Mike Halford

You've heard the expression "let's get busy?" Well, Mike Halford is a blogger who gets "biz-zay!" Consistently and thoroughly.

After getting hurt versus Bolts, Howard lands on IR

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The severity of Jimmy Howard‘s lower-body injury hasn’t been revealed, but he’ll be out for at least the next seven days.

On Wednesday, the Wings placed Howard on seven-day IR, recalling AHL netminder Jared Coreau from Grand Rapids in the process. Howard’s designation comes just hours after he was knocked out of Detroit’s 4-1 loss to Tampa Bay on Tuesday night — he was helped off the ice early in the second period, after being crashed into by Nick Jensen and Tampa Bay’s Erik Condra.

Prior to getting hurt, Howard had stopped 15 of 16 shots for a .938 save percentage.

Petr Mrazek allowed three goals on 15 shots, and was tagged with the loss.

If there’s a silver lining to this situation, it’s that Howard may not miss that much actual game time. Detroit plays just once more before the holiday break — on Friday, against Florida — before getting back into action next Tuesday against the Sabres.

The Wings can ill afford to lose Howard for any length of time. Though his record leaves something to be desired — he’s just 5-7-1 on the season — he has posted both a sparkling save percentage (.934) and GAA (1.96).

Sabres loan Nylander to Sweden for World Juniors

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Sweden’s entry into the 2017 World Junior Hockey Championship received a huge boost on Tuesday, as Buffalo announced it would allow Alex Nylander to participate.

Nylander, taken eighth overall by the Sabres at this year’s draft, nearly made the team out of training camp this fall and has fared extremely well in his first AHL campaign, scoring 17 points in 29 games for the Buffalo’s minor-league affiliate, the Amerks.

The 18-year-old is among the top-20 rookie scorers in the AHL this season.

Landing Nylander is, as mentioned above, a huge step forward for Sweden’s chances of winning this tournament. He’s that dynamic a player. Last year, he led Team Sweden with four goals and nine points in just seven games, en route to a fourth-place finish.

Goalie nods: With East’s top spot on the line, Rangers start Raanta versus Pens

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Plenty of storylines at PPG Paints Arena tonight when the Penguins host the Rangers.

There’s the history: Pittsburgh ended New York’s season last year, and New York did the same to Pittsburgh two years ago.

There’s the stakes: The Rangers sit two points ahead of the Penguins for top spot in the Eastern Conference but, with a regulation win, the Pens can overtake the Blueshirts for No. 1.

As such, the goaltending decision by Alain Vigneault is an interesting one. Antti Raanta, who’s played very well lately, will get the nod ahead of Henrik Lundqvist, who has started the last three in a row.

To be accurate, Lundqvist didn’t just start three straight — he dominated them. A 2-0 shutout win over Dallas (in which he left momentarily after getting run by Cody Eakin), and back-to-back 2-1 shootout victories over Nashville and New Jersey.

That said, Lundqvist’s had recent problems with the Pens, especially in last year’s playoffs, which could be part of the reason why Vigneault’s turning to Raanta.

For Pittsburgh, Matt Murraay is in goal.

Elsewhere…

— The Islanders’ goalie carousel continues to spin. After J-F Berube made his first starts of the season on Friday and Sunday, Thomas Greiss draws in against the Bruins. No word yet on a Boston starter.

Cory Schneider will look to snap a personal four-game losing streak when the Devils host the Preds. Like the Bruins, Nashville has yet to announce a starter.

— Coming off a 29-save effort in a 1-0 loss to Boston, Peter Budaj is back in for the Kings in Columbus. The Jackets will give Sergei Bobrovsky the night off, and roll with Curtis McElhinney.

Robin Lehner starts again for Buffalo, after making 33 saves in a win over the Isles on Friday. He’ll be up against Roberto Luongo, who had a four-day break while James Reimer started Florida’s last game.

— In a rematch of last year’s playoffs, Jimmy Howard and the Red Wings take on Ben Bishop and the Bolts in Tampa.

Carey Price stopped 20 of 21 shots in a win over Washington on Saturday, and will be back in as the Habs host the Ducks. No word yet on an Anaheim starter, though it’s probably Jonathan Bernier as John Gibson got the win in Toronto on Monday.

