defied the odds to make the Stars’ opening-night roster.
“It’s a great story,” Dallas GM Jim Nill said, per the Morning News. “We really only planned to have him here for maybe two preseason games and then send him back. But he just kept being one of the best players out there, and he changed our minds.
“It’s a great example of what you can do if you just play hard.”
Nill acquired Janmark, 22, from Detroit at last year’s deadline as part of the Erik Cole trade. Nill was familiar with the Swedish forward from his time with the Wings — he was part of the front office team that drafted Janmark in ’13 — but didn’t think the deal would pay such immediate dividends.
As for Janmark, he didn’t even think he’d be in North America this year.
He has a contract with SHL club Frolunda, where he scored 36 points in 55 games last year. Given he’s barely played in the AHL — a few games with Grand Rapids, a few with Texas — Janmark figured he’d be back in Europe this season.
His strong play in the exhibition season changed all that. Janmark beat out two of Dallas’ touted prospects — former AHL rookie of the year Curtis McKenzie, and ’12 first-rounder Radek Faksa — for a roster spot, and showed good chemistry with third-line center Cody Eakin.
Janmark also performed well on a line with Jason Spezza and Ales Hemsky.