St. Louis Blues

Goalie Nods: Mason returns for the Flyers

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Mason looks for his first win vs. Rangers

Steve Mason will make his first start since Feb. 8 tonight when the Flyers play host to the New York Rangers. Mason allowed one goal on nine shots in relief of Rob Zepp on Thursday night. Mason is 0-2-0 with a 2.59 G.A.A. and .914 save percentage in two starts against New York.

Cam Talbot, who has shutout the Flyers twice this season, gets the nod for the Rangers.

Elsewhere…

Hurricanes at Islanders: Cam Ward vs. Chad Johnson

Devils at Blue Jackets: Cory Schneider vs. Curtis McElhinney

Coyotes at Bruins: Mike Smith vs. Tuukka Rask

Maple Leafs at Canadiens: Jonathan Bernier vs. Carey Price

Wild at Avalanche: Devan Dubnyk vs. Semyon Varlamov (unconfirmed)

Blues at Oilers: Brian Elliott vs. Ben Scrivens (likely)

Senators at Sharks: Andrew Hammond vs. Antti Niemi

There’s some Flyers roster uncertainty ahead of Timonen’s potential return

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From CSN Philly:

Defenseman Kimmo Timonen (blood clots) was expected to skate on Friday and did not. He is aiming to make his season debut Saturday against the Rangers.

However, for him to do that, the Flyers need to clear a roster spot.

As of noon Friday, no Flyer was reportedly on waivers.

Which means, either Timonen won’t play Saturday against the Rangers, or the Flyers were preparing to trade a player to create a roster spot for him.

Another possibility is that Timomen is the one who gets traded. Yes, a team would be taking a chance given he hasn’t played a game all season, but he’s apparently looked good at practice. The 39-year-old could easily end up worth the risk, if the price is right.

Just to throw a Stanley Cup contender out there — what about the St. Louis Blues, currently without Kevin Shattenkirk? That could be a fit, no? Can never have too many defensemen once the playoffs start.

Or, maybe the Anaheim Ducks. Currently struggling without Sami Vatanen, and pretty inexperienced on the back end anyway.

The Flyers currently have eight d-men on the 23-man roster: Braydon Coburn, Carlo Colaiacovo, Michael Del Zotto, Nicklas Grossmann, Andrew MacDonald, Luke Schenn, Mark Streit, and Nick Schultz.

Oddsmaker: Sidney Crosby no longer Hart Trophy favorite

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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.

PHT Morning Skate: Chris Culligan executes unreal goal in EIHL game

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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.

The United Kingdom’s Elite Ice Hockey League doesn’t usually get much attention in North America, but Chris Culligan’s goal for the Cardiff Devils deserves international attention:

Let’s follow that up with one of the best non-goals that ever found the back of the net:

Editor’s Note: Pro Hockey Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting an $35,000 Fantasy Hockey league for Friday night’s NHL games. It’s just $2 to join and first prize is $3,000. Starts Friday at 7:00 p.m. ET. Here’s the FanDuel link.

Vladimir Tarasenko has his bobblehead impression down to a science:

Here are the highlights from Minnesota’s 4-2 victory over Nashville:

Anders Lee is working towards a big payday. (Newsday)

TSN’s James Duthie did an Ask Me Anything on Thursday. (Reddit)

The argument in favor of the importance of a site like CapGeek. (Sportsnet)

Welcome back: Blues re-acquire Cracknell from Columbus

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The St. Louis Blues have brought a familiar face back into the fold, trading future considerations to the Blue Jackets in exchange for forward Adam Cracknell.

Cracknell, 29, made his NHL debut with the Blues in 2010 and spent four years with the club, appearing in 65 regular-season and 10 playoff games. He’s perhaps best known as part of the CPR Line — along with Chris Porter and Ryan Reaves — that provided a physical presence in a postseason series against Los Angeles a few years back.

Cracknell signed with the Kings last summer but never got a chance to play for the club during the regular season, as he was claimed off waivers by Columbus on Oct. 7. He’s since appeared in 17 games for the Blue Jackets, registering one assist.

Update: The Blues have announced Cracknell will report to AHL Chicago.