Todd McLellan says the game plan right now is for Antti Niemi to get his first start in net on Monday against the Ducks.
Anaheim, incidentally, called up Pat Maroon to take Jason Blake’s roster spot. Maroon has 2-3-5 in 2 GP in the AHL so far. Not only did he have 21-27-48 in 57 GP last season with Syracuse, but the 6-4, 225-pound St. Louis native has an impressive PIM track record to go with those points over his career.
Ales Hemsky had his MRI and it was apparently good news. His shoulder is just sore and weak. It’ll apparently take about a week to lose the pain and another week to get stronger, so you’ll have to find alternate arrangements if you were counting on him for points. The upside is more games for Hall-RNH-Eberle to potentially stick together as a trio.
The Jackets say Jeff Carter has a hairline fracture on his right foot, which happened last night. He might miss Tuesday, but it doesn’t seem like it’s anything to worry about long-term.
JSG will get the start against his former team in Toronto. Peter Mueller is considered doubtful.
Coach Q told the media after tonight’s game he hopes that Marian Hossa (upper-body) will be able to practice Monday and play Tuesday in Phoenix. He was a game-time decision tonight and was a no-go.
Drew Doughty was hit by Zac Rinaldo early tonight, which prompted a nice defence response from Dustin Penner. Bad news is Kings say Doughty will miss a minimum of 7-10 days with an upper-body injury. Good news? It's apparently not a head injury, which rules out a concussion worry for his poolies.
James Neal scored again and has markers in three of four with points in five of six. Fantastic start and exactly what this team needs with Evgeni Malkin nursing that sore knee and Sidney Crosby not quite back in action. Neal didn't produce very well with the team following the trade from Dallas, but the kid is talented and like Dan Bylsma said over the summer – he didn't forget how to score.
Last year Sergei Kostitsyn had a really slow start with the Preds, but then caught fire and carried through to a really effective season. This year he already has assists in all four games after this clash with the Devils. And David Legwand already had seven points in his first three games before adding more this evening. Nashville needs guys like this to step up with so little firepower up front.
When Vinny Prospal scored the opening goal tonight, he ensured himself a point-per-game average through five starts. For where you got him in the draft and with his line assignment avec Rick Nash and Jeff Carter, that's shrewd poolie management that adds up over the course of a full season.
John Tavares had no points in his first two games, but then exploded for that four-pointer against the Lightning and he had another four-pointer tonight against the Rangers. Hat trick goal into the empty net. If you can use that first week or two of the season to snag a few stars who get blanked in the first few tilts, it's another tool at your disposal to strengthen your roster for that six-month run. You'd be utterly shocked how many people lose patience with only two or three zeroes next to their stars' names. Strike while the iron is hot.
Al Montoya has been a good story for the Isles so far this year, but Evgeni Nabokov got his first start here and looked really effective in the win against the Rangers. Marian Gaborik and Brad Richards combined for 14 shots against him.
Speaking of the Isles too, Mark Streit's idea – a cool one at that – was to have the team stay on the ice after the game to form a receiving line of sorts for Isles who earn three star honours. Pretty cool to watch, actually.
Drew Stafford was one of the more inconsistent players in the poolie world before last season, where injuries were the only thing which slowed him down a bit. He still produced when in the line-up in