Tag: Carolina Hurricanes

Joffrey Lupul

Lupul in, Kozun out for Leafs vs. Jets

The Toronto Maple Leafs will have Joffrey Lupul back in the lineup tonight when they play host to the Winnipeg Jets.

The forward has missed four games due to a lower body injury.

As for who comes out of the lineup, coach Peter Horachek says it’s a tough decision.

“Most likely it’ll be (Brandon) Kozun. I liked the way he’s played,” said Horachek. “I like what he’s brought. He had some really good energy. Kind of makes you feel bad about the situation, but he’s a young player that’s got a lot of time coming forward. That’s the most likely choice.”

Kozun scored his first career NHL goal in the Leafs’ 2-1 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday night. Kozun has two points in eight games with the Leafs this season while averaging under eight minutes in ice times.

Injuries have limited Lupul to 32 games where he has nine goals and 10 assists.

Tonight marks the second and final meeting between the two clubs this season. The Jets beat the Leafs 5-1 on Jan. 3. It was Randy Carlyle’s final game behind Toronto’s bench.

Since then the Leafs have gone 2-15-2 including five straight (0-4-1) without a win.

Goalie nods: Gibson’s struggling, but starts fourth straight for Anaheim


All the latest from the blue paint…

Ducks stick with Gibson

The Anaheim Ducks, losers in seven of their last 10, will keep rolling with John Gibson as they look to get things on track tonight in Calgary.

Gibson, forced into action with Frederik Andersen injured and Ilya Bryzgalov struggling, hasn’t played especially well of late — in four games this month, he’s allowed 13 goals on 101 shots for a .886 save percentage, and has just one win.

“My biggest worry on it is that we are allowing way too many goals,” Bruce Boudreau said following a 4-1 defeat to Tampa Bay on Wednesday, per the O.C. Register. “We’re not losing pretty.”

The Ducks are hoping Gibson, a highly-touted prospect that broke onto the scene late last year — can reclaim some of the form shown earlier this season. In a three-game stretch in late October, the 21-year-old allowed one goal in a win over Columbus, posted a 38-save shutout against the Blackhawks and stopped 27 of 29 shots in a loss to St. Louis.

For the Flames, Jonas Hiller will start in goal.


Rangers at Sabres: No word yet on starters for either team.

Canucks at Devils: Eddie Lack vs. Cory Schneider

Leafs at ‘Canes: James Reimer vs. Cam Ward

Bruins at Blues: Malcolm Subban vs. Jake Allen (more on Subban’s NHL debut here.)

Avs at ‘Hawks: Semyon Varlamov vs. Corey Crawford

Wild at Oilers: Devan Dubnyk for Minnesota, no word yet on an Edmonton starter.

Back from the brink, Kings still ‘have a lot of work left to do’

Tyler Toffoli, Gabriel Landeskog, Brad Stuart

Exactly two weeks ago, the Los Angeles Kings woke up in 12th place in the Western Conference. The defending Stanley Cup champions had won just four times since Christmas, were languishing five points back of a playoff spot, and even the most handsome of hockey bloggers had finally started to doubt them.

Yada, yada, yada, the Kings woke up this morning in a playoff spot. They’ve won six straight and, per Sports Club Stats, have seen their chances of qualifying for the postseason jump from 25.3 percent to 68.8 percent. As for those handsome hockey bloggers? They’re picking on the Ducks and Sharks now.

“We weren’t playing even close to our capability,” said defenseman Drew Doughty, per the Associated Press. “We’re seeing what we can do when everyone starts to perform. We’re happy with the way we’re playing now. But we can’t get ahead of ourselves. We need to keep winning. We have a lot of work left to do.”

Indeed they do, starting Saturday in Santa Clara, outdoors against their better-be-motivated rivals from San Jose.

What’s more, the Kings have played 31 homes games, compared to just 26 on the road, meaning their remaining schedule is heavy on away dates. And lest we forget, this is not a team that’s been good on the road this season (8-12-6).

The March 2 trade deadline also looms. Will GM Dean Lombardi add a defenseman? (Jeff Petry? Andrej Sekera? Roman Polak?) We only ask, because playing Doughty 30 minutes a night might not be the best way to get him fresh for the playoffs. With no Slava Voynov, he’s averaged almost four minutes more than he did last season.

The Kings know they aren’t out of the woods yet. When asked about the excitement of playing the Sharks in front of 70,000 fans Saturday at Levi’s Stadium, goalie Jonathan Quick made that point clear.

“You’re playing for two points,” he said, per L.A. Kings Insider. “I think we’re tied with them right now in the standings. That’s the only thing you’re excited about. It’s going to be a playoff-type game. We know we’re fighting for a spot.”

Report: Polak ‘coveted’ by Kings

Nashville Predators v Toronto Maple Leafs

The Globe and Mail’s Eric Duhatschek has a column today about the upcoming NHL trade deadline, and how it’s shaping up to be a buyer’s market.

In it, Duhatschek lists a number of potential rental defensemen, including the “Coyotes’ Zbynek Michalek, the Carolina Hurricanes’ Andrej Sekera, the Edmonton Oilers’ Jeff Petry or the Maple Leafs’ Roman Polak, a player coveted by the Kings.”

We presume Duhatschek, a well-respected hockey reporter, isn’t just pulling those last six words out of thin air and that the Kings do, indeed, have an interest in Polak.

It wouldn’t be a surprise if they do. Polak, 28, is a rugged, right-shooting defender that could add depth and experience to a Kings’ blue line that no longer has Willie Mitchell and may not have Slava Voynov for a while, or even ever again.

Polak, Toronto’s leader with 183 hits, is signed through next season for a cap hit of $2.75 million. He was traded to the Leafs by the Blues in June.

Intermission starts early after Ottawa’s MacArthur crashes into goalie Lehner


The second period of tonight’s contest between Ottawa and Carolina ended on a somber note as Senators forward Clarke MacArthur charged into his goaltender, Robin Lehner, while trying to prevent a goal from Carolina’s Jay McClement.

Both Lehner and MacArthur went down as a result of the collision and needed to be attended to. Lehner was able to get up and head to the locker room on his own strength, but MacArthur spent a longer period of time on the ice and at one point it looked like he would need a stretcher. Fortunately, the stretcher proved to be unnecessary, but the severity of MacArthur’s injury remains unclear.

Rather than have the teams play the final 52 seconds remaining in the period, the decision was made to begin the intermission early. The remaining time will be made up after the intermission before the third period will officially start, per the NHL’s PR Department.

You can see the incident below: