News and notes from around the blue paint…
Jets turn back to Montoya
Winnipeg has made an interesting decision for Wednesday night’s game against Chicago, putting backup Al Montoya in for the second straight game.
Montoya, who relieved struggling starter Ondrej Pavelec during Saturday’s 5-1 loss to the Blackhawks, looked solid on Monday in a 4-2 win over the Red Wings. Though he hasn’t played much this season — just four games — Montoya does have good numbers, boasting a 2-1-0 record with a 1.69 GAA and .939 save percentage.
For Chicago, Corey Crawford will get the start in goal.
Varlamov gets second start post-arrest
Semyon Varlamov will make his second start for Colorado following Thursday’s arrest on allegations of domestic violence. The 25-year-old Russian is 8-1-0 on the year with a .944 save percentage and 1.78 GAA, and won his first start after the alleged incident by stopping 27 of 29 shots in a 3-2 win over Dallas on Friday.
Varlamov and the Avs will take on Nashville tonight. The Preds are expected to start Carter Hutton in goal.
— Big goaltending matchup on NBCSN’s Rivalry Night as Marc Andre-Fleury gets the nod for Pittsburgh, while the Rangers will counter with Henrik Lundqvist.
— It’ll be Mike Smith going for the Coyotes tonight against Anaheim, 24 hours after he recorded a shootout victory over the Canucks on Tuesday. For the Ducks, Jonas Hiller is in.
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.