Author: James O'Brien

John Gibson

Ducks ride Gibson’s strong performance to break slump


The way Ilya Bryzgalov had been playing, a Frederik Andersen-less Anaheim Ducks team seemed to have a shaky short-term future. Good thing John Gibson’s back in the mix, then.

In just his second appearance since Oct. 30, Gibson absolutely carried the Ducks to a 2-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday, breaking Anaheim’s three-game losing streak in the process.

The shot differential was significant. Carolina generated a 36-17 disparity in the game with a 29-13 advantage through the first 40 minutes being the most glaring. Even so, only Jeff Skinner’s power-play goal bested Gibson tonight.

Matt Beleskey scored the game-winning, which impressively gives him an NHL-leading eight game-winners this season.

It’s pretty obvious that the Ducks have Gibson to thank for this win, but he took the typical humble hockey player approach after the game:

The Ducks expected to trot out a platoon with Andersen and Gibson in net, but injuries opened the door for Andersen through much of this campaign. Perhaps the reverse might open the door for Gibson?

Either way, Ducks brass has to feel a little bit better about this situation after that display.

Timeout: Blackhawks send Teravainen to AHL

Arizona Coyotes v Chicago Blackhawks

Remember when Teuvo Teravainen was the next big thing for the Chicago Blackhawks? The future isn’t quite now, it seems, as’s Tracey Myers reports that he was demoted to the AHL on Thursday.

In exchange, the Blackhawks brought up Ryan Hartman and Kyle Cumiskey, according to Myers.

The 20-year-old really hasn’t made much of an impact, especially lately. He’s currently on a six-game pointless streak and has only managed four points in 15 games.

He’s not really getting much ice time on a loaded Chicago offense, so maybe it really makes sense to send the 18th pick of the 2012 NHL Draft to the AHL where he can regain some confidence and be the BMOC (if you will).

There’s plenty of time for him to convert his robust skills to the NHL game, and there’s always the chance that Chicago may get a boost from him later this season (or perhaps in the playoffs?).

Still, the review seems to be “not yet” so far when it comes to “Teuvo Time.”

Video: Steen’s stellar stretch pass sets up Jaskin goal for Blues

St Louis Blues v Washington Capitals

Dmitrij Jaskin has been having a nice run lately for the St. Louis Blues. It probably doesn’t hurt that the Blues employ some impressive forwards to support him, with Alexander Steen being among the standouts.

The stretch pass Steen sent to Jaskin was a work of art on Thursday:

The Blues have largely been taking it to the Tampa Bay Lightning so far tonight. We’ll see if that carries over through the remainder of the game.

Update: St. Louis won in an impressive fashion by a tune of 6-3.

Penguins sit Downie on Thursday

Steve Downie, Michael Latta

The Pittsburgh Penguins are getting healthier as of late, which means that lineup decisions are going to be a little tougher. Even so, it’s a bit surprising to see Steve Downie out of the mix against the Ottawa Senators tonight, as the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Dave Molinari notes.

At the moment, it sounds like it was a healthy scratch.

Downie is no stranger to taking penalties, and it sounds like there’s at least a chance that one justified his night in the press box according to Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Josh Yohe.

Downie has nine goals and 22 points to go along with a league-leading 173 penalty minutes in 49 games this season.

In more pleasant Penguins news, it sounds like Christian Ehrhoff is getting closer to returning to Pittsburgh’s lineup.

Updated: It wasn’t pretty, but the Penguins won in a shootout without the pesky forward.

Despite injuries, Wild GM is resisting panic trades

2012 NHL Entry Draft - Rounds 2-7

Minnesota Wild GM Chuck Fletcher has made a big difference when it comes to proactive trades, but it sounds like he’s doing his best not to react in the wrong way to a spate of injuries.

The walking Wild wounded keep growing, yet he’s trying to keep a cool head for now, as he told ESPN.

“Every time you have injuries, you can’t just run out to the market and pull the trigger to fill the hole that’s been created,” Fletcher said. “Sometimes you can do it, but you can’t go out and force things. The first look always has to be inside your group and hopefully there’s opportunity there for players to either move up in the lineup or players to get called up and play. You can’t always look to the outside.”

One can see the motivation to throw down the gauntlet, though, especially with Jason Zucker joining a list of players who are dealing with significant issues including Matt Cooke and Ryan Carter.

While the Wild are on a roll in large part thanks to Fletcher’s decision to pull the trigger and trade for Devan Dubnyk, they’re still on the outside looking in on a playoff spot. They’re four points behind the Calgary Flames (wtih a game in hand) and seven behind the Winnipeg Jets (though with three more games than them). They barely lead the likes of the Los Angeles Kings and Dallas Stars atop the bubble outside the wild card ranks, too.

Considering all the moves Fletcher has made at previous deadlines, there comes a point when those investments must pay off. It sounds like he’s going to give them a chance to do so before rolling the dice once more.

The Wild face a team that may relate to their buffer scenario (only in the East) in the Florida Panthers on Thursday night.