Edmonton Oilers

Goalie nods: All-Czech matchup for Hasek night in Buffalo

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All the latest from the blue paint…

Czech affair

A fitting goaltending duel in Buffalo tonight as the Sabres retire Dominik Hasek’s No. 39: Michal Neuvirth will go up against Petr Mrazek as two of the NHL’s three active Czech goalies battle it out.

Mrazek, back with the Red Wings after injuries to Jimmy Howard and Jonas Gustavsson, has posted a 5-3-1 record with a 2.29 GAA and .916 save percentage this year. He did allow two goals on just 12 shots in relief of Howard on Saturday against Washington, though.

Neuvirth, meanwhile, will look to build on one of the finest performances of his career. He was brilliant in Friday’s 2-1 loss to Tampa Bay, making 45 saves on 47 shots for a .957 save percentage. While the 26-year-old’s numbers on the year aren’t great — 3-11-1, .909 save percentage, 3.36 GAA — Neuvirth has had a couple good outings lately, which included stops on 31 of 33 shots in a loss to Florida on Jan. 2.


Bolts at Bruins: Tuukka Rask likely for Boston, no word yet on a Tampa Bay starter.

Isles at Rangers: Jaroslav Halak vs. Henrik Lundqvist

Wild at Pens: Niklas Backstrom vs. Marc-Andre Fleury

Avs at ‘Canes: Calvin Pickard vs. Anton Khudobin

Panthers at Jets: Roberto Luongo vs. Michael Hutchinson

Canucks vs. Preds: Eddie Lack for Vancouver, Pekka Rinne likely for Nashville.

Oilers at Blues: Ben Scrivens vs. Jake Allen

Sens at Stars: Robin Lehner for Ottawa, Kari Lehtonen likely for Dallas.

Sharks at Coyotes: Devan Dubnyk for Arizona, Antti Niemi likely for San Jose.

Preds waive Arcobello


Nashville waived center Mark Arcobello on Tuesday.

Arcobello, 26, was acquired by the Preds on Dec. 29 from Edmonton in exchange for Derek Roy and proceeded to appear in four games for Nashville, scoring once in his team debut.

The diminutive center was a healthy scratch during Saturday’s win over Minnesota, however, and could simply be out of the mix now that Matt Cullen and Taylor Beck have returned from injured reserve.

If Arcobello clears, he’ll be on his way to Milwaukee of the AHL, which is where he’s been a productive player during his professionial career; the former Yale standout had 96 points in 89 games over parts of the last two seasons with Edmonton’s AHL affiliate in Oklahoma City.


Coyotes’ poor play ‘falls directly on us leaders,’ says Doan


The Arizona Coyotes are experiencing leadership problems this season — just ask them.

Or, read the following quotes from AZCentral:

“Our inconsistency has probably been the most glaring weakness and that pretty much falls directly on us leaders in the room.” — Shane Doan

“I think the leadership has obviously got to step up — that’s the guys we count on every night and that’s the guys we need to step up right now because it’s a bad situation.” — Martin Hanzal

“(The veterans) have to do their job. They can’t just be a nice guy off the ice. They have to actually do the job and be respected on the ice.” — Dave Tippett

It’s clear something’s been wrong in Arizona through the first half of the season (and you could replace “something” with “lots of things.”) Mike Smith has been a nightmare in goal, the players have seemingly abandoned Tippett’s defensive approach and GM Don Maloney’s already played his shake-it-up card when, in the hours following an ugly loss to L.A. in December, he waived Kyle Chipchura, traded Rob Klinkhammer and sent David Schlemko to the minors.

But those were all peripheral moves that affected fringe guys, not core ones. With these recent quotes about leadership issues and underachieving veterans, you have to wonder what’s next.

Antoine Vermette, as we’ve documented thoroughly, could be on the move. Keith Yandle has been on the block for ages and could be again as we draw closer to the March trade deadline, and the Coyotes went out of their way to address Doan rumors via Twitter last week (which many saw as a “you doth protest too much” moment.)

