Chicago goalie Corey Crawford is day-to-day with an upper-body injury and will not travel to Winnipeg for the Blackhawks’ game Friday against the Jets.
The ‘Hawks have recalled Michael Leighton from AHL Rockford, presumably to serve as Scott Darling‘s backup at MTS Centre.
It’s not clear how Crawford was hurt. He played all 60 minutes of his last start, a 5-0 loss to the Kings on Monday.
Darling started last night’s 3-2 loss to the Flyers, stopping 26 of 29 shots. According to coach Joel Quenneville, it was a planned start, i.e. nothing to do with Crawford’s health or recent play.
They’re 10-2-2 in their last 14, they just overtook Detroit for the final wild-card spot in the East, and Saturday against the Penguins, the Philadelphia Flyers might get star winger Jakub Voracek back.
Let the good times roll.
Voracek skated yesterday in Chicago, prior to his team’s big win over the Blackhawks.
“Every day he gets closer,” coach Dave Hakstol said, per philly.com. “He’s day to day, but he’s making progress.”
Voracek hasn’t played since Feb. 25 due to a lower-body injury, so he’s been working hard to get his conditioning back.
“Miss three weeks of skating, it’s hard to catch up on,” he said Monday, per the Flyers’ website. “That’s why I need a couple of practices.”
If Voracek can’t play Saturday, the Flyers’ next game is Monday in Brooklyn.
Monday’s 5-0 loss to the Kings means new lines for the Chicago Blackhawks.
Dramatically new lines.
‘Hawks coach Joel Quenneville — in search of more “balance” and “defensive responsibility” and “consistency in the four-line rotation” — put his former combinations in the blender, hit puree and came out with the following for tonight’s home game against the surging Flyers:
Tomas Fleischmann — Jonathan Toews — Patrick Kane
Artemi Panarin — Artem Anisimov — Marian Hossa
Andrew Ladd — Teuvo Teravainen — Andrew Shaw
Brandon Mashinter — Andrew Desjardins — Dale Weise
Most notably, the trio of Panarin, Anisimov and Kane has been broken up for the time being.
“The one line’s been together all year and there was probably never a need to change it,” Quenneville said, per CSN Chicago. “But I feel right now that a different look can help everyone and give us more balance throughout the lineup.”
Also notable, the trio of Ladd, Toews, and Hossa — a combination the ‘Hawks were hoping would find some chemistry — has been split onto three different lines.
The ‘Hawks are 1-3-1 in their last five and 9-10-2 in their last 21. With 12 games remaining before the playoffs, there’s no need to panic, but there is need for improvement.
“Juggling the lines here, hopefully we can find some chemistry and get that going,” said Shaw. “We just have to get out of this little slump we’re in and push forward.”
William Nylander will play his 10th game for the Maple Leafs tomorrow. In the process, the 19-year-old forward will burn the first year of his entry-level contract.
Toronto coach Mike Babcock announced the decision today. Nylander has two goals and 20 shots in nine games since being promoted from the AHL on Feb. 29.
The decision by the Leafs to keep the eighth overall pick in the 2014 draft is not a surprise. Babcock told reporters Tuesday, “To me the idea was to bring him up to keep him up.”
Nylander can still be returned to the Marlies for the AHL playoffs, after the Leafs’ season ends Apr. 9.
“It feels like I’m getting better and batter, being able to play more of my game,” Nylander said yesterday, per the National Post. “I’ve got a lot of experience playing up here, being with Babs and getting a look at the NHL.”
Once he suits up tomorrow against Florida, Nylander will officially need a new contract after 2017-18.
The Hobey Baker Award committee has announced the 10 finalists to be named college hockey’s top player for 2016.
They are, in alphabetical order:
— J.T. Compher, Michigan (Colorado Avalanche)
— Kyle Connor, Michigan (Winnipeg Jets)
— Thatcher Demko, Boston College (Vancouver Canucks)
— Zac Lynch, Robert Morris (undrafted)
— Alex Lyon, Yale (undrafted)
— Tyler Motte, Michigan (Chicago Blackhawks)
— Alex Petan, Michigan Tech (undrafted)
— Andrew Poturalski, New Hampshire (undrafted, signed by Carolina)
— Ethan Prow, St. Cloud State (undrafted)
— Jimmy Vesey, Harvard (Nashville Predators)
The selection committee is now tasked with narrowing the list from 10 to three, a.k.a. the Hobey Hat Trick, to be announced March 31.
The winner will be announced Apr. 8 during the Frozen Four in Tampa.
Last year, Jack Eichel won the award. The year before, it was Johnny Gaudreau.
Preds believe Vesey could ‘come in and play right away’
Demko focused on winning a title with Boston College, will talk with Canucks this summer
Connor wins USHL Player of the Year