If Patrick Kaleta is going to straighten up his game, he’ll be doing it in the AHL for now.
The troubled Buffalo Sabres forward cleared waivers and was sent to the team’s minor league affiliate in Rochester.
Team GM Darcy Regier said before the Sabres’ 6-3 loss to Anaheim on Saturday night they tried to trade Kaleta but found no takers for him. They’re also worried they’re under the NHL’s thumb for what Kaleta has done over the past few seasons topped off by his 10-game suspension for elbowing Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Jack Johnson.
Kaleta will need to adjust his game in the AHL along the same lines how Minnesota Wild forward Matt Cooke adjusted his on the fly in Pittsburgh after numerous high-profile bad hits. If he can do that, there’s likely a spot for him back in Buffalo. Kaleta has another year remaining on his contract with the team.
The New Jersey Devils had some activity going into their game on Sunday against Zach Parise and the Minnesota Wild.
The team activated goalie Cory Schneider off of injured reserve and put defenseman Peter Harrold on it. They’ve recalled 2010 second-round pick Jon Merrill from Albany to take Harrold’s place.
According to Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice, Schneider’s return means he’ll start in Minnesota against the Wild.
Meanwhile, Merrill’s recall could put him in line to play in his first NHL game. The former University of Michigan standout spent part of last season in the AHL after departing college. Harrold hasn’t played since October 22.
Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Jeff Zatkoff made his first NHL win a memorable one with a 19-save shutout against the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-0.
Even better for him? He made team history by doing it that way.
According to Elias Sports Bureau, Zatkoff is first goaltender in Penguins history to record a shutout in his first NHL win. He’s also the first Penguins rookie to record a shutout since Marc-Andre Fleury did it in 2006.
Zatkoff inherited the backup job when Tomas Vokoun went out with a blood clotting issue in preseason. As Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review shared, Zatkoff was just trying to improve on what he failed to do against the New York Islanders last week – close down a game with a win.
“(Saturday) I just kept telling myself it’s about the process: minute by minute, shot by shot,” Zatkoff said. “I tried not to look at the clock, just make saves. I don’t think I looked up until that last timeout at about two minutes.
“It was a pretty long two minutes.”
The Los Angeles Kings are already hurting with Jeff Carter on injured reserve and now they could be without Jarret Stoll as well.
Stoll left their game against the Nashville Predators on Saturday night with an unspecified injury. As Lisa Dillman of the Los Angeles Times writes, the Kings are keeping things quiet about what’s up.
Stoll played just two shifts in the second period before departing and Kings coach Darryl Sutter only said he was still being evaluated following the game.
Lower-body? Upper-body? Body-body? Take your pick, but there likely won’t be an update on him until later today. The Kings can’t afford to have another center go down with injury, however, as a Stoll injury leaves their third line in trouble as Colin Fraser would likely slide up to fill in.
By now you’re familiar with the Edmonton Oilers struggles to start the year. They’re the worst team in the Western Conference and only the Buffalo Sabres are keeping them out of last place in the league.
After losing 5-0 to the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday night, coach Dallas Eakins gave an honest assessment of his team as John MacKinnon of the Edmonton Journal shared.
“We’ve got a group that’s hurting, they’re dying, they’ve lost their confidence,” Eakins said. “If you play scared in this league, you’re going to get killed.”
Getting drubbed by the Red Wings and getting just 14 shots on goal on home ice sure looks like a team getting killed.
The Oilers have a 3-10-2 record and are quickly drowning in a loaded Western Conference. In the Pacific Division alone they’re 10 points back of fifth place Los Angeles and 13 behind fourth place Vancouver and 15 points out of first place.