Mike Halford

CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 08:  Ben Bishop #30 celebrates with Andrei Vasilevskiy #88 of the Tampa Bay Lightning after defeating the Chicago Blackhawks 3-2 in Game Three of the 2015 NHL Stanley Cup Final at the United Center on June 8, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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Goalie nods: Bishop sits as Vasilevskiy goes for fifth straight win

We’re not ready to call it a goalie controversy just yet, but we’re monitoring — tonight, Andrei Vasilevskiy will start for the Bolts in Columbus, having won his last four starts.

Backing him up? No. 1 netminder Ben Bishop, who has lost his last three starts.

To be accurate, though, Bishop’s struggles aren’t isolated to just the last week or so — he’s had problems throughout the year. Bishop finished October with an .880 save percentage and though he rebounded nicely to start November — in his first three games, he stopped 92 of 96 shots for a .958 save percentage — things quickly came crashing back to earth. He’s now allowed three goals or more in five of his last six appearances.

All told, Bishop is 7-8-0 on the year, with a 3.04 GAA and .902 save percentage.

Vasilevskiy, meanwhile, has been flat-out dominant. He’s posted a.977 save percentage during his four-game win streak and, on the year, is 6-1-1 with a 1.50 GAA, and two shutouts.

Tampa Bay’s first-round pick in 2012 (19th overall), Vasilevskiy has long been known as the club’s goalie of the future. But with Bishop struggling and his contract up at the end of the year, could the big Russian be the club’s goalie of the present?

For Columbus, Sergei Bobrovsky starts in goal.

Elsewhere…

Cam Ward will look to continue his run of fine play when the ‘Canes take on the Rangers at MSG. Henrik Lundqvist starts for New York, after stopping 40 of 42 shots in a Thanksgiving Showdown win over Philly on Friday.

— It’s Tuukka Rask versus Steve Mason as the B’s take on the Flyers at Wells Fargo.

Robin Lehner faces his old squad as the Sabres visit Ottawa. He’ll be up against former goaltending mate Craig Anderson, who is expected to leave the team following tonight’s game to be with his wife.

Petr Mrazek is back in net for the Wings, after playing reasonably well (two goals on 24 shots) in an OT loss to Montreal over the weekend. No word yet on a Dallas starter, but Antti Niemi played in last night’s OT loss to the Blues.

Cory Schneider, who has lost three of his last four starts, goes for the Devils. He’ll be up against Connor Hellebuyck, fresh off a terrific 42-save shutout against the Preds on Sunday.

— Good matchup in Chicago, as Roberto Luongo and the Panthers take on Corey Crawford and the ‘Hawks.

— The Avs continue to roll with Calvin Pickard as Semyon Varlamov recovers from injury. No word yet on a Nashville starter.

Frederik Andersen is expected to get the start for Toronto in the latest installment of McDavid vs. Matthews. Cam Talbot, who despite losing the last two games has played very well, is back in for the Oilers.

Devan Dubnyk gets the night off in Vancouver, as the Wild will start Darcy Kuemper. No word yet on a Canucks starter.

— No surprises for Montreal, as the Habs will go with Carey Price in Anaheim. The Ducks will counter with John Gibson.

Mike Smith, coming off a 41-save victory over Edmonton on Sunday, starts for the Coyotes. Martin Jones goes for San Jose, as per usual.

Beau Bennett is hurt again

NEWARK, NJ - NOVEMBER 23:  Beau Bennett #8 of the New Jersey Devils is congratulated by teammates after he scored in the second period against the Toronto Maple Leafs on November 23, 2016 at Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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And things were going so well, too.

On Tuesday, the New Jersey Devils announced that oft-injured forward Beau Bennett suffered a right leg laceration at the end of Monday’s practice, and didn’t travel to Winnipeg with the team. Ergo, he will miss this evening’s tilt against the Jets.

For a guy that only played in 129 of a possible 294 games over the first four years of his career — all spent in Pittsburgh — another injury shouldn’t come as a huge surprise. Bennett has dealt with a broken wrist, shoulder problems, mumps and a variety of lower-body ailments, and managed to poke fun at himself after joining the Devils this offseason:

But maybe this latest health setback should come as a bit of a surprise. Because this year, Bennett has actually been healthy!

He’s been a nice pickup for the Devils, appearing in 20 of 21 games while chipping in with seven points. He’s also averaging a shade under 14 minutes per night.

