Jason Brough

FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 31:  Denna Laing #24 of the Boston Pride (NWHL) is taken off the ice following an injury against the Les Canadiennes (CWHL) during the Outdoor Womens Classic at Gillette Stadium on December 31, 2015 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Bruins, Canadiens jerseys to be auctioned off, with proceeds to Denna Laing


From the NHL:

The Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens will autograph and auction their game-worn jerseys from tonight’s contest at Bell Centre, with all proceeds going to support Boston Pride forward Denna Laing in her rehabilitation and recovery from the injury she suffered while playing in the Outdoor Women’s Classic presented by Scotiabank. The announcement was made jointly by the National Hockey League, the National Hockey League Players’ Association, the Boston Bruins and the Montreal Canadiens as part of their joint and ongoing commitment to Denna Laing.

Click here for the auction site. Bidding will begin at 7:05 p.m. ET.

The Boston Bruins have already pledged $200,000 to help Laing in her recovery from a severe spinal cord injury.

A website has also been set up to raise funds.

It was reported last week that the NHL expected Laing to sue the league; however, a source subsequently told the New York Post that Laing’s family does not intend to sue the the NHL or “anyone else.”

The Canucks are going to be rather young tonight

ANAHEIM, CA - NOVEMBER 30: Jared McCann #91 of the Vancouver Canucks looks on during a game against the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center on November 30, 2015 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

Remember when the Vancouver Canucks desperately needed to get younger?

Well, with Henrik Sedin expected to be sidelined until after the All-Star break and Brandon Sutter still not ready to return from sports-hernia surgery, the Canucks could have a 19-year-old, Jared McCann, playing first-line center and a 20-year-old, Bo Horvat, playing second-line center tonight against the Rangers in New York.

Is that young enough?

“I’m probably going up against their best line and I’m going to take it as a challenge, and I always like a challenge, so it’s nice,” McCann told The Province yesterday. “I’m a competitive guy and I want to play every night, and I want to make the most of it.”

McCann is the 10th-youngest player to have appeared in an NHL game this season…


…and remember that Daniel Sprong and Mikko Rantanen aren’t with their NHL teams anymore.

Vancouver winger Jake Virtanen, even younger than McCann, is expected to sit tonight. It was originally thought Virtanen, 19, may replace veteran Brandon Prust, but apparently coach Willie Desjardins decided otherwise.

Tonight’s Canucks are also expected to feature a 22-year-old rookie defenseman in Ben Hutton and a pair of 23-year-old forwards in Sven Baertschi and Emerson Etem.

Related: Etem on time with Rangers: ‘Sometimes you go in there and you just don’t fit in

NHL Central Scouting releases midterm rankings

2015 IIHF World Junior Championship - Quarterfinal - United States v Russia

The 2016 NHL draft is shaping up to be one of the more unique drafts in NHL history.

Auston Matthews, an American that opted to play pro hockey in Switzerland this season, will almost certainly go first overall. After Matthews, a pair of Finnish phenoms — forwards Jesse Puljujarvi and Patrik Laine — could go next. At the very least, they’re widely expected to go in the top four or five.

“Matthews is the best prospect available for the 2016 draft,” said Dan Marr, NHL Director of Central Scouting, which today released its midterm prospect rankings.

Matthews, Puljujarvi, and Laine were ranked the top three “International Skaters.”

Typically, the majority of top picks are “North American Skaters.” Like last year, when Connor McDavid went first overall out of the CHL and Jack Eichel went second out of the NCAA. In fact, an “International Skater” wasn’t taken until Colorado called Mikko Rantanen’s name with the 10th pick. The other Europeans taken before him — Pavel Zacha, Ivan Provorov, and Timo Meier — all played in the CHL. 

To be sure, there are some excellent “North American Skaters” this season. Like forward Matthew Tkachuk, an American who plays for OHL London.

“It was unanimous that Tkachuk was first overall on the North American list,” said Marr. “He has met and exceeded expectations and continues to excel with London after having a solid World Junior tournament.”

OHL defenseman Jakob Chychrun was the highest-ranked Canadian, coming in at No. 2 on the “North American Skaters” list.

Boston University forward Charles McAvoy was the highest-ranked NCAA player, coming in at No. 9 on the “North American Skaters” list.

Related: Central Scouting releases list of ‘players to watch’

‘The Rangers are done,’ says the New York Post


The New York Rangers got some serious bulletin-board material today.

“The Rangers are done,” read the headline above a column written by the New York Post’s Larry Brooks.

At the very least, you have to appreciate its simplicity.

An excerpt from that column:

The Rangers look slow. They look unsettled. They don’t look like a well-coached team. They look like a playoff-bubble team that will need Henrik Lundqvist to be at the height of his powers every night in order to have a chance to qualify for the playoffs.

Much of the column’s criticism focused on head coach Alain Vigneault, whom Brooks believes should be getting the Rangers “onto the ice for hard practices where they could work on their deficiencies,” as opposed to giving them time off for “rest and recuperation.”

The Rangers lost, 5-2, Saturday in Washington. Since starting the season 16-3-2, they’re 8-13-3. Their playoff cushion has decreased to just three points.

Not helping matters? Derrick Brassard is sick and unlikely to play tonight against the Canucks.

Related: All of a sudden the Rangers are a ‘disaster in the making’

Rinne can’t narrow struggles down to ‘one thing’

When the Nashville Predators beat the Wild, 3-0, on Saturday, it wasn’t their big-money goalie who got the shutout. It was the backup, Carter Hutton.

A good number of Preds fans would like to see Hutton get a second straight start tonight against streaking Chicago.

Yes, it’s been a tough season for Pekka Rinne. The 33-year-old is 16-14-7 with a .902 save percentage. Among NHL goalies with at least 20 starts, only Jonathan Bernier (.899) and Mike Smith (.901) have a lower save percentage than Rinne’s.

Predictably, there’s been considerable debate over whether it’s all on Rinne, a Vezina Trophy finalist in 2014-15, or if the players in front of him bear some responsibility.

Rinne can’t say for sure.

“Obviously it would be probably easier to fix too if it were based on one thing,” he told The Tennessean. “Obviously, overall play is one thing, consistency is one thing. But at the same time, it goes also hand in hand with the team play. As a team and for me personally, haven’t been able to kind of find that really high level of play consistently and I think that’s been missing.”

Preds coach Peter Laviolette has yet to announce his starter for tonight’s game. Hutton is 4-2-1 with a .910 save percentage — not great, either — but he does have the hot hand, which has been a rare commodity for goalies in Nashville this year.