<span class="vcard">James O'Brien</span>

Winnipeg Jets v Arizona Coyotes

Coyotes coach calls on a goalie to ‘take the ball and run with it’

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For a while there, it seemed like Devan Dubnyk was the go-to goalie for the Arizona Coyotes, only the team struggled to reconcile sitting far more expensive goalie Mike Smith.

Maybe that’s still the case to some extent, yet Dubnyk’s been shaky enough in his last three starts that things seem that much more broadly troubling for the Coyotes.

From the sound of things, head coach Dave Tippett simply wants one of the two netminders to grab the job, as the Arizona Republic’s Sarah McLellan reports.

“If one of them wants to take the ball and run with it and win a bunch of games, I’m all good with that,” Tippett said.

Dubnyk, for one, thinks that the Coyotes are giving the kind of effort to make waves if they can get their netminding in order.

“It’s the effort that we’ve been looking for as a group in here and you don’t want to be the reason that we’re on the wrong end of it,” Dubnyk said.

The Coyotes are the second-worst team in the West right now with 23 standings points in 28 games played, and to add insult to injury, they’re on an unsettling losing streak at home. Their odds to make the playoffs already look pretty low, but they need at least one of Smith or Dubnyk to turn things around to at least make it interesting.

Report: Morin to Blackhawks – play me or trade me

Buffalo Sabres v Chicago Blackhawks
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Jeremy Morin has a simple message for the Chicago Blackhawks: they either need to play him or trade him, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

The 23-year-old might want to be a little more descriptive with his request, though.

In the 15 games he’s played in 2014-15, Morin hasn’t even averaged eight minutes per appearance. It’s difficult to critique the Blackhawks for giving him limited playing time considering his lack of production (zero points, 15 penalty minutes and 28 shots on goal).

He has 54 games of NHL experience, yet those contests are spread out over a five-year period.

It has all the makings of a depth-related divorce, yet the Sun-Times points out that he was saying all the right things about a month ago … at least on the record.

“It’s not easy, for sure, but at the same time there’s nothing positive or good coming from being frustrated and getting down on yourself,” Morin said. “It doesn’t help anybody out, it doesn’t help yourself out, and you’re not going to get where you want to be. I want to be here every night, and to do that, I need to work through it and just work through all those times when I’m not playing, and make the most of when I am.”

The Blackhawks can’t send Morin to the minors without risking losing him to a waiver claim.

That leaves the 45th pick of the 2009 NHL Draft in that awkward hockey purgatory where he’s too good to play in the AHL but can’t quite get it done with the Blackhawks. Obviously, he thinks he might be able to do it somewhere else, though.

Careful what you wish for: Blues, Brodeur storm back vs. Isles

2010 NHL Awards Portraits
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New York Islanders fans with a sense of history may have joined in the “We want Marty” chants on Saturday, although it would have been a weird sort of nostalgia.

After all, as NHL.com’s Lou Korac points out, the league’s all-time wins leader has more wins against the Islanders than any team. After the St. Louis Blues’ comeback 6-4 win, 52 of Martin Brodeur’s 689 victories have come against the Isles.

The Islanders stormed out to a 3-0 lead through the first period, chasing suddenly struggling St. Louis goalie Jake Allen in the process.

Things only got wilder from there, however, as the Blues erupted to tie the game in the second period. John Tavares made a great play to restore an Islanders lead to 4-3, but that was the last time they’d lead the game.

Paul Stastny enjoyed one of his best games with St. Louis, scoring the game-winner and two goals overall. Joakim Lindstrom wasn’t expected to even play on Saturday, yet he took advantage of Alexander Steen’s absence by generating three assists (doubling his season points total in the process).

Islanders fans may be frustrated beyond seeing Brodeur come out on top yet again, as there were some controversial calls both ways, including a Brodeur stop that went under review.

(There’s an explanation up on NHL.com, but no video yet.)

While there were some numbers that seemed normal enough (Tavares and Vladimir Tarasenko scoring), there were plenty of odd stats from this exciting contest:

Wild stuff.

Video: Anders Lee elbows Carl Gunnarsson

elbowlee
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It’s been a wild game between the New York Islanders and St. Louis Blues, including some controversial calls. Many are stunned that Anders Lee wasn’t penalized for elbowing Carl Gunnarsson, for one thing:

Gunnarsson won’t return with what’s being labeled an upper-body injury, according to Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Lee, 24, hasn’t ever been suspended by the NHL.

Goalie nods: Luongo hopes to blank Buffalo once again

Panthers Luongo Hockey
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All the latest from the blue paint…

Bobby Lou loves facing Buffalo

As many point out, Roberto Luongo has really pumped up his numbers against the Buffalo Sabres lately, as he carries a three-game shutout streak into Saturday’s game. That streak includes his past two starts versus Buffalo as a member of the Florida Panthers, so it’s not merely a matter of his days with the Vancouver Canucks.

Luongo’s been quite effective for Florida, in general, even if he hasn’t always received the best bounces (judging by the six in his 8-5-6 record). His .924 save percentage is a strong argument that he can make things work under most circumstances, even as people focus on a contract even he grew to hate.

The Sabres rode a hot streak with Jhonas Enroth pretty recently, yet it sounds like Michal Neuvirth will get the nod today.

Elsewhere …

Flyers at Kings: Steve Mason for sure on Philly’s end, probably Jonathan Quick for Los Angeles.

Capitals at Devils: Braden Holtby seems most likely, Cory Scheider for sure.

Canucks at Maple Leafs: Ryan Miller’s expected, Jonathan Bernier’s confirmed.

Rangers at Red Wings: Cam Talbot vs. Jimmy Howard.

Canadiens at Stars: Likely Carey Price vs. Kari Lehtonen.

Blue Jackets at Lightning: Sergei Bobrovsky vs. Ben Bishop.

Blackhawks at Pekka Rinne: Best guess right now is Scott Darling vs. Pekka Rinne.

Bruins at Coyotes: Possibly Tuukka Rask, definitely Devan Dubnyk.

Sharks at Flames: Expected Antti Niemi vs. Karri Ramo.