Brayden Schenn, Ryan McDonagh

Flyers want to ‘punish’ McDonagh


Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh missed the last five games of the season with a shoulder injury. Fully healthy or not, he’d better be ready to battle tonight, because the visitors from Philadelphia have put a big bulls eye on him.

“Yeah, he’s a little banged up,” Flyers forward Scott Hartnell said, per CSN Philly. “You definitely want to be physical on him. … You want to be clean and hard on him and make sure he is working hard for every inch of ice out there with or without the puck.”

McDonagh had a career-high 43 points this season while logging almost 25 minutes a game.

“He’s got great feet,” said Philadelphia coach Craig Berube. “That’s the No. 1 thing about him.”

The last time the two teams met, on Mar. 26, McDonagh did this:

Not surprisingly, the Flyers don’t want to make things easy for him.

“The 30 minutes that he plays have to be hard minutes,” Berube said. “Not only being hit, but you have to make him work. Grind him out. Grind down there. Make him work. Make him stay long shifts out there.”

“Defensively, if we don’t get pucks deep [on him], we will lose this series,” said Hartnell.

“You want to put pucks in his corner,” added forward Wayne Simmonds. “You want to punish him physically.

Of course, while there’s something to be said for getting pucks deep and avoiding costly turnovers at the blue line, if McDonagh can use his “great feet” to neutralize the forecheck, one quick pass and all of a sudden it’s the Rangers on the attack. So there’s a risk to the Flyers’ strategy.

“They’re going to try to get the puck to my side, it’s just part of the game,” said McDonagh. “If it’s a focus for them, I don’t know. I’m not going to worry about it.”

NHL has no plans to change waiver rules

Manny Malhotra Ryan Stanton
Leave a comment

Even with all the young players that have been healthy scratches this season, don’t expect the NHL to change its waiver rules.

Deputy commissioner Bill Daly told PHT in an email that it’s not something that’s “ever been considered.”

“For better or worse that’s what waiver rules are there for,” Daly wrote. “They force Clubs to make tough decisions.”

Today, Montreal defenseman Jarred Tinordi became the latest waiver-eligible youngster to be sent to the AHL on a two-week conditioning loan.

Tinordi, 23, has yet to play a single game for the Habs this season. If he were still exempt from waivers, he’d have undoubtedly been sent to the AHL long before he had to watch so many NHL games from the press box.

In light of situations like Tinordi’s, some have suggested the NHL change the rules. Currently, the only risk-free way for waiver-eligible players to get playing time in the AHL is via conditioning stint, and, as mentioned, those are limited to 14 days in length.

So the Habs will, indeed, need to make a “tough decision” when Tinordi’s conditioning stint is up. Do they put him in the lineup? Do they keep him in the press box and wait for an injury or some other circumstance to create an opportunity for him to play? Do they risk losing him to waivers by attempting to send him to the AHL? Do they trade him?

Your call, Marc Bergevin.

Related: Stanislav Galiev is stuck in the NHL

Ortio clears waivers, assigned to Flames’ AHL team

Joni Ortio
Leave a comment

Joni Ortio has cleared waivers and been assigned to AHL Stockton, the Calgary Flames announced today.

The 24-year-old goalie was always likely to clear, what with his dreadful numbers this season (0-2-1, .868),

But we suppose there was always the chance he’d get picked up, so it’s a relief for the Flames all the same. With a little more time to hone his game in the AHL, Ortio could still turn out to be a quality NHL netminder.

In a related move, veteran goalie Jonas Hiller has been activated from injured reserve. Hiller and Karri Ramo are the only goalies on the Flames’ active roster now.

Price placed on injured reserve; Yakupov to miss 2-4 weeks with sprained ankle

Leave a comment

Two injury updates in one post.

First, the situation with Montreal goalie Carey Price, who was hurt last night versus the Rangers.

According to Canadiens coach Michel Therrien, Price has been placed on injured reserve with a lower-body injury. That means he’ll be out at least a week, though no exact timeline was provided.

“We don’t know how long Carey will be out, but for us it’s business as usual,” said Therrien.

Mike Condon will get the start tomorrow in New Jersey.

As for Oilers forward Nail Yakupov, he’ll be out 2-4 weeks after spraining his ankle last night in Carolina while getting tangled up with a linesman.

Getzlaf didn’t love the ‘dead’ atmosphere at Coyotes game

Martin Erat, Ryan Getzlaf

Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf wasn’t impressed with at least two things last night in Arizona:

1. His team’s performance in a 4-2 loss to the Coyotes.
2. The atmosphere inside Gila River Arena, where the announced attendance was just 11,578.

“It’s hard. When you come into a building … it’s dead,” Getzlaf told the O.C. Register. “Nothing against the fans. It’s hard to fill a big building like this and have the amount of people in it to build your energy. So you have to do it yourself. You have to be ready when you step on the ice. I thought we came out flat.”

Anaheim’s record fell to 8-11-4 with the defeat.

The Coyotes’ average attendance also fell, to 13,144 in eight games.