The Los Angeles Kings will have an unfamiliar face in the lineup tonight.
Linden Vey, the club’s fourth-round pick at the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, will make his big-league debut on Thursday when the Kings host the Sabres at Staples.
Vey, 22, has been one of the most consistent forwards for AHL Manchester this season, racking up 11 points in 10 games for the Monarchs. With the Kings banged up at forward — Jarret Stoll and Jeff Carter are out of action — the hope is that Vey’s offensive success at the AHL level can translate to the NHL.
Of course, Vey will have to deal with the nerves of his NHL debut first.
“You just got to think of it as just another hockey game,” Vey said, as per NHL.com. “Obviously it’s a little more than that. I’ve been playing ever since I was 4 years old and I’m looking forward to this.
“I think there will be a little bit of nerves the first shift, but once I get into it I’ll be fine.”
Vey will likely open on the fourth line tonight, centering Kyle Clifford and Jordan Nolan. Vey’s linemate in Manchester — Tyler Toffoli — will play on the Kings’ second line tonight, alongside Mike Richards and Dwight King.
This hasn’t been the best night for St. Louis sports fans.
Obviously, the MLB’s Cardinals getting bounced from the playoffs is a bigger deal, but the Blues face bad news, too.
While they’re currently leading the Calgary Flames by a score of 4-3, they’ll need to hang on without Kevin Shattenkirk, whose night is over thanks to a lower-body injury.
There’s no word yet on how severe the issue might be.
Naturally, the Blues must hope that it’s minor, as Shattenkirk is one of the NHL’s truly underrated assets on the blueline.
Stephanie (@MyRegularFace) tracked down a moment when the injury may have happened:
It’s not all rosy for the Flames, either, as Lance Bouma suffered an injury as well.
In some ways, it really felt like their first-round series.
For all the talent on both ends of the rink with the Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning, each squad can really smother opponents defensively when things go that way.
Through two periods, the two teams were very quiet. Things really picked up when Justin Abdelkader unleashed a big hit, a moment that injected enough life into the proceedings for the Red Wings to eventually build a 3-1 win.
Maybe they’re slipping under the radar a bit compared to previous iterations of the team, but it’s interesting that the Red Wings are now undefeated in three games.
They’ve been impressive at times, too, outscoring opponents by a combined score of 11-4.
Call it a refreshing time after Mike Babcock or merely carryover from a subtly solid run last season, but either way, the Red Wings may just be able to keep up their end of a brewing rivalry.