News and notes from around the crease…
Caps ride Grubauer
The Philipp Grubauer show will continue on Monday when the Caps take on the Sens in Ottawa.
Grubauer will make his fourth straight start tonight, one night after stopping 16 of 17 shots in a 2-1 shootout loss to the Sabres. On the year, the German ‘tender is now 5-1-2 with a 2.02 GAA and .937 save percentage and has temporarily taken Washington’s No. 1 gig away from Braden Holtby — in a domino effect, Grubauer’s ascension has also forced the hand of third-stringer Michal Neuvirth, who is requesting a trade out of Washington.
In related news, Craig Anderson will get the start for Ottawa.
Flyers go with Mason
Steve Mason will make his third straight start — and look for his third straight win — when Philly takes on the Canucks tonight in Vancouver. Mason has won each of his last two outings, a 4-1 victory over Minnesota and Saturday’s 4-3 shootout win over Edmonton.
Eddie Lack will start for Vancouver, coming off a 2-0 shutout victory over Calgary on Sunday.
Kings at Blackhawks: Antti Raanta is in for Chicago. L.A. has yet to name a starter, but Martin Jones seems likely.
Red Wings at Predators: Jimmy Howard is in for Detroit, still no word on who Nashville will go with in goal.
Saturday’s been unkind to the Toronto Maple Leafs, and not just on the scoreboard (where it’s 3-0 early on against the Ottawa Senators).
The Maple Leafs lost Tyler Bozak to an apparent upper-body injury thanks to a questionable hit by Sens forward Mika Zibanejad.
You can judge that check (which drew a minor penalty for illegal check to the head) in the video above. Again, Bozak will not return to tonight’s game.
It’s unclear if Bozak will miss time beyond this contest.
Scary stuff on Saturday: multiple reporters (including the Maine Hockey Journal’s Chris Roy) note that Malcolm Subban was taken to a hospital after a puck struck his throat during warm-ups.
There’s no word yet on Subban’s condition beyond that he was taken away in an ambulance.
The AHL’s Providence Bruins seem like they’ve been left scrambling for a backup goalie in Subban’s absence.
Subban stated days ago that he’s taken some significant steps forward during the 2015-16 season.
The Ottawa Senators cannot pin all of their troubles on missing their No. 1 center, yet it probably feels like a huge relief to get him back.
After missing six games with his latest injury, Kyle Turris is in the lineup as the Senators take on the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Again, it’s not all a matter of missing Turris, but the Senators went 1-5-0 during his six-game absence. They’ve really been falling since late December, to be honest.
Will Turris be enough to stop the bleeding? Perhaps to an extent, but the Senators are in for a serious battle if they hope to fight through the East bubble.
Times have been tough for Montreal Canadiens and Edmonton Oilers fans lately, even if they’ve been frustrating in different ways.
Saturday’s 5-1 Habs win highlights a few things, but the most tantalizing thought for those fans is that it’s likely that we’ll see more great things from P.K. Subban and Connor McDavid … sometimes against each other.
Perhaps this will be a confidence booster for Montreal. More than anything else, it directed attention to Subban, who’s quietly been absolutely fantastic for the floundering Canadiens.
Consider how much of an offensive burden he’s currently carrying:
From one current All-Star to someone who could be a perennial one: McDavid certainly seemed to grab Subban’s attention.
Then again, when you make moves like these, who won’t notice?
The Oilers did lose, mind you, so it’s not surprising that Todd McLellan mentioned that the team can’t depend upon McDavid for everything.
That said, the funny thing about that quote is that McDavid might just carry the Oilers for two decades, at least if health and other factors go the right way.
If that’s true, Subban vs. McDavid could be a fun matchup to watch a few times per season for a long, long time.