Tag: Bryan Allen


Habs lose Weaver (concussion) after Garbutt hit


Montreal defenseman Mike Weaver has been diagnosed with a concussion, head coach Michel Therrien confirmed on Monday.

Weaver, who’d appeared in 26 of the Habs’ 29 games this year, was injured early in Saturday’s 4-1 loss to Dallas on this hit from Stars forward Ryan Garbutt:

Weaver left the game immediately and didn’t return. Garbutt wasn’t penalized on the play, but has been something of a controversial figure this season — he was suspended two games earlier in the year for kneeing Edmonton’s Taylor Hall, and drew the ire of head coach Lindy Ruff for his oft-undisciplined style of play.

As for Weaver, he’ll presumably be out for Tuesday’s tilt against the Canucks, meaning that Bryan Allen — who was scratched against the Stars on Saturday — will likely draw back into the lineup.

Ducks, Murray dealing with shot-blocking conundrum

Anaheim Ducks v Phoenix Coyotes

Following Wednesday’s 5-4 shootout win over Philadelphia, Anaheim further established itself as one of the NHL’s best shot-blocking teams, sitting sixth overall with 398 on the year.

And in a related move, GM Bob Murray had to go out and get another defenseman today.

Technically, it was a D-for-D swap — Murray moved Jesse Blacker to Florida in exchange for Colby Robak — but Robak’s a year older than Blacker and has 42 games of NHL experience to Blacker’s one, suggesting this was a move to insert a healthy body, now.

And with good reason. All that shot blocking has paid a price: Francois Beauchemin is out with a broken finger and newly-acquired Eric Brewer is out with a broken foot, both busted while getting in the way of frozen rubber discs.

“Seems like a new guy every day,” Boudreau said, per the L.A. Times. “But when you block 28 shots [Monday, vs. Boston] and pay the price, you usually win.

“That’s what good, character guys do. It’s unfortunate, but that’s the sport.”

This brings up a familiar debate: Is blocking tons of shots a good thing, or a bad thing?

Grit-n-sacrifice narratives will tell you it’s vitally important for good teams and, to a certain degree, they’re right. The Stanley Cup playoffs are often littered with testimonials about blocked shots leading to victory; during the ’12 postseason, John Tortorella’s Rangers team forced one prominent voice to declare that shot blocking was taking over the NHL playoffs.

There is a counter-argument to this, of course — that teams blocking a lot of shots are, y’know, giving up a lot of shots. Which is a bad thing.

The Ducks currently sits atop the Western Conference and second overall in the league standings but, by advanced shot metrics, aren’t dominant. They’re a middle-of-the-road team in terms of shots for/shots against statistics, masked by the fact they have several d-men that excel at blocking pucks: Sami Vatanen leads the team and sits 17th overall in the NHL this year; Beauchemin finished 11th in the league last year, Ben Lovejoy 25th.

Add it all up, and the chance for injury is high. Murray’s seen it first-hand this year, and few teams have undergone more changes on the defense: In addition to the Brewer and Robak deals, Anaheim also traded away veteran Bryan Allen and was forced to rely on pair of AHL farmhands in Josh Manson and Mat Clark.

All this has kept Murray busy. He’s been one of the league’s most active GMs over the last 30 days, wheeling and dealing to replace injured bodies and keep his Cup-contending team afloat.

“I’d hate to have [Murray’s] job right now,” Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf said, per the O.C. Register. “He’s earning his money this month and he’s got a lot of work to do. All we can do is keep playing.

“We’ve got a lot of depth in our organization. We’ve proven it over the years. Whatever group we put on the ice, we feel pretty comfortable going out there with a chance to win.”

Trade: Ducks get Brewer from Lightning; Beauchemin out 4-6 weeks

David Clarkson, Eric Brewer

The Anaheim Ducks have picked up veteran defenseman Eric Brewer from the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for a third-round pick (previously acquired from Edmonton) in the 2015 draft.

The Ducks, in a related story, also announced today that d-man Francois Beauchemin is out 4-6 weeks with a broken finger and that d-man Clayton Stoner is day-to-day with the mumps. The Brewer acquisition also comes not long after the Ducks traded veteran d-man Bryan Allen to Montreal. For today’s afternoon game against Chicago, Anaheim had to recall Jesse Blacker from AHL Norfolk.

Brewer, 35, got into 17 games for the Lightning this season, registering no goals and four assists. But with the pending return of Victor Hedman from injury, and with Tampa Bay boasting one of the deepest blue lines in the NHL, it may have been hard for him to get into many more.

In fact, prior to the trade, Brewer had been a healthy scratch in four of Tampa Bay’s last five games.

“It’s very hard on him, this is a very proud man, and he’s played well for us,” associate coach Rick Bowness said, per the Tampa Bay Times. “With the depth that we have, players are sitting and they’re not playing their way out of the lineup. For a man who has been around a long time, this is the first time in his career he’s been faced with this, it’s very, very hard on him.”

Brewer is a pending unrestricted free agent with a cap hit of $3.875 million.