Video: Well-traveled Arcobello ties NHL record by scoring with Coyotes

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At this point, does the word debut have any meaning left for Mark Arcobello? Tonight he is playing for his fourth NHL team this season as his Arizona Coyotes take on the San Jose Sharks.

Arcobello has been traded once and claimed off waivers twice in 2014-15 and has consequently also played for the Edmonton Oilers, Nashville Predators, and Pittsburgh Penguins. That alone is an accomplishment as tonight he became just the third player to play with four teams in a single season after Dennis O’Brien in 1977-78 and Dave McLlwain in 1991-92, per the NHL’s PR Department.

Then he made his Coyotes debut even more noteworthy by beating Sharks goaltender Antti Niemi just 1:42 minutes into the game:

With that, he joined O’Brien as the second player in NHL history to record at least a point with four teams in one campaign. It was Arcobello’s ninth goal and 16th point this season.

What’s ailing Vlasic? Sharks insist it’s not a concussion

San Jose will be without stalwart defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic (upper-body) four a fourth straight game tonight against Arizona and, in light of what’s turned into a fairly lengthy absence, the Sharks tried to clear the air this afternoon by insisting Vlasic doesn’t have a concussion.

Of course, that only left people to ask: If it’s an upper-body injury and not a concussion… what is it?

From the San Jose Mercury News:

Responding to published reports, Sharks coach Todd McLellan on Friday flatly denied that Vlasic had a concussion that was suffered Feb. 4 in Calgary against the Flames. In that game, Vlasic missed half of the second period and part of the third before he returned to finish the game. At the time, McLellan said Vlasic was dealing with an equipment issue.

Vlasic played 24 minutes the next night against the Vancouver Canucks and skated the morning of Feb. 7 before the Carolina game, hours before he was scratched. Vlasic said the next day he was suffering from a cold, but also said he ate a bad lunch. McLellan said at the time that it was an upper body injury and soon after, Vlasic was put on injured reserve.

Worth noting that if the timing on Vlasic’s “equipment issue” is accurate, it’s a pretty long issue, considering there was an 18-minute intermission between the second and third periods.

It’s also worth noting that CSN Bay Area’s Kevin Kurz described the Feb. 8 media session — the one in which Vlasic said he had a cold and ate a bad lunch — as “strange.”

Whatever the case, it’s not good news for the Sharks. Vlasic is second on the team in TOI per game (22:20) and is second to Brent Burns for goals by defensemen, with six.

And as Brough wrote earlier today, the Sharks could really use a win tonight. They’ve lost five of six and have seen their chances of making the playoffs fall to 59.1 percent, per Sports Club Stats.

Goalie nods: Stars go with Lehtonen versus Florida, Enroth ‘likely’ to play tomorrow

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News and notes from around the crease…

His name is Jhonas

Kari Lehtonen will begin life on a short leash tonight against Florida — he’ll start against the Panthers, but will have newly acquired backup Jhonas Enroth on the bench for the first time since GM Jim Nill acquired him from Buffalo on Wednesday.

Lehtonen, who has been criticized this year for his uneven play, is 4-2-1 with a 2.70 GAA and .916 save percentage since the All-Star break — decent numbers, but hardly the type Dallas needs as it looks to get back into a playoff position.

Per Stars head coach Lindy Ruff, Enroth will “likely” play at some point this weekend. Based on that, he’ll probably be in goal tomorrow when Dallas takes on the Avs in Colorado.

For Florida, sounds like Al Montoya is likely for tonight’s affair.

Elsewhere…

Flyers at Jackets: Ray Emery vs. Curtis McElhinney

Devils at ‘Hawks: Cory Schneider vs. Corey Crawford

Sharks at Coyotes: Antti Niemi vs. Mike Smith

Bruins at Canucks: Ryan Miller for Vancouver, no word yet on a Bruins starter.

Inconsistent Sharks could really use a win tonight

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The NHL’s most unpredictable team will be back in action tonight when they visit the Coyotes in Arizona.

Bet on the result at your own peril, given this is how it’s gone the last 10 games for the San Jose Sharks:

source:

The general rule it seems? Win the tough ones, lose the not-so-tough ones.

As a result, after earning one measly point in a three-game home stand in which the Sharks were favored all three times, their chances of making the playoffs have fallen to 59.1 percent, per Sports Club Stats.

It’s hard to explain why the Sharks have, for the most part, been successful against the good teams while suffering losses to the likes of Buffalo (twice), Edmonton (also twice), Columbus (again, twice), Carolina, and New Jersey. Logan Couture thinks it might have something to do with “youth.”

Whatever the reason, they know they need to figure it out.

“Enough is enough in terms of our inconsistent play. We can’t keep riding this roller coaster for the rest of the year,” forward Tommy Wingels said, per the Mercury News. “Before you know it, the season will be wasted away and we’ll look back on it and not be happy missing the playoffs. We’ve got to step it up and find a way to start winning consistently.”

Roussel suspended two games for ‘proactive, not reactive’ cross check on McQuaid

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Dallas forward Antoine Roussel has been suspended two games for cross-checking Boston’s Adam McQuaid on Tuesday night, the NHL announced.

“Roussel’s cross-check can neither be classified as reflexive nor defensive. The players square off and face each other well in advance of Roussel’s stick striking McQuaid, and Roussel can see that McQuaid has dropped his stick,” the NHL’s Department of Player Safety explained. “What’s more, rather than simply raising his stick to block an anticipated blow from McQuaid, Roussel drives it forward and into McQuaid.

“This action is proactive, not reactive.”

The full video explanation:

As the video shows, Roussel’s history as a repeat offender played a role in this punishment. He was fined by the Department of Player Safety earlier this season for sucker-punching San Jose defenseman Justin Braun.

As a result of the suspension, Roussel will miss Dallas’ next two games — tonight versus Florida, Saturday in Colorado — and eligible to return for a Feb. 17 date in St. Louis against the Blues. He will also forfeit $21,505.38 in salary to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.