Prospect Need to Know: Cliff Pu is making London a nightmare

Cliff Pu (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

The world under-18s are going full-bore in North Dakota right now and there is some fantastic talent assembled. Sure, Russia’s under-18s were pulled out because of a drug scandal, but youngsters such as Klim Kostin and Andrei Svechnikov just get to make their impressions a year earlier. And with Jesse Puljujarvi joining Finland, the Americans will have several rivals to fend off if they want to defend their gold medal from last year. We’ve also got CHL playoffs getting serious and a special guest star from the coaching ranks in this week’s prospect round-up.

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Watch: Two coaches, five players ejected in wild AHL game

Dhiren Mahiban
Screen Shot 2016-04-16 at 8.14.38 PM

The Albany Devils and Bridgeport Sound Tigers combined for over 200 penalty minutes on Saturday at the Times Union Center in Albany, New York.

Albany head coach Rick Kowalsky and Bridgeport assistant Eric Boguniecki were both ejected after going after one another between the benches with 43.4 seconds remaining in the second period.

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10 prospects ready to make an impact in the NHL next season

The Hockey News
Dylan Strome (Photo by Dennis Pajot/Getty Images)

By Mo Cranker

With the end of the regular season, over half of the teams in the NHL are gearing up for what they hope will be an extended playoff run.

For the teams that miss, though, it’s more about reflecting on a failed season and looking forward to and preparing for the next season.

Whichever side your team falls on, there’s probably going to be an open roster spot, or two, ripe for the taking due to players retiring, free agency or trades.

Here’s a list of 10 prospects that are ready to earn a roster spot and make an impact on their big league club next season.

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Team speed and goaltending give Penguins decided advantage in Game 1

Patric Hornqvist, Antti Raanta, Phil Kessel  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

Going into their first round playoff series, the New York Rangers had two decided advantages over the Pittsburgh Penguins. One of them was in goal and the other was that Sidney Crosby hadn’t exactly been a force in the playoffs against the Rangers.

Funny how things go in the playoffs. It took almost no time for things to be turned on their ear and for those two advantages for the Rangers to be extinguished by the Penguins. Jeff Zatkoff, a 28-year-old minor leaguer who has a 3-8-0 record and a 4.26 goals-against average in the American League playoffs, is the second-last player listed in the NHL Guide and Record Book. And he was probably the last player anyone would have expected to emerge as a hero in Game 1 of the NHL playoffs.

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Prospect Need to Know: Georgetown’s hidden gem

Matthew Cairns (Photo by Andy Corneau / OJHL Images)

All hail the Frozen Four champs from North Dakota. The Fighting Hawks stomped all over Quinnipiac in the final and while Vancouver pick Brock Boeser has confirmed his return for another campaign, several free agents are drumming up interest now. Boeser’s linemate, Drake Caggiula, helped his cause with two goals in the final, while defenseman Troy Stecher is expected to leave school early for an NHL contract. In the meantime, San Jose won the derby for Lithuanian goalie Mantas Armalis and the Michigan Wolverines lost their two best players to the pro ranks. Read about them and more in our weekly prospect wrap:

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Ottawa Senators fire coach Dave Cameron, seriously need to get it right this time

Ryan Kennedy
Coach Dave Cameron  (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

The Ottawa Senators have fired coach Dave Cameron and assistants Andre Tourigny and Rick Wamsley, while another coach, Jason Smith, has been offered a different role in the organization.

With Pierre Dorion officially taking over as GM for the ailing Bryan Murray, this was a move that makes sense. But boy, it better be the last coaching change this franchise makes for a while.

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AHL goaltender Richard Bachman makes jaw-dropping behind-the-back glove save

Jared Clinton
Richard Bachman (via St. John's IceCaps/YouTube)

Goaltender Richard Bachman has spent almost the entire season in the AHL, stuck in third on the Vancouver Canucks depth chart behind Ryan Miller and Jacob Markstrom. At the end of the season, though, Bachman will likely be the top-ranked of the three when it comes to who made the greatest save of the season.

In the final game of the Utica Comets’ season, Bachman got the call against the St. John’s IceCaps and he made a spectacular, must-see stop on Bud Holloway.

With the IceCaps pressuring, the puck was moved in front by St. John’s center Daniel Audette but careened off of a leg in front and landed right on Holloway’s tape. The puck was rolling and left Holloway unable to get all of the shot, but he knocked it toward the Comets’ goal. No one would have blamed Holloway for celebrating before the puck crossed the goal line, but Bachman — who had bit towards his far post to stop an attempted cross-crease play — rotated his back, threw his glove hand up in the air and caught the puck backhanded: Read more

Updated: AHLer Brett Gallant taken to hospital after collapsing on bench, is ‘alert and conscious’

Jared Clinton
Brett Gallant (Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images)

For the Lake Erie Monsters, the result of Friday’s AHL contest will be secondary to the health of winger Brett Gallant.

Gallant, 27, collapsed while sitting on the bench during a TV timeout in the second period of the Monsters’ weekend-opening game against the Toronto Marlies. Gallant remained down while he was attended to by medical staff, and after several minutes on the bench, he was placed on a stretcher and taken from the ice.

Shortly after Gallant was taken from the ice, the game between the Monsters and Marlies continued.

According to Lake Erie coach Jared Bednar, Gallant experienced a fainting incident.

“All indications are that he’s fine,” Bednar told THN’s Ryan Kennedy. “When he left here, he was up talking and walking around. They were going to take him to the hospital to run some tests and make sure nothing more serious was going on. We haven’t heard anything more than he’s doing fine.”

There was no immediate update on Gallant’s status, but before the start of the third frame the Monsters’ official Twitter account reported that he had left the building for further medical attention.

“We can report that Brett Gallant is alert and conscious,” the Monsters said. “He is currently being transported to a local hospital. We’re thinking of you, Gally.” Read more