If Adam Lowry doesn’t get a call from the Department of Player Safety, he should consider himself lucky.
Late in the second period of Wednesday night’s game, the Winnipeg Jets rookie was in deep on the forecheck when the Buffalo Sabres’ Patrick Kaleta picked up the puck behind the net and shovelled it over to a waiting defenseman. With Kaleta’s back to the play – and face to the boards – Lowry finished a check that left the Kaleta bloodied: Read more
Being an NHL player has its rewards, but also its dangers. And I’m not just talking about on-ice pitfalls. I refer to social media – which, as this issue’s editor-in-chief has shown, can be a wonderful place but can also create a massive public relations disaster. With that in mind, here are some tips to help NHLers navigate the tricky landscape of Twitter, Facebook and the social media world: Read more
Minnesota Wild goaltender Josh Harding cleared waivers on November 18 and was demoted to the Wild’s AHL affiliate in Iowa. The Pioneer Press’ Chad Graff explains the Wild prefer placing Harding on waivers, rather than simply sending him to Iowa on a two-week conditioning stint. This way, the Wild can keep Harding in the minors for as long as they wish.
Harding has one season remaining on his contract at a cap hit of $1.9 million, paying him $2.1 million in actual salary. He’s returning from a broken foot suffered in training camp. The 30-year-old netminder is also battling multiple sclerosis, earning the Masterton Trophy for perseverance in 2013. Read more
It was a glorious weekend of Michigan hockey for me, as I took a road trip to Ann Arbor to take in games featuring the National Team Development Program (NTDP) and University of Michigan. The NTDP got two wins over United States League opponents while the Wolverines capped off a weekend sweep of American International on Saturday. All three games gave me a great look at some top prospects and here are a few of them below, plus more kids we can’t wait to see in the NHL some day.
When the Edmonton Oilers began this season it was believed the additions of Ben Scrivens and Viktor Fasth finally addressed their goaltending issues. Unfortunately, they’re struggling through the early going. The Oilers enter this week with a combined goals-against per game of 3.28. Scriven’s goals-against average is 2.94 with a save percentage of .899, while Fasth possesses a 3.63 GAA and .885 SP.
In the recent past the Oilers’ poor goaltending numbers could be explained away by their weak defensive game, but this season they’ve improved in that department, entering the week 18th in shots-against per game compared to last season’s 26th overall placement. Read more
Who’s the first player that pops into your mind when you think of the Winnipeg Jets? Is it Evander Kane? How about Dustin Byfuglien? It may even be captain Andrew Ladd or goaltender Ondrej Pavelec – though, that last one may not be for the best reasons.
The reasons why people love Kane and Byfuglien are plentiful and obvious. They’re big, they can score, and they seem like, maybe more than anyone in the entire league, they both have an incredible amount of fun on the ice. That’s infectious. Take Kane’s fight during Winnipeg’s game against Pittsburgh, for instance. He’s laughing – smiling wide – as he and Penguins defenseman Simon Despres trade punches.
But when it comes to players that have become as much a part of the Jets fabric as anyone, you can’t look past Blake Wheeler. When Wheeler is on, so are the Jets. Without him, you can’t help but think this team would be deeper in the conversation about draft picks than they are playoff spots. Read more
The Colorado Avalanche are currently struggling to recapture last season’s 52-win, 112-point performance. Entering this week, the Avs have won only four games while their 13 points in 16 games left them near the bottom of the Western Conference standings.
It was a matter of time until their early difficulties sparked some trade speculation. The Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch reports it’s believed Avalanche GM Joe Sakic and coach Patrick Roy could shake things up if the club fails to get its act together soon. Read more
No matter where he plays other than his home arena, Penguins winger Steve Downie is far from the most beloved NHLer on the ice at any given time. But even Downie didn’t deserve the dangerous hit Jets blueliner Dustin Byfuglien put on him Thursday in Winnipeg.
Downie had just come out of the penalty box to score on a breakaway at make it 3-1 for Pittsburgh when Byfuglien all but threw him into the end boards long after the puck had crossed the goal line: Read more