Jason Brough


Desperate Wings will get Green and Abdelkader back tonight

1 Comment

Mike Green says he’s playing tonight in Chicago. It will be his first appearance for the Red Wings since Dec. 17, when he was injured in a game against Anaheim.

Detroit went 3-4-1 without Green, who has seven goals and 11 assists in 32 games this season. The Wings’ much-maligned power play really struggled without the offensive defenseman, going just 1-for-26.

Justin Abdelkader is also set to return for the Wings tonight. He’s been out even longer than Green, since Dec. 1 with an MCL sprain. The 29-year-old winger has four goals and four assists in 22 games.

Suffice to say, Detroit really needs to put some wins together if it has any chance of making the playoffs for a 26th straight time. The Wings enter tonight’s action seven points back of third place in the Atlantic Division and nine points back of the second wild-card spot in the East.

Darren Helm, Niklas Kronwall, Brendan Smith, and Jimmy Howard remain on injured reserve.

Detroit’s woeful power play (30th, 11.2%)


Forsberg to make first start of the season for Blue Jackets


Tonight in Carolina, Anton Forsberg will make his first start of the season for the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Forsberg was recalled from the AHL yesterday after the Jackets waived veteran backup Curtis McElhinney, who today was claimed by the Toronto Maple Leafs.

With the Jackets’ regular starter, Sergei Bobrosvky, under the weather, Forsberg will be backed up tonight by Joonas Korpisalo.

Forsberg, 24, is 12-6-1 with an impressive .930 save percentage this season in Cleveland. However, he’s struggled in nine career NHL appearances, going 1-7-0 with an .882 save percentage.

The Jackets’ next game after tonight’s is Friday in Tampa Bay. Columbus (28-7-4) is coming off a 2-1 OT victory over the Flyers on Sunday.

Leafs claim McElhinney off waivers


The Toronto Maple Leafs have claimed goalie Curtis McElhinney off waivers from Columbus.

McElhinney, 33, went 2-1-2 with a .924 save percentage before he was waived yesterday by the Blue Jackets. His career save percentage in the NHL is just .905.

There’s little risk for Toronto in claiming McElhinney, a pending unrestricted free agent with a cap hit of just $800,000. For now, the move will allow 22-year-old Antoine Bibeau to remain in the AHL and keep developing.

The Leafs needed a backup for Frederik Andersen after Jhonas Enroth did not pan out.

With multiple key injuries, it’s ‘about finding ways to get results’ for Nashville

1 Comment

Life without P.K. Subban has been a struggle for the Nashville Predators.

Not that they were some sort of juggernaut before he went on the shelf with an upper-body injury, but just consider:

— In their first 29 games, with Subban in the lineup, they went 13-12-4 and had the NHL’s fifth-best score-adjusted Corsi.

— In their last 11 games, without Subban, they’ve gone 4-4-3 and had the NHL’s 24th-best score-adjusted Corsi.

So, no, their records aren’t significantly different with or without Subban. But at the very least, when he was in the lineup, they generally controlled possession. And though possession isn’t everything in hockey, it’s not nothing.

Without the star defenseman, the Preds just aren’t the same team — no surprise there, given he was logging around 25 minutes a night and had seven goals and 10 assists before he went on injured reserve. To replace him, Matt Irwin has been bumped into the top four to skate with Mattias Ekholm. Irwin has done a fine job, and even got a one-year contract extension recently. But he doesn’t provide what Subban provides; not many players do.

In Sunday’s 5-2 loss to Chicago, the Preds were also without three key forwards in James Neal (upper body), Viktor Arvidsson (upper body) and Colin Wilson (lower body).

“It’s about finding ways to get results,” said center Ryan Johansen, per The Tennessean. “It doesn’t matter who’s out. We’ve got a lot of talent in here.”

Three points back of a wild-card spot, the Preds host Vancouver tonight and Boston Thursday, and then it’s on the road for five games. They are still very much in the playoff race, but it’s not just about catching Calgary or Los Angeles for one of the wild-card berths, it’s also about leapfrogging the Canucks, Jets, and Stars.

As for Subban, his return date remains unclear. He’s supposed to be re-evaluated in a week or two, but it remains to be seen if that will bring good or bad news.


Related: Subban said he’s ‘seeing progress every day’ in recovery from injury

Pre-game reading: No more third jerseys next season, apparently


— Up top, the Winnipeg Jets have a big hole to fill while Patrik Laine recovers from a concussion.

— A report that will interest (and perhaps frustrate) all you NHL uniform aficionados out there: “Multiple sources tell the Star Tribune that all NHL teams will be permitted to have only home and road jerseys next season as Adidas takes over for Reebok as the official outfitter of NHL uniforms. There will be no third jerseys, in order to make the initial implementation of new sweaters easier.” (Star Tribune)

— The Tampa Bay Lightning have lost four straight to start the New Year, and there isn’t a whole lot that GM Steve Yzerman can do about it. “If there was something I could have done to this point that would make our team better, I would have done it. We’ll keep trying.” The Bolts have fallen all the way into sixth place in the Atlantic Division, four points back of Ottawa for a playoff spot. (Tampa Bay Times)

— Remembering that time in Philadelphia, all the way back in 1968, when part of The Spectrum’s roof blew off before an Ice Capades show. The arena was forced to close for a month, and the Flyers were forced to play seven of their scheduled home games on the road. The Spectrum’s two tenants, the Flyers and 76ers, were later awarded almost a million bucks in damages after filing suit against the building’s architects. (philly.com)

— It’s quite the mystery in Ottawa, where Bobby Ryan was scratched for reasons not made public Saturday against Washington. All Ryan would say is this: “The coach said it’s going to be dealt with in-house, and we’re going to keep it in-house, that’s it. I know it doesn’t help your jobs in the speculation columns and the things you’ve got to do, but some things deserve to stay in-house, and this is one of them.” (Ottawa Citizen)

— A list of five players who are battling through a sophomore slump. At the top of the list? Coyotes winger Anthony Duclair, who had 20 goals last season and has just three in 37 games this season. Duclair has also had his name come up in trade rumors. (The Hockey News)

Enjoy the games!