Anaheim Ducks

Flames trio of Wideman, Russell, and Brodie are ‘basically our motor offensively’


When the Calgary Flames finished off the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday, not only did they advance to the second round in six games, they also avoided a seventh and deciding contest, thus buying a few extra days to rest up for the Anaheim Ducks.

Those few extra days could prove key, given all the ice time that three Flames defensemen — Dennis Wideman, Kris Russell, and T.J. Brodie — have been logging.

“We asked those guys to play lots of minutes,” coach Bob Hartley said Tuesday, per the Canadian Press. “They’re very important in our game. We just don’t want them to defend. They’re basically our motor offensively.”


Wideman, Russell, and Brodie each registered four points against the Canucks, their puck-moving abilities drawing rave reviews, especially when compared to Vancouver’s inability to handle Calgary’s forecheck.

Looking ahead to Thursday’s series opener in Anaheim, expect the Ducks to do all they can to wear down the Flames’ trusted trio, laying the body whenever possible, a la Matt Beleskey on Adam Pardy:

Just don’t expect said trio to roll over.

“Those guys have the power of recovering very well,” said Hartley. “They’re great athletes and they want those minutes, they love those responsibilities. They’re giving us unbelievable hockey.”

Related: Giordano to have surgery, is ‘done for the season’

Rutherford admits mistakes, but has support of Penguins ownership


You may question some of his moves, but you can’t say he lacks candor.

Penguins GM Jim Rutherford met with reporters today in Pittsburgh, and proceeded to:

Admit the club erred in the development of Beau Bennett, that the player should have spent more time in the AHL.
Express regret for trading young defenseman Simon Despres for veteran defenseman Ben Lovejoy.
Concede he could have handled an interaction with a certain member of the media better.

Those were the mistakes for which he held himself accountable.

But Rutherford also said:

— He has the full support of ownership to make the changes he sees fit, which may include buyouts. (Rob Scuderi?)
— He will look to add a top-six winger, most likely through a trade, given the dearth of options in free agency.
— The head coach he hired, Mike Johnston, did a good job, and the players said so.

Anyway, it should be a very interesting offseason in Pittsburgh. The Penguins have a number of pending unrestricted free agents, including Paul Martin, Christian Ehrhoff, Steve Downie and Thomas Greiss.

It could also be a challenging one for Rutherford. If he wants to add a top-six winger through a trade, what, exactly, could he offer in return? He already traded his first-round pick to get David Perron, and it’s not like the Penguins are blessed with an overabundance of prospects.

Besides, they need to develop their prized youngsters, not trade them away for short-term fixes. (You know, like they traded away Després.)

Related: Friedman says Penguins need to ‘think about’ trading Malkin

Bettman under fire after saying ‘Katy Perry’ chant wasn’t sexist


From the Associated Press:

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman doesn’t believe Winnipeg Jets fans were being “sexist in the slightest” by comparing Anaheim Ducks forward Corey Perry to pop singer Katy Perry.

Bettman likens the chants to goalies being called “sieves.” The commissioner was in Winnipeg on Monday for the chants during Game 3 of the first-round playoff series.

Predictably, Bettman’s remarks have ignited a media firestorm, with Yahoo Sports’ Greg Wyshynski going so far as to call them “rage-inducing.”

The Wall Street Journal has a more detailed breakdown of the exchange between Bettman and reporters.

Frankly, we wish the commissioner had just acknowledged how the chant could be seen as sexist and how some people might have been put off by it, even if it wasn’t the worst thing to have ever been chanted at a hockey game.

Trouba broke hand in Game 2 against Ducks, out 6-8 weeks


Following Winnipeg’s sweep at the hands of Anaheim on Wednesday, head coach Paul Maurice said the club was dealing with as many as eight significant injuries during the playoffs.

Turns out Jacob Trouba had one of them.

Trouba broke his left hand in Game 2 of the opening-round series, per the Winnipeg Sun. The injury will require surgery and sideline the young d-man for approximately 6-8 weeks, ruling him out of potential participation with Team USA at the upcoming World Hockey Championships (May 1-17 in the Czech Republic.)

The 21-year-old struggled over the final three games of the series, so it’s not entirely surprising to hear he was hurt. That said, the nature of the injury is fairly significant — trying to play D with a broken hand? — and Trouba deserves plenty of credit for gutting it out and logging the minutes he did. He skated over 20 in Games 2 and 3 before seeing just 16:15 in the deciding Game 4.

This could partially explain why Trouba was danced around on Emerson Etem’s outrageous solo effort in Wednesday’s loss.

During today’s locker clear-out, captain Andrew Ladd also revealed he’s been playing with a sports hernia. Oh, and here are the rest of the injuries, per head coach Paul Maurice…

Shattenkirk lighting it up as Blues play ‘our game’


Following Wednesday’s 6-1 whipping of Minnesota in Game 4 of their opening round series, Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock had a telling quote:

“This is our game. It’s not our best game. We can play a lot better than we played today. We’ve still got things we’ve got to work on, but this is our game.

“We’re going to play this game and if it’s good enough, we’re going to put it out there, and if we win with it, great. If we don’t win with it, so be it. But this is our game.”

If Wednesday was truly indicative of the way the Blues want to play, might want to keep an eye on what Kevin Shattenkirk does moving forward.

Why? Well, Shattenkirk assisted on three of St. Louis’ six goals last night, continuing a theme that’s been present throughout this series; all told, he’s recorded helpers on seven of the Blues’ 12 goals and is currently tied with Anaheim’s Corey Perry for the playoff scoring lead.

Shattenkirk is also the first St. Louis blueliner to have six assists in a series since Hall of Famer Al MacInnis did it in 16 years ago.

Part of Shattenkirk’s Game 4 outburst came from a subtle move by Hitchcock. Hitch moved the 26-year-old back onto a defensive pairing with Carl Gunnarsson and the two fared pretty well, emerging with solid possession metrics (while allowing Jay Bouwmeester and Alex Pietrangelo to reunite as a pairing, which was also a boon for the Blues.)

While Shattenkirk was quick to deflect praise onto his teammates following the win, his comments said plenty about the Blues’ top talent coming through in a crucial moment.

“Our best players played well. Our whole lineup played well I think,” Shattenkirk said. “We got something from everyone tonight.”