Thankfully for both Bennett and the Devils, he’s not expected to be out long. The team said he remained in New Jersey to work out on his own, and is considered day-to-day.

 

Travis Moen calls it a career

MONTREAL, QC - MARCH 12:  Travis Moen #32 of the Montreal Canadiens skates during the NHL game against the Boston Bruins at the Bell Centre on March 12, 2014 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.  The Bruins defeated the Canadiens 4-1.  (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)
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Travis Moen, the grinding winger that won a Stanley Cup in 2007 and appeared in nearly 800 NHL contests, has announced his retirement from professional hockey.

“First off I would like to thank my former teammates for all their support on and off the ice. I have made many great friendships and incredible memories,” Moen said in a statement, through the NHLPA. “I want to thank all the coaching staffs for believing in me and helping me to achieve my dream. I also want to tell all the training staffs how much I appreciate each of them and thank them all for keeping me healthy. My family and I feel truly honored to have lived and played for some amazing organizations. I want to thank the staffs and fans of the Chicago, Anaheim, San Jose, Montreal and Dallas organizations.

“With all the great memories, one of the best will be winning the Stanley Cup in Anaheim with the Ducks. It is the highlight of my career and nothing beats that feeling of accomplishing your childhood dream! Lastly I would like to thank my family for all their love, support and sacrifice through my entire career. I will truly miss everything about the game of hockey.”

As mentioned, Moen played for the Ducks, Stars, Habs, Blackhawks and Sharks over the course of his 12-year career. He spent the longest time in Montreal — appearing in over 300 games over a six-year span — but his best individual season came during the Cup-winning ’06-07 campaign, when he posted 11 goals and 21 points in 82 games for Anaheim.

Currently, Moen now serves as a volunteer hockey coach in the Swift Current Minor Hockey Association.

Ryan Strome’s been healthy scratched twice in a row, and he’s not happy about it

UNIONDALE, NY - OCTOBER 25: Ryan Strome #18 of the New York Islanders skates against the Dallas Stars at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on October 25, 2014 in Uniondale, New York. The Islanders defeated the Stars 7.5.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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It’s been a tumultuous season in Brooklyn, and things aren’t getting any easier.

On Monday, Ryan Strome — the fifth overall pick in 2011 — was a healthy scratch for the second straight game, as the Isles beat the Flames in OT.

And Strome wasn’t happy about it.

“Right now, I’m the odd man out,” Strome said, per Newsday. “I don’t really have any answers.”

Strome was right about one thing. He didn’t really have any answers.

When asked about his relationship with head coach Jack Capuano?

“I think [it’s good], I don’t know,” Strome said. “Maybe ask him.”

When asked what he needs to do differently?

“I’ve either got to play better or find a way to make them more happy, I guess,” Strome said.

When drafted out of OHL Niagara, Strome was pegged to become the club’s No. 2 center of the future, creating a dynamic punch behind John Tavares for one of the best combos in the league. But it hasn’t come to fruition.

Things looked to be on track following the ’14-15 campaign, in which Strome scored 17 goals and 50 points in 81 games. He followed that up with four points in seven playoff contests, and all looked good.

Then last year happened.

A stretch of ineffective play saw him demoted to AHL Bridgeport and, once recalled, he struggled to rediscover his ’14-15 form. He was called out by Capuano in early April and, come playoff time, was parked in the press box as a healthy scratch on occasion.

This year, Strome has two goals and four assists in 19 games — but just one in the 12 games that preceded his run of healthy scratches.

As mentioned above, this isn’t the only issue facing the Isles this season. The team has woefully under-performed, free agent signings Andrew Ladd and Jason Chimera have disappointed, there have been calls for Capuano’s job and the club’s maligned three-goalie setup has come under criticism.

Wings finally get good health news, remove Jurco from LTIR

Tomas Jurco
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DETROIT (AP) The Detroit Red Wings removed forward Tomas Jurco from long-term injured reserve and recalled him from Grand Rapids of the AHL on Monday.

The 23-year-old Jurco has not played yet this season for the Red Wings because of offseason back surgery. He had four goals and two assists in 44 games for Detroit last season.

Detroit also put forward Tyler Bertuzzi and defenseman Brendan Smith on seven-day injured reserve.

The Red Wings host Dallas on Tuesday night.

Related: Injuries keep piling up in Detroit, Smith out four weeks