Ottawa Senators v Columbus Blue Jackets

Blue Jackets turn to McElhinney after flu ends Bobrovsky’s night early


After allowing a single goal in the first period, onlookers were confused to see Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky out and backup Curtis McElhinney (pictured) in to begin the second. It turns out that Bobrovsky’s flu-like symptoms got the best of him, forcing McElhinney into action, according to the Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline.

McElhinney, 30, logged 16:52 of action on March 18 and 27:31 on March 6, but hasn’t started since a Jan. 28 loss to the Ottawa Senators.

The journeyman netminder did see a lot of activity in December, going 5-4-0 and appearing in 10 games while Bobrovsky dealt with an injury.

He’s 8-9-1 with a .907 save percentage and 2.79 GAA overall so far this season.

Kassian suspended without pay, placed in Stage 2 of Substance Abuse Program

Anaheim Ducks v Vancouver Canucks
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Zack Kassian may have avoided major injuries stemming from his Sunday car accident, but it likely sent the signal that he may need help.

The response: he was placed in Stage Two of the Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program (SABH) of the NHL and NHLPA on Monday.

According to the league’s release, Kassian “will be suspended without pay until cleared for on-ice competition by the program administrators.”

Speaking of being suspended without pay, here’s a key detail:

The 24-year-old ended up with a broken nose and broken foot from that accident. The 2015-16 season was set to be his first campaign in the Montreal Canadiens organization after a tumultuous time with the Vancouver Canucks.

Kassian spoke of becoming more mature heading to Montreal, but the Canadiens were critical of his actions, wondering how many wake-up calls someone can get.

In case you’re wondering about the difference between stage one and two:

Add Lecavalier to list of expensive Flyers healthy scratches

Vincent Lecavalier

Are the Philadelphia Flyers aiming for some sort of record when it comes to expensive (potential) healthy scratches?

While lineups are obviously subject to change, notes that Vincent Lecavalier appears to be among a rather rich group of Flyers who are expected to sit during their season-opener.

Also likely to be in street clothes: Sam Gagner and Luke Schenn.

That’s $11.3 million in cap space rotting on the bench.

“I really don’t know what to say,” Lecavalier said. “I’ll practice hard and be ready when they call me up.”

The quotes from Lecavalier, Gagner and Schenn only get sadder from there, a reminder that there are human beings attached to these numbers – whether you focus on disappointing stats or bloated salaries.

Flyers fans with the urge to reach for an Alka-Setzler can at least take some comfort in knowing that the team will see $6.8 million in savings after this season, as both Gagner and Schenn are on expiring deals.

It could be a long season, though, and this Lecavalier headache may not truly end until his contract expires following the 2017-18 campaign.