Tag: Marek Mazanec


Lightning’s Palat named January’s rookie of the month


After scoring 16 points in 15 games, Tampa Bay forward Ondrej Palat has been named the NHL’s rookie of the month for January.

Palat edged out fellow Bolts rookie Tyler Johnson, who finished with 14 points in 15 games.

The 22-year-old Palat, the youngest player named to the Czech Olympic team, had a tremendous January, opening with a five-game point streak that saw him set a franchise record for longest scoring streak by a rookie (eight games). Just for good measure, Palat finished off the month with a five-game point streak as well.

Palat wasn’t without strong competition for the award, though. Johnson had a tremendous month, as did Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon (seven goals, 14 points). A pair of goalies — Minnesota’s Darcy Kuemper and Anaheim’s Frederik Andersen — also played extremely well.

With the win, Palat joins Tomas Hertl (October), Marek Mazanec (November) and Martin Jones/Antti Raanta (December co-winners) as this season’s rookie of the month winners.

Nashville keeps Hutton over Mazanec post-Dubnyk trade

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The Nashville Predators summoned Marek Mazanec in early November to compete with Carter Hutton for the starting job while Pekka Rinne focused on recovering from his hip injury.

Although Mazanec got off to a hot start, both netminders have been inconsistent and with Rinne still out indefinitely, the Predators decided to acquire Devan Dubnyk from Edmonton on Wednesday. The Predators didn’t immediately decide which goalie should be demoted as a result, but they eventually settled on sending Mazanec to AHL Milwaukee.

It looks like age was a determining factor as Mazanec is 22 while Hutton is 28.

“Maz is probably a little bit larger and more athletic, but he is the least experienced,” Predators coach Barry Trotz told the Tennessean. “I think the decision is to get him in the right seat in our organization so that he can become the player that he can become.”

Trotz was referring to professional hockey experience in general, given that Mazanec actually has played in a few more NHL games than Hutton.

Meanwhile, Dubnyk is waiting to make his Nashville debut. That might happen today, but Trotz cautioned that they want to “slowly get him acclimatized to the way we play.”

Poile: Dubnyk trade has nothing to do with Rinne

Devan Dubnyk

Following Wednesday’s Devan Dubnyk-for-Matt Hendricks trade, Nashville GM David Poile addressed speculation that Dubnyk’s acquisition was related to the health of injured No. 1 netminder Pekka Rinne.

And by addressing, we mean shooting it down:


Rinne, 31, underwent major hip surgery during the summer and returned to play just nine games before being hit with a serious bacterial infection, which has sidelined him indefinitely.

The Preds have been extremely cautious with his rehabilitation, pushing back a number of timetables and set dates to ensure the hip recovers fully and without issue. That said, the Preds announced last week that Rinne was cleared for the next stage in his recovery — weight-bearing exercises — and that they were “encouraged” by his progress.

Rinne wasn’t selected to represent Finland at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, meaning he’ll have the Feb. 9-25 break as time to rehab without missing any games. Nashville has 11 games remaining until the break, and Poile said they’ll soon decide which goalie — Carter Hutton or Marek Mazanec — will serve as Dubnyk’s backup.

Goalie nods: Reimer gets first start in over two weeks, Andersen goes for Ducks

James Reimer

News and notes from around the crease…

Reimer gets a shot

The Leafs will get James Reimer some much-needed game action tonight against Carolina, as he’ll make his first start since allowing three goals on 12 shots against Detroit on Dec. 21.

Reimer did see some action in relief of Jonathan Bernier during Saturday’s 7-1 loss to the Rangers, but will be in from the get-go tonight after Bernier struggled against the Isles on Tuesday.

Carolina hasn’t confirmed its starter yet, but Anton Khudobin seems likely to be in goal.

Hiller gets a rest

The Ducks will give red-hot Jonas Hiller the night off Thursday, allowing Frederik Andersen to get the nod against Nashville.

Andersen last played on Dec. 29 — allowing three goals on 23 shots in a loss to San Jose — but has been stellar this season overall, posting a 9-2-0 record with a 1.98 GAA and .927 save percentage.

Andersen will take on Marek Mazanec in the Preds goal.


Panthers at Sabres: Tim Thomas vs. Jhonas Enroth

Stars at Devils: Cory Schneider in for New Jersey. No word yet on a Dallas starter.

Capitals at Lightning: Philipp Grubauer vs. Anders Lindback

Blues at Flames: Jaroslav Halak vs. Karri Ramo

Wild at Coyotes: Niklas Backstrom vs. Mike Smith

Bruins at Kings: No confirmations yet. Jonathan Quick likely for Kings.

Red Wings at Sharks: Jimmy Howard in for Detroit. Antti Niemi likely for San Jose.

Czech stunner: Hudler, Vrbata snubbed from Olympic roster


According to news outlet Sport.cz, the Czech Republic has announced its roster for the 2014 Winter Olympics — and there are a few very notable omissions.

Calgary’s Jiri Hudler and Phoenix’s Radim Vrbata — the third- and fourth-leading Czech scorers in the NHL this season — have been left off, along with Florida forward Tomas Fleischmann.

Instead, the Czechs have gone with a number of veteran players, including 42-year-old ex-NHLer Peter Nedved and 30-year-old Jiri Novotny, both of whom play in the Czech Extraliga.

Hudler, 30, has 11 goals and 33 points in 41 games this year. The former Red Wing is averaging a career-high 19:01 TOI per game this season and has been highly praised by Flames head coach Bob Hartley.

Vrbata, 32, has 11 goals and 29 points in 39 games this year. The Phoenix sniper scored a career-high 35 goals during the 2011-12 campaign and is second on the team in power play goals this year, with five.

The Czech surprises didn’t end up front.

On defense, there were more curious snubs as well. St. Louis’ Roman Polak, Colorado’s Jan Hejda and Detroit’s Jakub Kindl were all passed over and in their place, a trio of Extraliga blueliners have been selected — Michal Barinka, Lukas Krajicek and former NHLer Tomas Kaberle.

In goal, only one NHL netminder — Pavelec — got the call. The likes of Michal Neuvirth (who said he didn’t expect to make the team), Nashville’s Marek Mazanec and Detroit’s Petr Mrazek were passed over.

Here’s the full roster, as per Sport.cz:

Goalies: Ondrej Pavelec, Alexander Salak, Jakub Kovar

Defense: Michal Barinka, Michal Rozsival, Radko Gudas, Tomas Kaberle, Lukas Krajicek, Zbynek Michalek, Ladislav Smid, Marek Zidlicky

Forward: Roman Cervenka, Patrik Elias, Michael Frolik, Martin Hanzal, Ales Hemsky, Jaromir Jagr, David Krejci, Milan Michalek, Petr Nedved, Jiri Novotny, Ondrej Palat, Tomas Plekanec, Vladimir Sobotka, Jakub Voracek.

UPDATE: Vladimir Sobotka will not be available due to a leg injury. The Czech national team announced that Martin Erat will replace him.

Some other noteworthy omissions include San Jose’s Martin Havlat (currently injured), Washington’s Martin Erat and Carolina’s Jiri Tlusty.