Jason Brough

Jonathan Quick, Marko Dano

No, Marko Dano has not been sent back to Rockford

Marko Dano has not been sent to Rockford, and Bryan Bickell has not been called back up to the Chicago Blackhawks.

Not yet anyway.

Dano’s simply not feeling very well. That’s why he was missing from Chicago’s morning skate in Calgary. He’ll sit out tonight’s game versus the Flames, but could play tomorrow in Vancouver, according to coach Joel Quenneville.

You certainly can’t fault those who wondered if Dano had been demoted to the AHL. The 20-year-old hasn’t made much of an impact since being called up at the beginning of the month. In eight games, he has just one goal and one assist, despite skating a decent amount with the likes of Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa.

Meanwhile, Bickell has four goals and four assists in just five games for the IceHogs.

Stanislav Galiev is stuck in the NHL

Eddie Lack, Stanislav Galiev
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It’s become a fairly common story in the NHL — a young player that would be better off in the AHL, but because he’s no longer exempt from waivers, he’s stuck in a league that’s not serving his development best.

Such is the case with Capitals forward Stanislav Galiev. The 23-year-old has only played two games for Washington this season, his last coming on Oct. 15. He did get to play five for Hershey, but because he was there on a conditioning assignment, he couldn’t stay longer than two weeks.

Which brings us to today’s story in the Washington Post:

That leaves the Capitals wondering what to do with Galiev, a prospect who needs to be developed but is watching NHL games from a press box seat instead of getting first-line minutes in the AHL.

That Washington is healthy and winning arguably makes it harder to justify inserting Galiev into a game. T.J. Oshie, Justin Williams, Andre Burakovsky and Tom Wilson are ahead of him; Wilson was projected to be a third-line winger, but the forward corps is so crowded that he’s back on the fourth line.

There have been teams that have gambled and lost in situations like this one. In October, the Canucks tried to get Frank Corrado to the minors, only for Toronto to swoop in and claim the 22-year-old defensman. (If not for waivers, the Canucks might be tempted to send 23-year-old forward Sven Baertschi to the AHL.)

Corrado, by the way, has yet to play for the Leafs. His conditioning assignment is over, too.

As for Galiev, all he can do now is work hard in practice and wait for his opportunity.

“We’ll get him in here fairly shortly, I think,” Caps coach Barry Trotz said. “We have to.”

Not that Galiev should be hoping for an injury, but it’s worth noting that Adam Clendening — another 23-year-old who’s no longer waiver exempt — is getting his chance in Pittsburgh in the wake of Olli Maatta‘s injury.

NHL ‘exploring’ penalty for opening bench doors during play


The NHL may make it a penalty for opening the bench door during play, a league source confirmed to PHT today.

On Tuesday, Penguins defenseman Olli Maatta was injured after being shoved into an open door by Wild forward Nino Niederreiter.

TSN’s Bob McKenzie reported last night that the NHL was considering the rule change, and that the topic could be broached during the general managers meetings in March.

Obviously, the new rule would require players to climb over the boards to enter and exit the ice while changing on the fly.

The league has to yet draft the new rule, but the source said it’s “something we are definitely exploring.”

The Flyers have dropped to dead last in scoring

Steve Mason, Michael Del Zotto

Last night’s 1-0 overtime loss to San Jose, combined with Anaheim’s 3-1 win in Florida, means the Philadelphia Flyers officially have the worst offense in the NHL.

Almost a quarter of the way through the season, the Flyers are averaging just 1.79 goals per game. The Ducks have inched up to 1.85.

Last night, the Flyers were left frustrated, but in a way encouraged, after Martin Jones turned aside all 34 of their shots.

“We played a good game but we didn’t score goals,” forward Wayne Simmonds told CSN Philly.

“We just have to work harder and keep up our competitive attitude. Keep getting to the net and getting shots through. They’re going to go in eventually.”

So far, they’ve only gone in for a couple of guys. Claude Giroux has six goals; Brayden Schenn five. No other Flyer has more than three.

There are 56 NHLers with seven or more goals.

There are 329 with more goals than Jakub Voracek, who has just one.

Desjardins sticks up for Horvat — ‘You’ve got to remember, Bo’s 20’

Winnipeg Jets vs Vancouver Canucks

With all the talk about the recent struggles of the Vancouver Canucks, it’s interesting how little Brandon Sutter‘s name has come up.

Sutter has missed the last four games with a lower-body injury. The Canucks are 0-3-1 in the 26-year-old center’s absence. Before then, he’d been one of the team’s most reliable defensive players.

In a related story, young Bo Horvat is a combined minus-6 in the past four games.

Coach Willie Desjardins knows full well that Horvat is being asked to do a lot for a second-year NHLer.

“You’ve got to recognize that he’s anchoring sometimes with two young players,” Desjardins told TSN 1040 yesterday, referring to Horvat’s occasional wingers, Sven Baertschi and Jake Virtanen.

“You put a centerman there to kind of anchor the line. You’ve got to remember, Bo’s 20.”

Without Sutter, Desjardins has limited options at center. Henrik Sedin, obviously, gets the first-line spot. That leaves Horvat, plus two guys who weren’t even supposed to make the team this season, rookie Jared McCann and career bottom-six forward Adam Cracknell.

This is the lineup the Canucks had Wednesday in Winnipeg:

So let’s see here:

— A 19-year-old rookie center (McCann)
— A 20-year-old sophomore center (Horvat)
— A 19-year-old rookie winger (Virtanen)
— A winger playing his first NHL game (Grenier)
— A d-man who was playing college hockey last year (Hutton)

Shockingly, Vancouver lost.