Semyon Varlamov versus Devan Dubnyk as the Avs visit Minnesota.

Scott Darling will start his 10th game in a row when the ‘Hawks host Ottawa at the United Center. Andrew Hammond is injured and Craig Anderson is still away from the team, so the Sens are going with Mike Condon (Matt O’Connor will back up).

Even though he’s struggling, Jake Allen continues to start for the Blues. He’ll be up against Antti Niemi, who is starting his fourth straight.

Jacob Markstrom, who hasn’t played since coming on in relief of Ryan Miller in last week’s Carolina debacle, goes for the Canucks tonight. The visiting Jets will roll with Connor Hellebuyck.

Brian Elliott started against and beat the Coyotes last night, so Chad Johnson goes for Calgary. Martin Jones is in net for the Sharks.

Schlemko set to join Ward as healthy scratch for Sharks

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Four days ago, Joel Ward was a surprising healthy scratch when the Sharks took on the Habs in Montreal.

Today? It’s Ward again, this time joined by veteran defenseman David Schlemko.

The pair will be in the press box when San Jose hosts Calgary, per the Mercury News. For Ward, the decision comes after he drew back in for Sunday’s loss to Chicago, in which he finished minus-1 in 13:38 of ice time.

“I thought he did a good job. I saw some good things,” Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer said of Ward. “Definitely a step in the right direction.”

The 36-year-old winger has woefully under performed this year, with just two goals through 31 games. That has him on pace for just five this season, well off his pace of ’15-16, when he scored 21 times (his first year in San Jose, after signing in free agency).

As for Schlemko, he’s appeared in 28 of 32 games this year, while averaging over 17 minutes per night.

He’s been a decent contributor offensively — sitting third behind Brent Burns and Paul Martin in d-man scoring, with eight points — and was one of GM Doug Wilson’s biggest moves this past summer, agreeing to a four-year deal worth $8.4 million.

With Ward and Schlemko out, it looks like Micheal Haley and Dylan DeMelo will draw in.

Cunningham recovering well after on-ice collapse, expects hospital discharge this week

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Some fantastic news on the health of Coyotes farmhand and AHL Tucson captain Craig Cunningham — per a release, he’s is recovering well and expects to be discharged this week from Banner–University Medical Center.

What’s more, Cunningham will meet with reporters on Wednesday to discuss the medical techniques that saved his life, and to thank the doctors and health care providers that administered them.

More, from a release:

On Nov. 19, Tucson Roadrunners hockey captain Craig Cunningham collapsed on the ice before a game in the Tucson Arena at the Tucson Convention Center. Medics performed chest compression only CPR, the no-breaths technique developed at the University of Arizona Sarver Heart Center, until Cunningham arrived by ambulance at Carondelet St. Mary’s Hospital, where CPR was continued.

At St. Mary’s, the emergency department team quickly determined that he needed to be transported to Banner – University Medical Center Tucson where he could receive advanced life-saving therapy using ECMO (Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation).

ECMO is a highly specialized procedure for patients who are so critically ill that no other support for the heart and lungs is adequate. A pump circulates blood through a circuit of tubing supporting heart function and through an “oxygenator” which functions as an artificial lung. It is used to help patients of all ages with life-threatening conditions that impair heart and/or lung function. Most patients who need ECMO are almost certain to die without this level of support.

The ECMO Services Program at Banner – UMC Tucson dispatched its rapid-response ECMO team to St. Mary’s to initiate ECMO on Cunningham and carefully transport him via ambulance to Banner for continued treatment.

The team—consisting of a cardiothoracic surgeon, a perfusionist and an ICU nurse—can travel by ground or airplane transport anywhere in the country to reach patients in need of ECMO. Banner – UMC Tucson is the only facility in Southern Arizona with ECMO services.

At Banner – UMC Tucson, Cunningham’s condition continued to worsen. A new procedure developed by Zain Khalpey, MD, PhD, using a left ventricular assist device, Oxy-LVAD, allowed Cunningham’s heart to recover.

The quick action of bystanders who performed effective CPR, the actions of St. Mary’s staff and the advanced technology and care provided at Tucson’s academic medical center have led to a truly remarkable recovery.

Related: On Craig Cunningham, one of the good guys in the game