If you’re looking for insight about scrappy teams, David Schlemko‘s a pretty good source.
The defenseman cut his teeth with the (then-Phoenix) Coyotes. Most recently, he played for the 2014-15 Calgary Flames and now the upstart New Jersey Devils.
You know that comparison between last season’s Flames and this year’s Devils? Schlemko told NHL.com that he could see it.
“I can see some similarities,” Schlemko said. “We’re a young team in here and going through a cliché ‘rebuild’ or whatever people want to call it. We’ve had a better start than people think. It’s a little early, here in November, to be talking about a playoff run but so far so good …”
As you can see in the video above, there are reasons to believe that this may not amount to much more than a month-and-change of better-than-expected play.
Perhaps the more interesting question may be: what happens if they stick with it? Could an unexpected run to the playoffs affect the “rebuild or whatever people want to call it” in some way?
We can’t watch this season’s Devils face last season’s Flames, so we’ll instead settle for both of the 2015-16 models squaring off on Tuesday night.
You know how the St. Louis Blues have distinguished themselves by shaking off a series of injuries? They’re going to get tested in that area … again.
The team announced that Jori Lehtera won’t return to Tuesday’s game against the Columbus Blue Jackets thanks to an upper-body injury.
Beyond that, there’s no word regarding how severe this issue might be.
At this point, it’s genuinely getting tough to sort through all of the Blues’ injuries, yet they’ve generally found ways to win.
Their next game is on Thursday, so we’ll eventually find out if Lehtera will miss any additional time.
Update: Troubling news from TSN: Lehtera was reportedly hospitalized because of that high-stick.
NHL.com’s Lou Korac reports the same:
The official response is to delay.
Philadelphia Flyers fans have experienced a tribute-heavy start to the 2015-16 season.
They’ve already said goodbye to impressive careers for Danny Briere and Kimmo Timonen. Tuesday was that night for beloved sniper Simon Gagne.
As you can see from the video above, Gagne was drafted in 1998. Depending upon your age, that either feels like ages ago or maybe a date that’s uncomfortably close.
Either way, many in the hockey world would agree that we would have liked to see more of Gagne, yet he made a significant impact during his career, especially with the Flyers.
Colton Parayko has been tough to miss for the St. Louis Blues, and not just because he’s gigantic.
The towering 22-year-old has been on the short list of top rookies so far in 2015-16, generating an impressive 12 points in 18 games played.
The Blues won’t get to take advantage of his frightening shot tonight, however, as it appears that he may have suffered an injury during last night’s win against the Winnipeg Jets.
St. Louis specifies that it’s a lower-body injury.
Here’s a little more from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Jeremy Rutherford.
If nothing else, the Blues have shown an ability to shake off injuries, so we’ll see if that pattern continues against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Even when they’ve been able to win, the Pittsburgh Penguins have really struggled to score goals, and it hasn’t escaped notice.
Meanwhile, the Minnesota Wild are off to a strong start, even if it hasn’t always been with a ton of mainstream fanfare.
The Wild are in a nice spot (albeit in the brutal Central Division) and are unlikely to make things easy for the Penguins, who have a single goal to show for their last two games of effort. They do, however, play four straight games in Pittsburgh, so this would be as good a time as any to pick things up.
Whatever way things shake out, you can get a good look at both teams on NBCSN tonight. If you’d like to stream the action online, follow the handy link below.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE
Lineup bits: Patric Hornqvist is in for the Penguins, Nick Bonino and Rob Scuderi aren’t playing.