In the wake of three straight regulation losses for the Winnipeg Jets in which they surrendered 15 combined goals, it sounds like Michael Hutchinson will get the nod tonight in Calgary.
It’ll be Hutchinson’s third consecutive start. The 24-year-old rookie has been excellent overall this season, going 14-6-2 with a .927 save percentage. However, there was reason to wonder if Ondrej Pavelec might get the nod tonight against the Flames after Hutchinson surrendered five goals on 32 shots in Saturday’s 5-2 loss to Dallas and four goals on 31 shots in Thursday’s 5-2 loss to Philly.
To be fair to Hutchinson, four of the five goals the Stars scored against him came on the power play.
Jonas Hiller will be in goal for Calgary.
Roberto Luongo versus Henrik Lundqvist as the struggling Panthers take on the Rangers.
Antti Niemi gets the call for streaking San Jose against the Oilers, who haven’t named a starter.
While the Minnesota Wild remain longish shots to make the playoffs, they sure didn’t hurt their postseason chances by sweeping a three-game trip to Western Canada — a trip that included regulation wins over Calgary and Vancouver, arguably the two most vulnerable teams currently in a playoff position.
Sunday against the Canucks, the Wild were outshot 37-20 but managed a 4-2 victory thanks in large part to the play of goalie Devan Dubnyk, who’s been outstanding since joining the team in a trade with Arizona on Jan. 14.
“Confidence is one thing and a lot of credit has to go to (Dubnyk),” said Wild coach Mike Yeo.
And some of the credit has to go to GM Chuck Fletcher, who got the 28-year-old from the Coyotes for a third-round draft pick.
Among the 31 NHL goalies that have played the most this season, Dubnyk ranks eighth in five-on-five save percentage, right between Henrik Lundqvist and Tuukka Rask. Which isn’t terrible company to keep.
Whether Fletcher waited too long to make a move is a fair question to ask. By the time Dubnyk was acquired, the Wild had dropped 12 of 14 and fallen eight points out of a playoff spot. Today, after winning five of seven, the deficit has been cut to five points.
To give themselves a good chance at playing in the postseason, the Wild will need to go in the neighborhood of 19-11-3 in their final 33 games.
Not easy. But certainly doable.
Minnesota opens a three-game home stand tomorrow against Chicago (on NBCSN).
PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.
James Neal faced the Pittsburgh Penguins as the Nashville Predators won 4-0 on Sunday, so this seems like a good time to take another look back at that big trade. (Puck Daddy)
Interesting angle here: the five best “unsung” backups to Martin Brodeur. Feel free to play Helmet while reading this. (The Hockey News)
Johnny Gaudreau: a “big man trapped in a small man’s body.” (NHL Numbers)
A look back at one of hockey’s original bad boys. (Greatest Hockey Legends)
Editor’s Note: Pro Hockey Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $20,000 Fantasy Hockey league for Monday’s NHL games. It’s just $2 to join and first prize is $2,000. Starts Monday at 7pm ET. Here’s the FanDuel link.
It looks like Henrik Lundqvist is OK. Does this mean he can play tonight?
Watch NHL players’ Super Bowl picks with the benefit of hindsight. Did anyone predict a “crippling goal-line interception that a team would never live down?”
Despite taking a puck to the throat, New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist remained in Saturday’s game against the Carolina Hurricanes.
He also stopped 31 of 32 shots faced for the win, as the Rangers defeated the Hurricanes 4-1. However, despite his performance, Lundqvist admitted he didn’t feel absolutely right in the minutes after such a scary incident, which happened early in the second period.
“Yeah, my brother was an expert at that actually,” Lundqvist told the New York Daily News.
“We had so many fights growing up because he had a high slap shot and he hit me on the throat a lot of times, but not like this where my helmet came up and I lost track of the puck … I’m actually glad, it could have been worse, it could have been a lot worse if the helmet came off a little bit more and the shot was a little higher, but I feel lucky.
“The first couple minutes it was for me to see am I feeling better here? The first couple minutes were kind of tough to focus the same way, because I felt a little lightheaded.”
He also admitted that he did feel headaches in the third period.
Scary moment in the New York Rangers game against the Carolina Hurricanes, as goalie Henrik Lundqvist was hit in the throat by the puck early in the second period.
Lundqvist went down to the ice in obvious pain and was tended to by a member of the Rangers’ training staff for a few minutes before strapping back on the goalie mask. We hear all the time of how tough hockey players are, and goalies are no exception. Lundqvist remained in the game, stopping 24 of 25 shots through 40 minutes.