News and notes from around the crease…
Minnesota sticks with Bryz
Ilya Bryzgalov will make his second straight start for the Wild tonight, putting Darcy Kuemper in a back-up role once again.
Bryzgalov earned tonight’s start on the strength of 23 saves in a big 3-1 win in Phoenix over the weekend. The victory came after Kuemper struggled in consecutive losses to Vancouver at St. Louis — following the Blues loss, Wild head coach Mike Yeo said he felt bad for Kuemper, noting the club put the 23-year-old in a difficult spot by handing him the No. 1 gig after he entered the year as the No. 3 behind Niklas Backstrom and Josh Harding.
Bryzgalov and the Wild will face the Kings tonight, and Jonathan Quick will get the start for L.A.
Devils roll with Marty
Desperate to keep its flickering playoff hopes alive, New Jersey will give Martin Brodeur the nod tonight against Florida.
Brodeur has been splitting games with Cory Schneider for the last two weeks — on Saturday, Schneider was in goal for a 2-1 shootout loss to the Islanders, marking the 10th time the Devils have lost in 10 shootouts this season. As a result, the Devils head into tonight’s game five points back of Columbus for the final wild card spot in the Eastern Conference.
For Florida, Dan Ellis will get the nod again as Roberto Luongo remains sidelined after getting run over by Carolina’s Radek Dvorak last week.
‘Canes at Sens: Craig Anderson for Ottawa; Cam Ward likely for Carolina.
Jets at Ducks: Frederik Andersen for Anaheim; Ondrej Pavelec likely for Winnipeg.
It seems there will be no NHL comeback attempt by Alex Semin. At least not in 2016-17.
Instead, Semin has inked a one-year extension with Magnitogorsk Metallurg, according to Sport-Express writer Igor Eronko.
At 32 years old, Semin still could have a lot of years left in him as a professional hockey player, but at this point it wouldn’t be surprising if he has played in his last NHL game. Early in his career his talent was clear and demonstrated by some great showings offensively, but he was plagued by inconsistency. In recent years though, he wasn’t so much inconsistent as he was underwhelming.
After being limited to six goals and 19 points in 57 games with Carolina in 2014-15, the one-time 40-goal scorer was bought out of his five-year, $35 million contract just two seasons into it. Montreal took a chance on him for 2015-16, but he only appeared in 15 games with the Canadiens before they put him on unconditional waivers on Dec. 9.
He’s fared better in the KHL though, with five goals and 14 points in 20 regular season games followed by another seven markers and 15 points in 23 playoff contests.
PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.
Among the 21 NHL.com and NHL Network experts offering their prediction for the Stanley Cup Final, 17 of them are choosing the San Jose Sharks. (NHL.com)
The majority of ESPN’s experts are also picking the Sharks. (ESPN.com)
For CBS Sports, Adam Gretz and Chris Peters are split on the outcome. (CBS Sports)
Tickets for the first Stanley Cup Final in San Jose appear to be going for significantly more than their Pittsburgh Penguins counterparts. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
Inspired by John Scott‘s comments, here’s the start of a World Cup All-Snubs’ team. (TSN)
Peter DeBoer said that then New Jersey Devils GM Lou Lamoriello fired him from the Devils’ head coaching job late at night on Christmas. The news then broke on Dec. 26. (Tom Gulitti)
The Pittsburgh Penguins are Vegas favorites to win the 2016 Stanley Cup, but the odds lean toward a San Jose Sharks player capturing the Conn Smythe.
Bovada released a variety of odds on Sunday after others surfaced on Friday.
Joe Pavelski is pegged as a +400 favorite as a winner, edging some other top candidates such as Sidney Crosby, Phil Kessel and Matt Murray.
Here’s the full list:
Logan Couture +500
Martin Jones +600
Brent Burns +700
Joe Thornton +900
Evgeni Malkin +900
Kris Letang +1400
Bovada also released prop bets, including how long the series might last. Check that out here.