Author: Jason Brough

Eddie Lack, Stanislav Galiev

Stanislav Galiev is stuck in the NHL

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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.

Stastny will wear ‘Shotblockers’ when he returns

Paul Stastny

Paul Stastny hasn’t played since Oct. 16 when he blocked a shot in Vancouver and broke his foot.

The Blues’ center is back skating, but there’s still no timeline for his return to game action.

When he does return, he’ll wear special guards on his skates called Shotblockers.

“I’ll wear them,” Stastny told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “They’ve got these new ones now, they’re pretty good, a little lighter than the ones in the past. Ever since I’ve been out here, I’ve been wearing them. At first, it felt a little different, but that’s more because I was still uncomfortable in my skate. I don’t really feel it, so I’ll just keep it on.”

Click here to read about the company that makes the guards. According to the Post-Dispatch, since Stastny was hurt, every Blues player has had to wear them in practice. However, they remain optional for games.