— Up top, even Patrick Kane seemed amused that he got into a little scrap with Jussi Jokinen on Saturday. The refs only gave them two minutes each for roughing. No rematch is planned.
— NHLPA chief Donald Fehr warns that if the NHL stops sending players to the Olympics, “the reaction from the players’ side — across the board — is not going to be a good one. And my guess is it’s going to last for a very long time.” Which certainly wouldn’t bode well for the next CBA negotiation. Fehr has vowed that players won’t bargain for the right to participate in the Games. (National Post)
— The Anaheim Ducks, after surging past San Jose into first place in the Pacific Division, are hoping to make some noise in the postseason. Said d-man Cam Fowler: “When you make a run in the playoffs, things have to line up for you, you have to be healthy, and a lot of things have to go right. We’re just hoping that it’s our time.” (ESPN)
— Florida forward Nick Bjugstad has just six goals in 46 games this season, and his ice time is way down. That’s not what the Panthers were expecting when they signed him to a six-year deal, and the 24-year-old is committed to turning things around. “Trust me, no one is more disappointed with this than I am. I’ll do my best to change things this summer.” (Miami Herald)
— Another young forward who’s endured a frustrating season is Vancouver’s Jake Virtanen. The sixth overall draft pick in 2014, Virtanen is currently in the AHL, where he only has seven goals in 56 games for the Utica Comets. “It hasn’t been all roses for Jake down in the AHL,” said coach Travis Green. “We’ve been very honest with him. Are we hard on him? Sometimes. But with that, there’s good dialogue. He understands that and is confident his game is going in the right direction, even though it’s hard sometimes.” (The Province)
— An interview with former All-Star Game MVP John Scott, who seems to be keeping busy in his post-NHL career. One of his hobbies? Making his own sausages. (The Athletic)
“He had a good practice today,” Cassidy said of Rask, per CSN New England. “He’s a guy that’s played a lot of hockey this year … and he’s not a 240-pound goaltender that can handle all of the games, all of the workload every year. We know that. I’m not going to put limitations on him, but we probably overused him at the start of the year. At this time of year, it gets tougher and tougher with any player that’s been overplayed.”
It remains to be seen which netminder will get the nod tomorrow against Nashville at TD Garden. Anton Khudobin stopped 18 of 19 shots in Saturday’s 2-1 victory over the Islanders. After a 1-5-1 start to the season, the 30-year-old backup has won his last five starts.
But Cassidy insisted today that Rask is the Bruins’ “No. 1 goalie.”
“He’s our No. 1 and his health is very important,” said Cassidy. “When he’s physically ready to go and he tells me that, then we’ll make that decision.”
Couture seeing dentist today, Sharks hoping for the best
Today, the San Jose forward is seeing the dentist. The hope, according to head coach Pete DeBoer, is that Couture’s injury isn’t as serious as initially feared.
“You see him the next day, the swelling wasn’t as bad as we thought,” DeBoer said Monday, per CSN Bay Area. “He’s seeing the dentist today, and going to have some dental work done. But, I think the initial prognosis is that we feel pretty fortunate that with the amount of damage compared to what it could have been.”
The slumping Sharks, losers of six straight, have seven games left in the regular season. They host the Rangers tomorrow.
Report: Western Michigan leading scorers sign with Blackhawks and Canucks
Frankel, who made his money on Wall Street, is already a part owner of MLB’s Tampa Bay Rays.
Shannon also reported that the Coyotes required a mid-season cash call, to the tune of $20 million, from their ownership group. Arizona has averaged just 13,020 fans at home games this season; hence, the revenue shortfall.
The Coyotes, of course, are trying to get a new arena built in the greater Phoenix area. So far, their efforts have been for naught.