Mike Halford

Arizona Coyotes' Louis Domingue waves to the crowd after the Coyotes' NHL hockey game against the New York Islanders on Saturday, Dec. 19, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz. Domingue earned his first NHL shutout as the Coyotes won 1-0. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Goalie nods: Coyotes stick with struggling Domingue, who has to ‘clean up some of his stuff’


Louis Domingue‘s last two outings have been messy — so Arizona is hoping the third will be much, much cleaner.

“[Domingue] has got to clean up some of his stuff,” is what Coyotes head coach Dave Tippett said following Tuesday’s ugly 6-2 loss to the Kings, a game in which Domingue was hooked after allowing five goals on 25 shots — and, for the second game in a row, a goal from center ice.

The Kings debacle came after Domingue was torched for another five goals on 25 shots in a loss to Winnipeg, one that featured Dustin Byfuglien scoring from the red line. These two disastrous outings were pretty surprising, considering Domingue has been terrific for the Coyotes this year, and captured January’s rookie of the month award.

Domingue’s life isn’t getting any easier, though, as he has a tough assignment tonight in the Chicago Blackhawks. The ‘Hawks will start Corey Crawford in goal.


Tuukka Rask starts for Boston in Buffalo (Jonas Gustavsson, cleared to play after a heart issue, will back up). For the Sabres, it’s former Bruin Chad Johnson in goal.

Devan Dubnyk, hooked after allowing five goals in Brooklyn in his last outing, is back in goal for the Wild as they take on the Rangers at MSG. New York counters with Henrik Lundqvist.

Jaroslav Halak takes on Braden Holtby as the Isles visit Washington.

Keith Kinkaid will give Cory Schneider the night off as the Devils invade Toronto. The Leafs will continue to roll with James Reimer.

Cam Talbot, coming off a 36-save win over Columbus, goes for the Oilers. Craig Anderson‘s in for Ottawa.

Jimmy Howard will make a rare start for the Red Wings, though it was a bit predictable given Petr Mrazek played in last night’s loss to Tampa Bay. The Panthers will give Roberto Luongo the nod.

Steve Mason will make his 30th start of the year tonight for the Flyers as they take on the Preds at Bridgestone. Nashville looks as though it’ll start Pekka Rinne.

Brian Elliott, coming off a 1-0 shutout of the Preds, is back in goal for the host Blues. Martin Jones will be in for San Jose.

Calvin Pickard starts again as the Avs host the Stars in Colorado. Looks like Dallas will go with Antti Niemi.

Joonas Korpisalo‘s in for Columbus as John Tortorella makes his return to Vancouver. Ryan Miller goes for the Canucks.

— No confirmations out of L.A. yet, but it looks like the goalies for the latest installment of the Freeway Faceoff are Anaheim’s John Gibson, and the Kings’ Jonathan Quick.

Burmistrov becomes second Jet to be fined for diving this season

Alexander Burmistrov
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Alexander Burmistrov joined Nikolaj Ehlers as Winnipeg Jets busted for diving/embellishment this season — on Thursday, the NHL announced Burmistrov was fined $2,000 following his second infraction of the year against Arizona late last month.


Burmistrov was issued a Warning following an incident flagged by NHL Hockey Operations during NHL Game No. 131 against Los Angeles on Oct. 27.

His second Citation, which triggered the $2,000 fine, was issued for an incident at 7:45 of the third period during NHL Game No. 737 against Arizona on Jan. 26. Burmistrov drew a tripping penalty to Coyotes defenseman Michael Stone on the play.

Back in December, Ehlers was dinged $2K after an incident against the Red Wings. For Jets head coach Paul Maurice, that’s now two infractions towards his overall total; should he hit four, he’ll be subjected to a $2,000 fine of his own.

Rucinsky named Czech GM for World Cup; Prospal, Spacek added to coaching staff

St. Louis Blues v Calgary Flames
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The Czech Republic filled out its staff for the 2016 World Cup of Hockey on Thursday with a bevy of familiar faces.

Leading the way is 16-year NHL veteran Martin Rucinsky, named the team’s general manager. Having only retired from professional hockey last year, Rucinsky, 44, is relatively inexperienced in the world of front office work, but will have plenty of help at his side.

Former Rangers, Thrashers and Kings goalie Milan Hnilicka has been named assistant GM, after constructing the Czech team that finished fifth at the World Juniors last month. The Czechs have also brought aboard former Red Wings d-man and Detroit’s current director of player development, Jiri Fischer, as their head scout.

On the bench, the Czech Republic also added members to head coach Josef Jandac’s staff.

Chief among the new assistant coaches is a pair of prominent ex-NHLers: Jaroslav Spacek, who played 13 years with seven teams, and Vinny Prospal, who spent 16 years in the NHL (also with seven teams).

Jiri Kalous, a longtime coach in the Czech Extraliga and KHL, will also serve as an assistant, while Petr Jaros will be the goalie coach.

“World Cup takes place in Toronto and our opponents will be Canada and United States,” Jandac told the Czech Ice Hockey Association website, per NHL.com. “Therefore we have extended the team management with personalities who live [in North America] or have large amount of experience with local hockey.

“Prospal with Jaroslav Spacek had played lots of games in NHL as well as Martin Rucinsky, who finished his professional career just recently and is very close to all nomination candidates. Another member of the golden generation, Milan Hnilicka, will surely make good use of his experience he gained in the role of general manager of the Czech junior team. We allow for Jiri Fischer who is working for Detroit Red Wings to watch over preparation of the expected playing system of overseas teams.”

Welcome Jiri Hudler to the trade rumor mill

Jiri Hudler
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From ESPN:

The Calgary Flames are getting calls on pending UFA winger Jiri Hudler, whom I don’t think is likely to sign an extension.

The 32-year-old Czech scored 31 goals last season but has struggled with just six so far this season.

Still, for the right price he’d be a nice top-six add for a contender.

It’ll be interesting to see who’s in the mix for Hudler. Panthers GM Dale Tallon is on record saying he wants to acquire a goalscorer by the trade deadline and Hudler’s former team, the Detroit Red Wings, have struggled on offense lately (and were called out by veteran leader Pavel Datsyuk for it.)

Granted, this year has been tough for Hudler. After a very nice start — 10 points in his first 12 games — he slogged through November and December, but seems to be rounding back into form, with four points in his last four games.

Hudler’s in the last of a four-year, $16 million deal with a $4M average annual cap hit.

Emery released from PTO with Toronto’s AHL team

Ray Emery
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For the third time this season, Ray Emery has been released from a professional tryout contract.

On Thursday, the Toronto Marlies — AHL affiliate of the Maple Leafs — announced they’ve released Emery from the PTO he signed back in mid-December.

Emery, 33, was signed by the organization after injuries hit netminders James Reimer and Garret Sparks. He wasn’t able to secure much playing time, though, going 3-2-0 with an .888 save percentage and 3.00 GAA.

Prior to his time with the Marlies, Emery had been on PTOs with Los Angeles’ AHL affiliate in Ontario and, prior to that, on one with the Tampa Bay Lightning during training camp.