Tag: Rick Nash

Ovechkin returns Saturday after one-game absence

Alex Ovechkin was regarded as a game-time decision for Saturday’s contest against Buffalo after being unable to play Minnesota on Thursday due to a lower-body injury. The final verdict is that he’ll be on the ice tonight, per the Washington Post’s Alex Prewitt.

The 29-year-old superstar forward participated in all of Washington’s first 65 games this season, scoring 43 goals and 67 points. Not including the lockout shortened 2013 campaign, he has taken part in a minimum of 72 contests in each season since his debut.

Prior to getting hurt, Ovechkin was on fire with five goals in the span of four contests. With a five-marker lead over the New York Rangers’ Rick Nash, Ovechkin is on course to claim his third straight Rocket Richard Trophy and the fifth of his career.

Rangers handle Predators, win in Yandle’s debut

Nashville Predators v New York Rangers

If the New York Rangers are “mortgaging their future,” at least their home looked like a mansion on the night of the trade deadline.

The Rangers defeated the Nashville Predators 4-1 on Monday, and while Rick Nash’s empty-netter inflated the score, New York looked more than comfortable against the NHL’s current standings leader.

Speaking of standings, the Rangers stepped into first place in the Metropolitan Division with this win.

They’re tied with the New York Islanders at 84 points, yet they have two games in hand and two more regulation/overtime wins. They’re not that far from the top spot in the East, either.

Really, all the numbers look pretty splendid for a team pushing the envelop. Their +43 goal differential is the best difference in the entire league right now. They’re now 8-1-1 in their last 10 games.

Even this win was more than just its 4-1 score, as the possession was clearly in the Rangers’ favor:


(via Natural Stat Trick)

Keith Yandle didn’t really make much of an impact in his debut (-1 rating, three shots on goal in 19:41 time on ice), but clearly didn’t have to.

The other lingering question is about the Predators. Nashville has now lost three games in a row and five of its last seven, with just one regulation win in that span.

Cody Franson and Mike Santorelli could be labeled as the Preds’ trade deadline gains, but some might be a little more worried about GM David Poile staying put after a loss like this.

Five on waivers as trade deadline looms

Rob Zepp

With the trade deadline just around the corner, Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Rob Zepp, Dallas Stars defenseman David Schlemko, Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Tim Erixon, Vancouver Canucks forward Brandon McMillan, and Washington Capitals forward Aaron Volpatti have all been placed on waivers, per TVA Sports Renaud Lavoie.

This is one case where the teams that are putting players on waivers is as noteworthy as the players themselves as some of them might not end up in the minors. However, by going this route, teams are gaining some extra roster flexibility should it be needed before the 3:00 p.m. ET trade deadline.

Zepp, 33, has a 5-2-0 record, 2.89 GAA, and .888 save percentage in 10 games this season. He comes with a $600,000 annual cap hit at the NHL level and his presence on this list means that there’s a rental backup goaltender available outside of the trade market should any team be interested.

Schlemko, 27, has a goal and four points in 25 games this season with Arizona and Dallas. He’s already been claimed once this season back on Jan. 3, but the Stars have barely used him since that date.

Erixon, 24, has a goal and six points in 27 games this season. In addition to Chicago, he’s also played for the Columbus Blue Jackets and New York Rangers. He’s a former first round pick (24th overall, 2009) and was involved in the Jackets-Rangers Rick Nash trade back in 2012. It’s worth noting that Chicago added defenseman Kimmo Timonen on Friday.

McMillan, 24, has a goal and three points in 53 contests with Arizona and Vancouver in 2014-15. He’s a native of British Columbia and was claimed off of waivers by the Canucks on Feb. 12.

Volpatti, 29, has missed most of the season due to a neck injury. That being said, he’s been used sparingly since his return as he’s only played with Washington on Feb. 3 and Feb. 14 this season.

Oddsmaker: Sidney Crosby no longer Hart Trophy favorite

Sidney Crosby

Although Sidney Crosby is on a three-game point streak, he went on a rough stretch — at least when measured against the incredibly high standard he’s held to — from Jan. 20 to Feb. 19 where he recorded four goals and seven points in 13 games.

That seems to have taken its toll as Crosby’s no longer the favorite to win the Hart Trophy based on the odds from online bookmaker Bovada:

Carey Price 5/2
John Tavares 5/2
Sidney Crosby 3/1
Ryan Getzlaf 5/1
Alex Ovechkin 6/1
Jakub Voracek 15/2
Rick Nash 15/1
Mark Giordano 20/1
Vladimir Tarasenko 20/1

No goaltender has won the Hart Trophy since Jose Theodore in 2001–02, but there’s no denying that Carey Price has been vital to the Montreal Canadiens’ success. Meanwhile, Tavares was the big mover as he had 20/1 odds in early February.

Ovechkin also saw his chances jump significantly, from 15/1 to 6/1 as he chases his third straight Rocket Richard Trophy. Voracek has fallen from 9/2 to 15/2 while Philadelphia Flyers teammate Claude Giroux has slid off the list entirely.

Don Cherry: NHL stars like Sidney Crosby ‘shouldn’t fight’

Don Cherry

Don Cherry has taken issue with the amount of fights NHL super stars are getting into these days, using the latest case of Sidney Crosby scrapping with Brandon Dubinsky as his example.

Crosby and Dubinsky dropped the gloves in a spirited but quick bout after getting tangled up together in the corner during a game between the Penguins and Blue Jackets this week.

“Crosby should never have to put up with stuff like this. This has been going on, he’s had concussions. He shouldn’t fight,” said Cherry during his Coach’s Corner segment on Saturday.

(Interesting to note that while Cherry brought up Crosby’s concussion history as a reason why Pittsburgh’s star shouldn’t fight, he later turned around and basically dismissed concussions and the connection they have to fighting in hockey.)

Cherry’s main issue was the lack of “protection” stars have now compared to the days of Wayne Gretzky and Mike Bossy during the 1980s. He then showed several clips of stars like Evgeni Malkin, Jonathan Toews, Patrice Bergeron, Rick Nash and others in fights.

“They should be protected all the time,” said Cherry. “That’s why they get injured all the time. They should never, ever be fighting.”