You've heard the expression "let's get busy?" Well, Mike Halford is a blogger who gets "biz-zay!" Consistently and thoroughly.

Everything’s coming up Matthews!

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Nice little week for Auston Matthews.

On Monday, he registered a goal and an assist in a win over Florida. On Tuesday, he did the same in a win over Tampa Bay. Yesterday, he scored a pair of goals, including the OT winner, in a Centennial Classic victory over Detroit.

Today? He’s the NHL’s first star of the week.

All told, the Toronto rookie finished his three-game stretch with four goals and six points, pushing him into the freshman lead with 20 tallies — passing Winnipeg sniper Patrik Laine in the process — and points, with 32.

Matthews scored first star honors ahead of Rangers forward Chris Kreider (2nd), and Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury (3rd).

Related: Auston Matthews is having a rookie season for the ages

‘Probably going to be changes’ in Colorado, says veteran McLeod


We’ve written extensively on the tire fire that is the Colorado Avalanche — see here and here and here and here and here — and throughout, one question has always been asked:

When will GM Joe Sakic shake things up?

It seems like everybody watching this team anticipates some sort of move. And that feeling resonates within the dressing room, too.

“Anytime you’re dead last in the league, things aren’t good,” veteran tough guy Cody McLeod said, per the Denver Post. “Doesn’t matter what league you’re playing in — whether it’s baseball, basketball or football. There’s probably going to be changes — I have no idea — but we’re professionals and we’re paid to go out there and play hard.

“To a man in this room, everybody has to bring more.”

The longest-serving player on the Avs roster — this is his tenth year in Denver — McLeod could end up being one of those players shown the door. He was used plenty by former head coach Patrick Roy, especially last year, when he scored eight goals and 13 points while appearing in all 82 games.

But this year, his role has diminished under Jared Bednar.

McLeod’s only played in 24 of 36 games, was a healthy scratch on opening night and had his alternate captaincy taken away in the preseason. Combine that with his salary (two years left at $1.33M per), and it’s safe to suggest he could be shopped as the deadline draws closer.

The 32-year-old isn’t the only veteran that could be on the move. Pending UFA Jarome Iginla has already been asked about his willingness to leave Colorado at the deadline.

Saga continues: Leafs send little-used Corrado to AHL for conditioning

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If Frank Corrado was hoping for a fresh start in 2017, he sorta got his wish.

On Monday, the Leafs announced Corrado had been sent to the AHL Marlies on a conditioning stint. This puts a halt to one of the most infamous NHL “campaigns” of the year — Corrado, 25, has been on the active roster the entire season yet sat as a healthy scratch for 35 of Toronto’s 36 games.

His lone appearance came in a 4-1 loss to Pittsburgh on Nov. 12 –he received just 16:24 of ice time, the least of any Leafs defenseman.

Back in mid-December, a visibly frustrated Corrado voiced his displeasure.

“At the end of the day, the coach is the one who makes the lineup and if the coach doesn’t like you, then you’re not going to play,” he said on Thursday, per The Athletic. “And that’s where I’m at right now.”

Corrado was asked about his situation following the trade of another little-used Leaf — Peter Holland, who was flipped to Arizona after a series of healthy scratches. Holland, like Corrado, was never regarded as a Babcock favorite.

Corrado repeated several times he finds this current situation frustrating, though he did say that GM Lou Lamoriello has been supportive, and insists the club wants the d-man in the mix. But Lamoriello doesn’t want to lose an asset for nothing — which could happen if he waives Corrado to try and send him to the Marlies — so he has to keep him with the Leafs.

Or, send him for a two-week stint with the Marlies.

It’ll be curious to see how Corrado reacts to this latest development because, back in mid-December, he sounded like a guy nearing his breaking point.

“It’s frustrating now,” Corrado said. “When you don’t get to play for a month and a half, and you’ve played in one game all year, it takes its toll on you mentally… Yeah, you’re in the NHL. It’s not that the novelty has worn off; it’s just that it’s time to play. It’s time to have a career.

“I feel like the more I’m not playing, that’s food off my table. That’s kind of the way I see it right now.”

Goalie nods: Dell gives Jones the night off in San Jose


Aaron Dell will make his first start since Dec. 10 tonight, when the Sharks host the Flyers in San Jose.

Dell’s nod means Martin Jones will get a well-deserved break. Jones had started each of San Jose’s last seven games and played very well over that stretch, going 6-1. That included an impressive final outing, Tuesday’s 3-2 OT win over the Ducks in which he stopped 34 of 36 shots.

As for Dell, the 27-year-old has shown relatively well in his first campaign as Jones’ backup — albeit in a very limited role. He’s 3-1-0 with a 2.16 GAA and .926 save percentage this season, and comes into tonight carrying a modest two-game winning streak.

For the Flyers, Steve Mason‘s in net.


Cam Ward makes his 29th start of the year when the ‘Canes host the Blackhawks in Carolina. Chicago has yet to announce a starter, but all signs point to Scott Darling after Corey Crawford made 36 saves in a win over Nashville last night.

— The Blues will go back to Jake Allen after Carter Hutton got the nod on Wednesday. Nashville, as mentioned above, played Chicago last night, so the Preds have also not yet named a starter. Pekka Rinne went on Thursday night, however.

Ryan Miller, coming off a terrific 36-save win against the Kings on Wednesday, is back in goal for the Canucks. No word yet on who goes for the visiting Ducks, but John Gibson did play last night against Calgary.

Flyers healthy scratch Konecny, who’s coming off a two-point outing


In Wednesday’s 6-3 loss to the Blues, Flyers rookie Travis Konecny had a pair of assists — just his second multi-point game of the year — and finished plus-1 in over 16 minutes of ice time.

Tonight, he’ll follow that up… with a seat in the press box.

Konecny will be a healthy scratch when the Flyers take on the Sharks in San Jose, head coach Dave Hakstol confirmed:

Konecny, a 19-year-old rookie, has been a big part of Philly’s success this year. He has four goals and 18 points while appearing in all 37 games — so yes, this healthy scratch will be his first of the season — and averages just under 15 minutes per night.

The timing might be odd, given Konecny’s production last game, but Hakstol is a big advocate of sitting guys out so they can learn by watching. He did the same with Michael Del Zotto and Shayne Gostisbehere earlier this season.