Author: Mike Halford

Video: Goals of the Week — All-Star edition

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John Scott was the story, sure, but he wasn’t the only cool thing to come from the 2016 NHL All-Star Game in Nashville.

Check out this latest installment of Goals of the Week for all the best.

Goalie nods: Marquee matchup in Tampa, as Mrazek faces Bishop

Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Ben Bishop looks at the ice after allowing a goal by Detroit Red Wings' Gustav Nyquist in the second period of an NHL hockey game in Detroit, Saturday, March 28, 2015. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
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There should be some high quality netminding on display tonight in Tampa Bay when the Bolts host the Red Wings.

Detroit will start Petr Mrazek, who was on fire going into the All-Star break. He went 7-1-1 in January with a 1.32 GAA and .952 save percentage, catapulting himself into Vezina consideration while further bolting Jimmy Howard to the pine.

On the year, Mrazek sits second in the NHL in save percentage (.932), third in GAA (2.03) and 10th in shutouts (three) — numbers that put him on par with the guy he’s facing tonight, Ben Bishop.

Fresh off a good showing at the All-Star Game, Bishop will look to build upon his Vezina resume. He sits second in GAA (.202), 10th in save percentage (.926) and 10th in wins (19).

Bishop has largely been the Lightning’s MVP this season, and will now look to beat Detroit for the first time this season.


Robin Lehner gets the start for Buffalo in Montreal. The Habs, coming off a tough loss in Philly last night, haven’t named a starter yet. Mike Condon stopped 32 of 35 shots against the Flyers on Tuesday.

Eddie Lack, who went into the All-Star break by shutting out the Chicago Blackhawks, will be back in goal when the ‘Canes take on Calgary. Karri Ramo will counter for the host Flames.

Wideman suspended 20 games for hitting linesman


The NHL has come down hard on Dennis Wideman.

On Wednesday, TSN reported that Wideman has been suspended 20 games for cross-checking linesman Don Henderson from behind in Calgary’s final game before the All-Star break.

The NHL has since confirmed the report, announcing that Wideman has been suspended without pay for “conduct violative of Rule 40 (Physical Abuse of Officials).” He’ll be docked $564,516.20 in salary, which will go to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.

The Flames blueliner had been suspended indefinitely pending his hearing with the league, which occurred on Tuesday. Wideman had said the hit was unintentional and apologized on several occasions.

“Throughout my career – I’ve been around for a few years – I think I’ve treated every official with the utmost respect,” Wideman said after the game, per the Calgary Herald. “I would never intentionally try to hit a linesman or a ref or anything like that.

“It was completely unintentional and I already apologized to him (on the ice).”

Prior to hitting Henderson, Wideman had been checked by Nashville’s Miikka Salomaki and said he “had some pretty good pain in my shoulder and neck.”

Henderson was hospitalized following the incident, experiencing nausea and a stiff neck. He also underwent a series of concussion protocol tests.

Per TSN, Wideman will “likely” appeal the suspension. The last successful appeal of this nature occurred in 2014, when then-Rangers forward Dan Carcillo got his 10-game ban for “deliberately applying physical force to an official” reduced to six games.

As for Calgary, it’s possible the club saw the Wideman suspension coming. Prior to today’s announcement, the Flames recalled defenseman Jakub Nakladal from AHL Stockton.

Nakladal has 14 points in 35 games this year and, like Wideman, is a right-handed shot.

Wideman’s suspension begins tonight, when the Flames host the ‘Canes at the Saddledome. He’s eligible to return on Monday, Mar. 14 when Calgary hosts St. Louis.

Roundup: Gazdic, Halischuk put on waivers; Prust, Raymond clear

Chris Neil Luke Gazdic
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Quick look at what’s transpiring on the wire…

Edmonton: Put tough guy Luke Gazdic on waivers today for the purpose of re-assignment to AHL Bakersfield. The Oilers needed a roster spot now that d-man Brandon Davidson is back healthy, so Gazdic — who has one goal in 28 games this year — is the odd man out.

Winnipeg: Waived Matt Halischuk, again. The veteran forward had been placed on the wire prior to the start of the regular season, but cleared and stuck with the organization. He’s only played in 13 games this year, though, going pointless while averaging less than 10 minutes per night.

Vancouver: Brandon Prust cleared waivers and, barring a last-minute trade, is expected to report to the club’s AHL affiliate in Utica. There, he’ll join another veteran skater currently plying his trade in the minors — Chris Higgins, who cleared waivers in mid-January and has been with the Comets ever since.

Calgary: Sent Mason Raymond to AHL Stockton. Raymond — who, like Prust, was waived on Tuesday and cleared today — had just four goals and five points in 29 games this year, despite carrying a $3.15M average annual cap hit. The 30-year-old hasn’t played in the AHL since 2007-08, when he appeared in 20 games for Vancouver’s minor league team.

No hearing for Gudas after getting tossed for clipping


Flyers defenseman Radko Gudas isn’t scheduled to face a disciplinary hearing after clipping Montreal forward Lucas Lessio on Tuesday night, an NHL spokesman has confirmed.

Gudas was given a five-minute clipping major and game misconduct for the hit, one that drew the ire of Habs defenseman P.K. Subban.

“I thought it was low,” Subban said, per the Philadelphia Inquirer. “I mean, when I saw the replay on the screen in front of the bench — I didn’t see it live — it looked like it was low. I don’t know the player personally but it seems like when you’re on the ice with him he’s the type of guy who will do stuff like that.”

“I don’t think it’s anything that reflects on their team. hey have guys that play the game hard and finish their checks, which you need to respect. But I don’t respect guys that do hits like that. You know what you’re doing in that situation, and I thought it was low.”

Gudas had run afoul of the NHL’s Department of Player Safety earlier this season, getting suspended three games for a hit to the head of Ottawa’s Mika Zibanejad.