Tag: Danny Briere

Joe Sakic, Patrick Roy

With Avs’ playoff hopes dwindling, is it time to start selling?


Here’s the deal for the Colorado Avalanche. To make the playoffs, they’ll need to go in the neighborhood of 17-6-4 in their final 27 games. And the way the team is playing, that’s very unlikely to happen.

“Our confidence is not there, no doubt about it,” coach Patrick Roy said, per the Denver Post, in the wake of last night’s loss to the Rangers, the fourth straight defeat in regulation for the Avs.

“It’s my job to remain patient and continue to practice it and hopefully, eventually it will turn and help us to win some hockey games.”

And it’s the job of management to face reality leading up to the March 2 trade deadline.

Veteran defenseman Jan Hejda, a pending unrestricted free agent, is a player that could be turned into a draft pick or prospect. Forward Danny Briere is another pending UFA, though his trade value is minimal.

Of course, forward Ryan O’Reilly would make a good addition to a playoff team. However, he’s a more complicated situation. If the Avs are really going to trade the 24-year-old, his contract status (can’t sign an extension until July 1) may make that more likely in the offseason.

Stepan returns for Rangers in Game 5

Derek Stepan

Suffering a broken jaw sidelined New York Rangers center Derek Stepan for Game 4, but apparently he received clearance to play in Game 5. He’ll suit up for the Rangers as they attempt to eliminate the Canadiens in Montreal on Tuesday.

Much was made of the Brandon Prust hit that injured Stepan, with the former Rangers forward expressing regret about hurting his friend while Danny Briere professed more than a little bit of doubt about the validity of Stepan’s injury.

It was obviously enough to sideline Stepan for one big game, so does that just leave it half-fishy? Will the Canadiens try to target that jaw? Do people retract their mockery of Briere or is it just a wash? There are so many questions, yet we’ll have to wait for the answers.

If you’re wondering how the Rangers will line up with the 23-year-old forward back in the mix, here’s an early look:

Consider how the past few days have gone for Stepan and it would be remarkable if he was his usual top-center self, although stranger things have happened in the playoffs:

Habs survive Ovechkin’s two goals, beat Capitals 3-2

Peter Budaj, Ryan White

The Montreal Canadiens and Washington Capitals each started their backups against each other tonight and it was Peter Budaj who came out on top with a 3-2 win in Washington.

Best part of his night? He can say he survived a full-on onslaught from Alex Ovechkin.

The Capitals captain scored two goals but couldn’t come away with a third to tie things up. The goals were his 18th and 19th on the season, giving him the league lead ahead of St. Louis’ Alex Steen.

Danny Briere scored what turned out to be the game-winner at 13:40 of the first period, a tally that put the Canadiens up 3-0, but Ovechkin scored once in the first and again in the third to whittle away at the Habs lead.

Budaj made 25 saves for Montreal while Michal Neuvirth stopped 28 for Washington. Now the Capitals get to tangle with the Maple Leafs on Saturday night. If Caps forward Mikhail Grabovski needed a reason to be motivated, he’s got it facing the team that bought him out over the summer.

Quick hits: Crosby stays hot, Sabres win, Oilers coach questions hockey gods


There are a ton of games this Tuesday, so let’s not shortchange anyone. Here are some quick summaries of tonight’s other games. Click here for the Leafs win against the Wild and Vancouver topping Philadelphia. This post will be updated later on with various strays, too.

Buffalo 4, NY Islanders 3 (SO)

Huzzah, the Sabres finally won their first game of the season. A ton of people will decry the fact that they needed to win it via a “skills competition,” but Buffalo probably won’t. Somehow Ryan Miller wasn’t listed as one of the game’s three stars despite stopping 41 out of 44 shots and two of the Islanders’ three shootout attempts. Let’s chalk that up to the universe being geared to make Miller strangely miserable.

Pittsburgh 3, Edmonton 2

Sidney Crosby assisted on all three of the Penguins’ goals on Tuesday, giving him a ridiculous seven points (three goals, four assists) in the past two games. Ales Hemsky and Jordan Eberle were Edmonton’s goal scorers while Jason LaBarbera curiously played back-to-back games.

Dallas Eakins cried out to hockey’s Mount Olympus after the game.

“The hockey gods aren’t lined up with us right now,” Eakins said.

Chicago 3, Carolina 2 (SO)

The Chicago Blackhawks won their first game in Carolina since 1998 (!). New father Patrick Sharp provided an interesting bit of analysis to the Chicago Tribune’s Chris Kuc.

Tampa Bay 5, Los Angeles 1

Jonathan Quick’s up-and-down start to the 2013-14 season continued on Tuesday, as he was pulled after allowing four goals on 17 shots. New Bolts captain Martin St. Louis had two goals and an assist while Ben Bishop made 31 out of 32 saves.

Nashville 4, Florida 3

The Predators won and Shea Weber might finally be awake (two points on Tuesday after collecting one in his first five contests). Still, it’s not the best sign when Mike Fisher just pulled ahead in your team’s goal-scoring category with his second tally.

Detroit 2, Columbus 1

The two relocated division “rivals” produced the usual Red Wings win. Daniel Alfredsson finally got a goal for the Red Wings tonight.

Ottawa 4, Phoenix 3 (OT)

The Phoenix Coyotes took a 2-0 lead very early in the game, but Jason Spezza made his presence/former absence felt by scoring three unanswered goals. Mike Ribeiro finally found the net for his first Coyotes goal, but the Senators won it in OT on Cory Conacher’s wrister.

Montreal 3, Winnipeg 0

All kinds of good things for the Canadiens: Carey Price got a shutout (36 saves), P.K. Subban continues to have a great/probably going to be really expensive year and even slow-starter Danny Briere scored tonight. As the Winnipeg Free Sun’s Ken Wiebe points out, Evander Kane’s Tuesday wasn’t so hot.

Pominville on Buffalo: ‘It’s good to be back’


Jason Pominville has seen firsthand how a crowd can treat a returning player, as Nashville Predators fans absolutely tore apart Ryan Suter upon his return and second visit. It seems like his comeback to Buffalo should be a lot more positive Monday night, though.

The 30-year-old seems like he’s taking a “no hard feelings” approach, as the Buffalo News reports.

“It was weird coming in through the same door you usually go in, and having to go left instead of go right to go to the locker room was a little different,” Pominville said. “It’s good to be back, a lot of great memories, a lot of good times. Just excited to get the game going.

“I don’t hold anything against the organization or anything like that. I’m just happy to be where I’m at now and looking forward to get this game played.”

The Buffalo News guesses that Pominville will be received warmly, though Sabres fans have let people have it in the past, particularly with Brian Campbell and Danny Briere.

Two factors certainly help: the Sabres traded him and he’s in a different conference with a long-term deal. It’s not like he’ll be damaging his former team’s chances in a meaningful way, aside from the difficult-to-picture scenario of a Stanley Cup Final series.

Still, you never know, especially considering the fact that Buffalo is off to a pitiful start. The game’s on NBC SN, with a start time of 7:30 p.m. ET.