Other veterans could be on the block as well. Martin Erat, David Moss and Zbynek Michalek are all on the wrong side of 30 and UFAs at season’s end; next year, Doan and Yandle are up. With Arizona sitting 13th in the Western Conference and primed to miss the playoffs for a third straight year, the question has to be asked: Is now the time to break up the core?

Goalie Nods: Crawford, Blackhawks look to remain perfect vs. Wild


All the latest from the blue paint…

Crawford and Wild meet again

Corey Crawford made 42 saves as the Blackhawks doubled up the Minnesota Wild on Thursday night. He is now 14-5-2, including postseason, in his last 21 games against Minnesota to go along with a 1.94 goals-against average. Crawford is now 4-3-1 with a 2.98 G.A.A. in eight games since returning from a lower body injury. He was 12-5-1 with a 1.87 G.A.A. prior to being sidelined.

Niklas Backstrom will get the start for the Wild. He is 0-2-0 with a 3.56 G.A.A. and a .877 save percentage in the first two games of the season series. Backstrom is 2-9-1 with a 3.59 G.A.A. in his last 12 starts versus Chicago.

Other probable starters…

Panthers at Oilers: Roberto Luongo (confirmed) vs. Ben Scrivens

Jets at Ducks: Michael Hutchinson vs. Frederik Andersen

So, who was the biggest All-Star snub?


The remainder of the 2015 NHL All-Star Game rosters were announced on Saturday.

While some “snubs” are probably quite happy about getting a break (especially Joe Thornton, who’s taking a nice trip to Cabo), you can bet plenty of fan bases will gripe about players who didn’t make it, even if they might not realize that all 30 NHL teams must be represented in some form.

Well, if you’re going to gripe about it, why not do it in the comfy confines of PHT? Before you vote for the biggest snub of them all, however, let’s take a look at who’s on the roster:

Fan voted: Zemgus Girgensons, Buffalo Sabres
Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Brent Seabrook, Duncan Keith, Corey Crawford, Chicago Blackhawks

Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim Ducks
Patrice Bergeron, Boston Bruins
Nick Foligno, Columbus Blue Jackets
Ryan Johansen, Columbus Blue Jackets
Tyler Seguin, Dallas Stars
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Edmonton Oilers
Anze Kopitar, Los Angeles Kings
Patrik Elias, New Jersey Devils
John Tavares, New York Islanders
Rick Nash, New York Rangers
Bobby Ryan, Ottawa Senators
Claude Giroux, Philadelphia Flyers
Jakub Voracek, Philadelphia Flyers
Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins
Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Penguins
Vladimir Tarasenko, St. Louis Blues
Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay Lightning
Tyler Johnson, Tampa Bay Lightning
Phil Kessel, Toronto Maple Leafs
Radim Vrbata, Vancouver Canucks
Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals

Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Arizona Coyotes
Mark Giordano, Calgary Flames
Justin Faulk, Carolina Hurricanes
Erik Johnson, Colorado Avalanche
Drew Doughty, Los Angeles Kings
Ryan Suter, Minnesota Wild
Shea Weber, Nashville Predators
Brent Burns, San Jose Sharks
Kevin Shattenkirk, St. Louis Blues
Dustin Byfuglien, Winnipeg Jets

Sergei Bobrovsky, Columbus Blue Jackets
Jimmy Howard, Detroit Red Wings
Roberto Luongo, Florida Panthers
Carey Price, Montreal Canadiens
Pekka Rinne, Nashville Predators

Johnny Gaudreau, Calgary Flames
Aaron Ekblad, Florida Panthers
Tanner Pearson, Los Angeles Kings
Filip Forsberg, Nashville Predators
Mike Hoffman, Ottawa Senators
Jonathan Drouin, Tampa Bay Lightning

OK, did you get a chance to scan the list? Good. Pick the biggest nub in the poll below. If your guy was double-snubbed (gasp), then write him in.