Lost in the Bruins’ 6-5 overtime loss to Chicago in Game 4 was the lack of playing time for their fourth line. Part of the problem there was the dicey play of Kaspars Daugavins. Boston coach Claude Julien may have an answer for that in Game 5.
Rookie forward Carl Soderberg, he of all of six games played in his NHL career, skated on the fourth line at practice today with Rich Peverley and Shawn Thornton signaling the possibility he gets the call tomorrow night. Julien told reporters today, as shared by NHL.com’s Matt Kalman, that he was giving things a different look.
“Just trying something else here,” Julien said before boarding the bus in front of a throng of fans outside the Garden. “Again, I’ll make that decision [Saturday]. But just get a different look at what that would look like, that’s all.”
In his six games this season, Soderberg has no goals and two assists as well as six penalty minutes. He played third line type minutes averaging nearly 15 minutes of ice time per game, but he’s yet to appear in the playoffs.
Limiting minutes for fourth line players isn’t hard to do, but Julien may be looking to give his three better lines more of a break by having a better fourth.
While the San Jose Sharks are Antti Niemi’s team, the question over who backs him up next season may be getting cleared up.
Kevin Kurz of CSNBayArea.com reports the team is discussing a new contract with soon-to-be unrestricted free agent Alex Stalock. If that signing happens, it puts last season’s backup Thomas Greiss in a bit of a bad spot as he’s unrestricted as well.
Stalock is someone the organization likes quite a bit but he saw his career hit a speed bump two seasons ago when he had a nerve in his knee sliced by a skate. He’s since recovered from that and after spending most of his career with Worcester in the AHL is ready to take the next step.
As for Greiss, he played in just six games this past season and swapped spots with Stalock for a brief time meaning Niemi had to really earn his Vezina Trophy nomination. If Greiss is out in San Jose, perhaps a new gig in the German pro league awaits for him.
Honestly, we don’t really need to add anything more to the title of this post but let’s give it a shot.
Kings coach Darryl Sutter had to undergo double hernia surgery recently and did so via a controversial means using a robot as CBS in Los Angles shares.
What’s the controversial part of it? The fact that surgeons are using a robot, called the da Vinci robotic surgical system, to do intricate operations of course. Sutter says he’s thankful for the procedure.
“I’ll be in full activity back on the ice again,” Sutter said.
Go ahead and tell me you’re not picturing Sutter still-woozy from anesthetics thanking his doctor and robot with snappy one-liners.
Sutter could be back at the rink within a week of the operation. Modern medicine is amazing and will be terrifying once Skynet is self-aware.
Update: If you’re curious how precise the robots are, here’s video of one (thanks to Josh Gold-Smith) peeling a freakin’ grape.
John Tortorella arrived in Vancouver this afternoon to possibly accept the Canucks’ offer to be their next head coach.
What he may not have expected upon his arrival was a very eager throng of media looking to get a glimpse of him coming to town. Not only are still photos there to capture a look at him, but video as well thanks to Matt Lee of CKNW in Vancouver.
Twitter, Vine… It’s like Tortorella’s version of Hell on Earth to be captured via so many different forms of social media.
Related: Canucks GM says Tortorella is a ‘very strong candidate’
Things are wild and crazy in Vancouver now with John Tortorella in town to speak with the Canucks again.
This afternoon, GM Mike Gillis spoke with Team 1040 in Vancouver about how the process is going and while he wouldn’t confirm Tortorella is their guy, he said all the right things pointing towards him.
“We’re trying to finish off the process,” Gillis said. “I can’t say at this point, but John (Tortorella) is a very strong candidate.”
Obviously with Tortorella there’s the aspect of working peaceably with the media that comes into question. Gillis was eager to tip-toe around that part of the job when it comes to the new coach.
“It’s important (to work with the media). We’re under the microscope all the time. We’re in the spotlight, we accept that.”
He also stressed that it’s not a one-way relationship as well.
“I think you (media) guys have an obligation to work with us as best you can. It’s a two-way street.”
It might be a two-way street, but Tortorella was a MACK truck in his dealings with the press in New York. If it’s true the Canucks are about to offer him the job, business is about to pick up.