Author: Mike Halford

Colorado Avalanche v Philadelphia Flyers

After 11-game absence, Tanguay expected back for Avs tonight

The Colorado Avalanche will get a nice piece back in the lineup tonight, as they look for consecutive wins for just the second time this season.

Veteran forward Alex Tanguay, who’s missed the last 11 games with a knee injury, is expected to draw back into the lineup when the Avs take on the Rangers at MSG.

Tanguay, 36, was off to a decent start prior to getting hurt, scoring six points in his first 14 games while averaging 17:35 TOI per night. He was, at times, playing on one of the club’s top scoring lines next to Jarome Iginla.

Where he fits in the lineup tonight remains to be seen. The Avs are coming off a 2-1 win in New Jersey on Tuesday, on goals from Matt Duchene and Tyson Barrie.

Report: Buffalo wins ’18 World Juniors bid

Terry Pegula
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The World Junior Hockey Championships are reportedly coming to Buffalo.

Per the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, USA Hockey will announce that Buffalo has been chosen as the host site for the 2018 Worlds, beating out finalists Pittsburgh and St. Louis in the process.

Update: USA Hockey has all but let the cat out of the bag, announcing a press conference on Friday at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Buffalo.

It won’t come as a huge surprise that Buffalo got the nod. Since the Terry Pegula-backed HarborCenter opened last year, the site — along with the connected First Niagara Center, home of the Sabres — has become a hotbed of hockey activity.

Buffalo was host to the 2015 daft combine and will host again in ’16, along with the NHL Entry Draft. It’s also home to NCAA outfit Canisius, the Buffalo Beauts of the National Women’s Hockey League and, this past spring, hosted the ’15 IPC Ice Sledge Hockey World Championships.

As for the World Juniors chronology, the ’16 event will be held in Helsinki, Finland, followed by the ’17 tournament in the shared sites of Montreal and Toronto.

Buffalo last hosted the tournament in 2011, when Evgeny Kuznetsov and Vladimir Tarasenko led the Russians to gold.

Update: 

Pegula, of course, owns both the Sabres and the NFL’s Bills.

Video: Malkin, Stralman and Datsyuk star in Goals of the Week

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A milestone marker from Pavel Datsyuk, an outstanding individual effort from Evgeni Malkin and some terrific team play from Tampa — featuring Steve Stamkos‘ no-look pass — highlight the latest installment of Goals of the Week.

 

Gudas suspended three games for ‘a hit where the head was avoidable’

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The NHL has come down on Flyers defenseman Radko Gudas, suspending him three games for Tuesday night’s headshot on Ottawa forward Mika Zibanejad.

“By lunging upward and delivering the blow with his extended forearm instead of his shoulder or chest, Gudas makes the head the main point of contact on a hit where the head was avoidable,” the Department of Player Safety explained.

The incident, which went unpenalized, forced Zibanejad from the contest. He’s currently listed as “doubtful” for Ottawa’s game tomorrow against Chicago.

As for Gudas, he’ll now sit out Philly’s upcoming games against Columbus (Dec. 4), Columbus (Dec. 5) and the New York Islanders (Dec. 8). He’s eligible to return to the lineup next Thursday, when the Flyers take on the Blues in St. Louis.

Gudas will also forfeit $15,994.62 in salary to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.

Preds put Fisher on IR after Hanzal hit, will miss next four games

Mike Fisher

The Nashville Predators will be without one of their top centers for the next while.

On Wednesday, the club put Mike Fisher on injured reserve in the wake of a heavy Martin Hanzal hit during last night’s win over the Coyotes.

Fisher, who sits tied for the third on the team with five goals, is a pretty key cog in the Preds’ operation. He plays nearly 19 minutes a night, leads the team in faceoff wins and has pretty solid possession metrics. He’s also one of head coach Peter Laviolette’s more trusted veterans, and serves as one of the club’s three alternate captains.

Injuries have been an issue lately, however.

Last year, Fisher missed over 20 games with a ruptured Achilles, then missed half of the opening playoff round against Chicago with a lower-body ailment.

With Fisher out the next four games — he’s set to be re-evaluated next week — the Preds will be pretty thin down the middle with Mike Ribeiro, Calle Jarnkrok and Paul Gaustad next up on the depth chart. Cody Hodgson could be moved to center as a stopgap solution, or Colton Sissons could get a bigger role.