(credit: LA Times)
Hello folks. Week 4 was kinda slow, so we opted to consolidate and put it together for one big update that you'll read now:
Team Viruses Are The Worst
So both Corey Perry and Francois Beauchamin are out indefinitely with the mumps. On top of that, the St. Louis Blues have seen their defensive corps stricken by a virus that's going around (or at least that's what they're blaming Jay Bouwmeester's sole point this season on.) Look, we know that every game matters, but isn't it a detriment to the team when you keep sick players alongside perfectly healthy ones and expose them to illness? It seems like it would be far easier to substitute your top winger instead of a whole first line (or a top defender instead of a top pairing.) We know hockey's a tough sport, with the attention given recently to concussions, maybe it would be prudent to take other forms of medical illness seriously, too.
(credit: Calgary Sun)
The Calgary Flames Aren't For Real... Right?
Going into this season, the Flames were supposed to be a moribund and just as pathetic as their provincial rivals (the Edmonton Oilers.) Yet instead, they're sitting pretty at third in the Pacific Division and are currently riding a two game winning streak (with a game in hand over the trailing San Jose Sharks, nonetheless.) There's no doubt that Jonas Hiller's having something of a career renaissance in Calgary, but the inspired play of Mark Giordano (who's put up 21 points in 19 games as a defenseman) has also helped fortify the scoring (which is being complemented by youngsters Sean Monahan and Johnny Gaudreau.) With almost a quarter of their games being played already, it may take a collapse of sorts for us to be singing a different song come playoff time.
(credit: Edmonton Sun)
Could Devan Dubnyk Steal The Show In Arizona?
It's been no secret that Mike Smith has had an absolutely disastrous campaign for the Coyotes this season. As the team turned to Devan Dubnyk over the weekend, he managed to pitch a shutout against the Vancouver Canucks and allowed one goal the following night against his former squad (the Edmonton Oilers.) Though team management may want to give Smith the onus of the starts due to his elephantine contract, the reality is that the team needs to win and they need to do whatever's necessary for them to win. The Coyotes cannot afford to be in a situation where they make it to the .500 mark only to find themselves in a losing streak afterwards (as has been the case with Smith in net.) With Josh Harding being placed on waivers by the Minnesota Wild, it may be possible that the team makes a claim while they send Smith to the minors to figure his game out (the chances of another team picking him and his $5.167M salary up from the waiver wire are pretty slim.)
The Buffalo Sabres Need To Leave "Kids" In Junior Alone
Though this didn't "just happen", the Buffalo Sabres have sent Sam Reinhart back to the juniors after his 9 game audition in the NHL. The team was probably driven to do this instead of handling him the same as they did with Mikhail Grigorenko, who is back in the minors after a haphazard stage in his development where he was playing for everyone (junior, NHL, and international levels) while not being able to focus on his own development. Sure youngster Zemgus Girgensons is having a decent campaign thus far, but is this because he's "ready" or because he's having a good run lately? One thing's to be sure, it may be best for "lottery" teams to keep their prospects simmering until they're ready instead of plugging them into the lineup and hoping for the best. There could be the argument that the draft age should be 20, but that's another conversation for another time.
Goal Of The Week:
We love our penalty shots...