Paul Stastny

Roy likes Stastny, but Avs aren’t talking contract extension


Lost in the excitement of Colorado’s red-hot start is the status of its highest-paid player, Paul Stastny.

Stastny, 27, is in the final year of a five-year, $33 million deal with a $6.6 million average annual cap hit. He’s playing well — five points in nine games, 18:24 TOI per night — and has a big fan in head coach Patrick Roy, but hasn’t been approached about re-signing with the Avs, according to agent Matt Keator.

“Whether it’s in the back of my mind or not, it’s something you can’t really worry about,” Stastny told the Denver Post. “It’s out of your control. If you’re part of the solution, then you are. If you’re not, you’re not.

“I’m just having fun with this team right now and doing anything I can to help it win.”

The hangup with Stastny is Colorado’s outstanding depth at center, and the relative youth of said depth. Matt Duchene (23 years old), Ryan O’Reilly (22) and Nathan MacKinnon (18) all play in the middle and figure to be with the organization for a long time — Duchene’s signed through 2019, MacKinnon’s on an entry-level deal ’til 2016 while O’Reilly is a RFA at the end of this season.

Where Stastny fits in that picture remains to be seen, assuming he fits at all. There’s a good chance he could play as a top-two center in a variety of other cities, a tantalizing reason to hit the UFA market this summer.

For now, though, Roy is focused on the present and the “beautiful problem” his glut of centers presents.

“I’d rather deal with this than having no centers,” Roy explained. “Honestly, it hasn’t been a problem so far. Everybody is having their share of ice time. We’re very lucky. You look at all the teams at the top of the standings, they all have three very good centers and four good lines.

“When you build a team, you want to build it (up) the middle.”

Of course: Ryan Suter wins it for Wild vs. ‘Hawks after those wild quotes

NBCSN screen

You know what they say: “What a difference a game makes.”

Even in the 82-game marathon that an NHL regular season is, that can be true.

Ryan Suter admitted he went too far with comments during tough times, yet there he was on Tuesday night, grinning ear-to-ear after scoring the 2-1 goal that ended up being the game-winner.

Heck, people were even joking about things. The healing powers of winning, right?

As of this writing, this win places Minnesota in the last wild card spot, and they’re close to elbowing in on the Chicago Blackhawks (who own a standings point advantage, but have played two more games so far in 2015-16).

Jeremy Roenick labels this 2-1 win as a “team win” for Minnesota, and it showed on that 2-1 goal, as the Wild showed off some picture-perfect passing and a willingness to crash the net for rebounds.

Let’s face it, though; Devan Dubnyk deserves plenty of credit, too.

It won’t be easy in the Central Division, and things may get heated again. Still, this is the sort of win that may just help Minnesota build up some confidence.

Hey look: Flyers reel off three straight wins for first time in 2015-16

Sean Couturier
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When you’re talking about bright sides, most people believe that they boil down to the light at the end of the tunnel for the Philadelphia Flyers.

Sometimes it’s nice to enjoy a little success in the present while waiting for that bright future, though.

The Flyers are providing at least a burst of sunshine lately, as Tuesday’s 4-2 win against the Ottawa Senators gives them … (drum roll) their first three-game winning streak of this season.

Joy abounded.

Even in recent darker moments, Philly’s been pretty impressive on offense, so Flyers fans are likely relieved to see a relative offensive outburst.

Sure, it wasn’t all rainbows and unicorns – Radko Gudas might have gotten himself into some trouble, for instance – yet this is still a nice sign of life for a team expected to finish in the draft lottery.

If that fails … hey, the future may require shades.

This own-goal captures the start of Dougie Hamilton’s Flames career

Dougie Hamilton
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Here’s an understatement: things haven’t gone very well for Dougie Hamilton early in his first season with the Calgary Flames.

(It must feel like the opposite of Tyler Seguin in Dallas for Boston Bruins fans, but feel free to disagree in the comments.)

You could look at Hamilton’s meager offensive stats and break down his disappointing work through a very of “fancy” and traditional metrics …

… Or you could just fire up a projector and show this own-goal on a loop.

Senators lose Michalek, Zibanejad to injuries vs. Flyers

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It remains to be seen if the Ottawa Senators can avoid losing against the Philadelphia Flyers tonight, but either way, it’s been a costly night.

The Senators saw two forwards leave the game with injuries, as Milan Michalek and Mika Zibanejad were banged up on Tuesday.

Michalek may have gotten hurt blocking a shot while a Radko Gudas hit on Zibanejad left the Senators forward with an upper-body injury.

Gudas may get a call from the league for his infractions.

Update: Michalek’s issue could be significant.

The Flyers ended up beating the Senators 4-2, so a tough night for Ottawa.