The Minnesota Wild broke a three-game losing streak by topping Nashville 2-0 on NBC SN Tuesday, but they’re still a little banged-up as a team. On the bright side, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune’s Michael Russo presents some good news for injured players Jonas Brodin, Charlie Coyle and Niklas Backstrom:
- Brodin, 20, might not need to undergo surgery on his gnarly broken cheekbone. Even better, he might skate on Friday, though with a full cage and possibly without his Wild teammates.
- Coyle’s getting closer to a return as he recovers from a knee injury. The downside is that he’ll wear a knee brace for the first time in his career and doesn’t have an exact timetable for the 21-year-old return from that sprained MCL.
- Backstrom, 35, feels good enough to at least back up Josh Harding. One can understand if the Wild are more than OK with him taking his time to return, being that Harding’s playing like a No. 1 goalie in his own right.
- The news for Keith Ballard, 30, isn’t as good; he didn’t skate and will miss his fifth consecutive game on Thursday (vs. the Carolina Hurricanes at 8 p.m. ET).
So, overall, some pretty good news for the Wild. After tonight’s home game vs. Carolina, Minnesota faces a home-and-home and Chicago followed by five of seven games in Minnesota.
Yes, there’s a lot of drama surrounding the Pittsburgh Penguins, whether it’s founded on serious problems or merely speculation.
It’s easy to get swept up in all of that and ignore the fact that, hey, they still have Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby. Those two can really heal wounds with their on-ice play, and in Saturday’s case, Malkin is taking over against the Edmonton Oilers.
His spin-o-rama goal above was a real jaw-dropper. He also scored Pittsburgh’s second tally:
These highlights feel like Malkin’s way of saying “It’s going to be just fine.”
Fighting is down more or less across the board in the NHL, but the Tampa Bay Lightning might be the franchise least interested in dropping the gloves.
Ryan Callahan vs. Kyle Okposo already has some name recognition to it, yet it gets some bonus points for being the Bolts’ first fighting major of 2015-16.
It … probably loses those bonus points in being run-of-the-mill.
Hey, be fair; the Lightning are clearly out of practice.
It must be a helpless feeling to sit idly by while your team continues to flail, but such emotions are what opposing GMs love to prey on.
Edmonton Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli hasn’t been around through much of the suffering for this hapless franchise, yet that doesn’t mean he’s immune to the calls for improvement. To his credit, he’s not buckling under that pressure.
You can see and hear his full comments below:
If you don’t feel like playing the video, the message is simple enough.
Chiarelli isn’t happy with Edmonton’s record – he hasn’t “seen progression” in ways that he was expecting, but again … he doesn’t want to force moves.
Long story short, he can “sleep at night,” even if he’s disappointed.
Is he right to take a relaxed approach, though? Maybe it’s time to blow up a part of what isn’t working? Have some fun armchair GM’ing on this one.
It’s been a good few days to be a fan of the Philadelphia Flyers, as their team delivered not once, but twice during Thanksgiving weekend.
The Flyers picked up a 3-2 OT win over the Predators on Friday before shutting out the New York Rangers, 3-0, on Saturday.
It was a good afternoon for three players in particular.
Both Wayne Simmonds and Sean Couturier ended long scoring slumps.
Simmonds’ two goals were his first in seven games, while Couturier scored for the first time in his last 13 contests.
Goaltender Steve Mason also had a solid outing against the Rangers.
The 27-year-old turned aside all 24 shots he faced including this great save on Dominic Moore:
The Flyers lost defenseman Nick Schultz to an upper-body injury in the first period after he took a big hit from Dylan McIlrath.
Luke Schenn defended his fallen teammate by dropping the gloves with McIlrath, which didn’t go unnoticed by his teammates.
The Rangers are now on a season-high three-game losing streak. Their lack of effort has to be concerning for their head coach Alain Vigneault.
The Flyers outshot the Rangers 30-14 over the final 40 minutes.