Minnesota Wild head coach Mike Yeo was already answering questions about his team’s goaltending before Wednesday’s loss to the Vancouver Canucks, but the tone might change a little after that defeat.
Before that 5-2 defeat, it seemed like the questions came about more from an embarrassment of riches – or at least two/three solid choices – but Darcy Kuemper (pictured) and Ilya Bryzgalov had a rough night.
Kuemper was pulled after two periods in which he allowed three goals on 12 shots. Things didn’t go any better for Bryzgalov, however, as he allowed two goals on seven shots.
Minnesota generated a 31-19 shot advantage (including 15-6 in the second period), yet the Canucks took their third win in a row to keep hope alive. It’s difficult to imagine Vancouver (78 points, seven games remaining) catching Minnesota (85 points, eight games remaining), yet this improves the Canucks’ odds of catching the Phoenix Coyotes (82 points, eight games left) and Dallas Stars (79 points, nine games left) for the final wild card spot.
(It’s also worth noting that the Wild’s road ahead isn’t exactly a cakewalk.)
Burrows fights through it
If any Vancouver player deserves credit for toughness, it’s Alex Burrows.
Consider, for one, what he went through to begin the game:
If that wasn’t enough, he shook off a questionable hit by Nino Niederreiter (which earned the Wild forward a two-minute interference penalty). CJ Zero passes along a GIF of the check:
Roughly three months after acquiring Dougie Hamilton, the Calgary Flames have brought his brother on board too.
Freddie Hamilton was pried away from the Colorado Avalanche for the cost a 2016 conditional seventh-round draft pick, per the Avalanche’s website. The Flames announced that he will report to AHL Stockton.
Freddie, who is the older of the two at 23, is a center that excelled offensively in the OHL and has chipped in at the AHL level. However, he has just one point in 29 contests with Colorado and the San Jose Sharks.
This is obviously not a big trade, but perhaps Freddie will eventually become a solid member of the Flames’ supporting cast. If nothing else, it didn’t cost Calgary much to reunite the brothers. The duo previously played together with the Niagara IceDogs.
With the start of the regular season just around the corner, it looks like Robby Fabbri will not only make his NHL debut on Thursday, but also get meaningful minutes.
During Sunday’s practice the 19-year-old forward played alongside Jori Lehtera and Jaden Schwartz. Nothing is set in stone, but that combination did gel.
“I think we want to look at what the combinations look like now rather than do it at the start of the season,” Blues coach Ken Hitchcock told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “We’re looking at a hard match line and we’re also looking at taking advantage of speed and skill off the rush.
“I really liked what I saw today. I really liked Lehtera’s line, they looked very dynamic off the rush.”
The top line of Alexander Steen, Paul Stastny, and Vladimir Tarasenko seems like a good bet to play together for the time being. Jori Lehtera and Jaden Schwartz will stick together on the second line while Dmitrij Jaskin and David Backes can expect to be regular partners on the third unit. The X-factors will be Fabbri and Troy Brouwer as Hitchcock has left the door open to alternating between the two of them on the second and third line depending on the opponent.
Fabbri was taken with the 21st overall pick in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft and is looking to make the leap after a brief stint in the AHL last season. At the OHL level, he’s been a dominate force with the Guelph Storm, scoring 25 goals and 51 points in 30 games in 2014-15.