Mike Halford

Sergei Bobrovsky

Jackets take Bobrovsky off IR, put Calvert on (out ‘indefinitely’)

Good news, bad news sort of day in Columbus.

The good is that, after missing the last 10 games, No. 1 goalie Sergei Bobrovsky has been activated off IR and will be ready to play when the Jackets host Washington on Saturday.

The bad news? Matt Calvert suffered a lower-body injury after scoring in last night’s win over Dallas, and is out “indefinitely.” He’s been placed on IR.

But since things have gone so poorly in Columbus this year, let’s focus on the positive.

Getting Bobrovsky back will be a huge boon; without him, the club has been forced to rely on Curtis McElhinney and minor-league recall Joonas Korpisalo, and the results haven’t been great.

Columbus has allowed 39 goals over its last 10 games, going 3-6-1. Prior to getting hurt, Bobrovsky was playing some of his best hockey of the year:

bobstats

As for Calvert, he plays around 15 minutes a night and chips in with the occasional goal — six in 39 games so far — meaning he will be missed.

Jared Boll and David Clarkson were both scratched against Dallas on Tuesday, so either could draw in as a replacement.

Deslauriers’ antics could spark fireworks tonight between Sabres, Caps

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Timing. It’s everything.

Maybe Nic Deslauriers didn’t know who Buffalo’s next opponent would be after he nailed Justin Williams on Monday night, then whooped it up after beating Michael Latta in a fight shortly afterward.

Maybe he did.

Whatever the case, it’s set the stage for what promises to be a pretty compelling rematch tonight at Verizon, where the Caps host the Sabres after beating them 2-0 on Monday in Buffalo.

It’s pretty clear Washington didn’t think much of Deslauriers’ celebration. Head coach Barry Trotz said it was “karma” the Caps scored shortly afterward, adding that he thought Deslauriers “play[ed] it up a little bit.”

While Latta would no doubt like a rematch, he’s out of tonight’s game with an arm injury suffered in the fight. Another tough guy, Zach Sill, has been called up from the AHL to fill the void, but the real potential for fireworks could come from Wilson.

Regarded as one of the most dangerous hitters in the game, Wilson has a reputation as someone that takes the body to injure opponents — like he did during last year’s playoffs, knocking Isles d-man Lubomir Visnovsky out of the series.

Per a Sportsnet report from earlier this year, Wilson was the subject of complaints from rival GMs, who wanted the NHL’s Department of Player Safety to step in and warn him for his transgressions.

MORE: Wilson says ‘I’ve never been a dirty hitter’ after teams voice complaints

As for Deslauriers, he said he’s ready for anything.

“For sure, there could be some things going on out there — and it could be really quiet,” he said, per the Buffalo News. “We’ll just see. I’m here to play hockey. I’m not here to fight every single game. We’ll try to get a win down there.”

Video: Coyle, Kopitar, Versteeg star in Goals of the Week

Three pretty stellar individual efforts highlight this week’s pack, with an absolutely outrageous goal from Carolina’s Kris Versteeg topping ’em all.

Enjoy.

Marchand to have hearing for Borowiecki hit, could miss Winter Classic

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Brad Marchand‘s in danger of missing one of Boston’s biggest games of the year.

On Wednesday, the NHL’s Department of Player Safety scheduled a disciplinary hearing for Marchand at 4:30 p.m. ET, in response to his questionable hit on Ottawa d-man Mark Borowiecki.

The incident occurred midway through the first period of Boston’s 7-3 win on Tuesday night. Marchand wasn’t penalized on the play and, while Borowiecki was sidelined for a bit, he did return to finish with 21 shifts for 14:43 TOI.

Marchand does have a history with these types of “low-bridge” hits. Back in 2012, he was suspended five games for clipping Vancouver defenseman Sami Salo.

Borowiecki may have been more hurt on the Marchand hit that first thought. On Wednesday, the Sens recalled a pair of defensemen from AHL Binghamton: Mike Kostka, and Fredrik Claesson.

The Bruins next play on Jan. 1 against Montreal at Gillette in the NHL’s annual outdoor event. Should Marchand receive any sort of suspension, he’d miss the big tilt.

After another rough night, do Coyotes need to trade for goalie?

Don Maloney
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On Tuesday, Arizona head coach Dave Tippett expressed disappointment in his club’s goaltending following a game in which they allowed seven goals.

Stop us if you’ve heard this one before.

Ten days ago, Tippett did the exact same thing — after Arizona allowed seven goals in a loss to Columbus.

Last night’s game, a 7-5 defeat to the Blackhawks, was a shining example in which the two netminders tasked with trying to replace the injured Mike SmithAnders Lindback and Louis Domingue — simply weren’t up to it.

Lindback started, and allowed three goals on five shots in the opening period.

That paved the way for Domingue, who allowed three goals on 17 shots, including this ugly one:

More, from Fox Sports Arizona:

“The fourth goal, we felt like we’re looking to change momentum, hopefully Louis can get in there and give us some saves; it didn’t turn out that way,” Tippett said. “You’re 3-2, you’re looking to build on a decent first period other than our penalty kill and all of a sudden that one goes in. There’s a big sag there.”

When asked about the decision to switch from Lindback to Domingue after the first period, Tippett said he felt it was an obvious decision.

“The goalie’s job is to stop the puck,” he said. “Three on five shots — maybe tactically he did everything right. We just need some more saves.”

Coyotes GM Don Maloney has been openly vocal about his willingness to go out and get a goalie, especially if Lindback and Domingue can’t get the job done.

“We’re looking at everything and anything,” Maloney said back on Dec. 17, per AZ Central. “We are looking. If there’s a way to get a top-end goaltender that’s a long-term value to the franchise, we’re willing to pay up an asset for that.”

Smith, who underwent core muscle surgery earlier this month, isn’t expected back until around March.

The Coyotes are in a tricky spot here. This is obviously a young, rebuilding club, and there’s no denying they’d like a shot at Arizona native Auston Matthews in next year’s draft. So in that sense, spending an asset on a goalie that will help win games — and, in the process, lower chances at the Matthews sweepstakes — isn’t a terrific idea.

That said, Arizona is cognizant of creating a good, healthy environment for young talents Max Domi and Anthony Duclair. Bad goaltending, most of it from Smith, saw the club struggle through a disastrous ’14-15 season in which the Coyotes lost 58 times and finished 29th in the NHL.

And it also has to be noted that, in the ultra-weak Pacific Division, making the playoffs this year certainly isn’t out of question.

Even with last night’s loss, the Coyotes remain sitting second in the division with a 17-16-3 record, and 37 points.