The Detroit Red Wings broke a big slump against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday, the same night that the second episode of HBO’s 24/7 series on the 2014 Winter Classic aired.
Detroit’s 5-4 shootout win ended an 11-game losing streak in the “skills competition” that stretches back to last season (including an 0-6 mark in 2013-14 before this victory), as MLive.com points out.
Sure, they haven’t been the prettiest wins against the most dominant of teams, but the Red Wings probably won’t complain too much about two consecutive wins – both beyond regulation – after dropping six in a row in often frustrating ways. They’re now 17-12-9 on the season, with Jonas Gustavsson grabbing 10 of those wins.
(It makes you wonder if the Red Wings really want Jimmy Howard to push for a return by the Winter Classic.)
While the Red Wings are seemingly regaining their footing, the Maple Leafs’ stumbles continue. They’ve lost three of four and six of eight contests. They also only have two regulation wins since Nov. 19.
It’s the kind of hockey that can make anyone a little camera-shy, although Detroit can testify that it’s also possible to turn things around even as things look bleak.
According to TSN’s Darren Dreger, Raffi Torres has been suspended pending his disciplinary hearing with the league for his hit on Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg.
Torres was assessed a match penalty for targeting Silfverberg’s head on Saturday night.
The 33-year-old missed all of last season with a knee injury, and it looks like the start of his regular season will be delayed once again.
Head coach Bruce Boudreau said that Silfverberg could have come back into the game, but he was held out for precautionary reasons.
Ducks center Ryan Kesler didn’t hide his feelings after the contest.
“(Torres) is the same player every year,” Kesler told reporters. “He needs to learn how to hit. That has no part in our game anymore.”
The Edmonton Oilers placed Ben Scrivens on waivers on Sunday.
Should he go unclaimed, the 29-year-old will be sent to the American Hockey League.
It looks like Edmonton will enter the regular season with Cam Talbot and Anders Nilsson as their goaltenders.
Scrivens was the team’s number one goalie last year, but his overall numbers were among the worst for starting goaltenders in the NHL.
He had a 15-26-11 record with a 3.16 goals-against-average and a .890 save percentage in 57 games last season.
Scrivens is scheduled to make $2.3 million in the final year of his contract.
If he does end up in the AHL, the Oilers will carry $1.35 million of dead money on the salary cap.
The move comes one day after Edmonton placed Nikita Nikitin on waivers.
The 29-year-old officially cleared on Sunday afternoon.