All posts by Sean O'Leary

Bednar expects MacKinnon to be out ‘couple’ more games

Colorado Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar thinks superstar Nathan MacKinnon will miss additional time after sitting out Friday's tilt against the Anaheim Ducks.

"I'm assuming he's going to miss a couple games," Bednar said after the Avalanche's overtime win, according to The Athletic's Peter Baugh.

MacKinnon missed the final 12 minutes of Tuesday's game after taking a hit to the head from San Jose Sharks rookie Joachim Blichfeld.

The Avalanche said Friday afternoon that MacKinnon would play Friday but subsequently ruled him out shortly before puck drop in an effort to avoid further injury.

Blichfield received a two-game suspension for the hit.

MacKinnon has posted 22 points in 19 games this season.

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Watch: Capitals’ Wilson avoids penalty after high hit on Bruins’ Carlo

Tom Wilson may soon receive a call from the NHL's Department of Player Safety.

The Washington Capitals enforcer delivered a high hit on Boston Bruins defenseman Brandon Carlo against the glass late in the first period Friday night.

Here's a closer look at the play:

Referees didn't call a penalty on the hit.

Carlo stayed down on the ice before being helped to the dressing room by Boston's medical staff. The Bruins announced during intermission that the blue-liner wouldn't return to the game due to an upper-body injury.

After the contest, Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy told reporters Carlo was taken to the hospital in an ambulance. He described the hit as "completely unnecessary" and "dirty," according to The Athletic's Fluto Shinzawa.

Wilson was forced to answer the bell in the second period, and dropped the gloves with Bruins blue-liner Jarred Tinordi.

Boston scored three goals with Wilson in the box en route to a convincing 5-1 victory.

Wilson has been suspended four times in his career, most recently in 2018 when he was handed a 20-game ban for a hit to St. Louis Blues forward Oskar Sundqvist's head.

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‘Miracle on Ice’ team member Mark Pavelich dies at 63

Mark Pavelich, a member of the "Miracle on Ice" 1980 U.S. Olympic Hockey team and veteran of 355 NHL games, has died at 63.

"We send our condolences to his family, friends, and the countless young players who he and his 1980 Team USA teammates inspired to play our game," the league said in a statement.

The playmaker for Team USA recorded seven points in seven games at the Olympics in Lake Placid, and Pavelich assisted on Mike Eruzione's famous game-winning goal that defeated the Soviet Union in the semifinals.

Pavelich died at a residential treatment center in Minnesota, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. He was there under civil commitment after a violent assault on his neighbor in 2019.

Following the assault, Pavelich was deemed mentally ill and dangerous, and his family is convinced he suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). Pavelich's cause of death is unknown, and the degenerative brain disease can only be diagnosed posthumously.

In addition to starring for Team USA, Pavelich also logged five seasons with the New York Rangers, notching 133 goals and 185 assists over 341 games. He set a rookie franchise record with 76 points in 1981-82.

He also briefly played for the Minnesota North Stars and San Jose Sharks.

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Canadiens fire Stephane Waite, name Sean Burke director of goaltending

The Montreal Canadiens fired Stephane Waite and named Sean Burke their new director of goaltending, the team announced Tuesday.

Waite held the position since 2013. He joined the Canadiens after winning Stanley Cups with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2010 and 2013 and worked closely with Carey Price during the prime of his career.

The Canadiens hired Burke as a scout in 2016. He also spent six seasons with the Arizona Coyotes in a variety of roles, including assistant general manager. He had an 18-year NHL career as a netminder and was GM of Canada's 2018 Olympic team.

Burke needs to quarantine for 14 days before he can join the team.

Montreal fired former head coach Claude Julien and assistant Kirk Muller last week. The team named Dominique Ducharme its new bench boss on an interim basis.

The Canadiens' goaltending has been a focal point amid the club's recent slump, as Price has posted an .888 save percentage in 12 appearances this season. Jake Allen has registered significantly superior stats in the backup role.

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Report: Maple Leafs looking to bolster forward group before deadline

The Toronto Maple Leafs are in the market to reinforce their forward corps prior to the trade deadline, TSN's Darren Dreger reported on Tuesday's edition of "Insider Trading."

"Management would like to bolster their forward group," Dreger said. "They'd like to give this group a little more depth and firepower, particularly in the middle of the lineup.

"As long as the Leafs continue to win, then I know (general manager Kyle) Dubas is going to try and bolster the group up front."

This season's trade deadline is set for April 12.

Toronto added several forwards this past offseason, including Joe Thornton, Wayne Simmonds, Travis Boyd, and Jimmy Vesey. Rookie winger Nick Robertson made the club at the start of the season, too, but hasn't suited up in the NHL since being injured opening night.

The Leafs sit first in the NHL with 36 points in 23 games. They also boast the league's top offense with 81 goals.

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Stalock reveals he developed heart condition after COVID-19 diagnosis

Edmonton Oilers goaltender Alex Stalock revealed to The Athletic's Michael Russo that he was diagnosed with myocarditis after testing positive for COVID-19 in November.

Stalock had been sidelined all season with what the Minnesota Wild classified as an upper-body injury before being claimed by the Oilers on waivers Monday.

Stalock said he showed no symptoms and returned multiple negative tests, but team doctors told him last year he was positive. He underwent examinations that revealed myocarditis, which is an inflammation of the heart muscle and can lead to cardiac arrest. He was told to rest for six weeks.

"Those first couple weeks were scary," Stalock said. "You go on the internet and read stuff and you're like, 'Holy shit.'

"I was completely asymptomatic, but they think because I had no symptoms and had it in my system that because it was right at the time where we were ramping things up with skating and working out and ramping up for the season that my heart was working and working and working and started to get stressed and swell because of the virus in my system."

Stalock continued: "It was mentally draining and very frustrating. Every doctor you talk to, they’re like, 'This is so new, we don’t know what can happen.' And you're like, 'Well, that doesn’t help.'"

Stalock visited a specialist in Boston in mid-January and was given clearance to begin working out again.

The Wild waived Stalock to give way for Cam Talbot and Kaapo Kahkonen in goal, a tandem that's been highly effective for the club this season.

Stalock will have to quarantine for two weeks before being eligible to suit up with the Oilers. The 33-year-old owns a .909 save percentage in 151 career appearances.

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Kane looking ahead after 400th goal: ‘It leaves you wanting more’

Patrick Kane notched another career milestone Sunday night, and he's already thinking of the next one.

The Chicago Blackhawks superstar buried his 400th career goal in a rout of the Detroit Red Wings. When asked to reflect on the achievement, Kane opted to look ahead.

"I think it leaves you wanting more," he said, per NBC Sports. "I feel pretty good about my game and where it's at right now. I'll just try to keep getting better."

Kane is the 100th skater in NHL history to hit the 400-goal mark. He's also the fourth Blackhawk and ninth U.S.-born player to reach the accomplishment.

The 32-year-old is in the midst of an MVP-caliber campaign, currently tied for second in league scoring behind Connor McDavid with 34 points in 23 games - nine points clear of the next closest Blackhawk.

Kane recorded his 1,000th career point prior to last season's pause and is on the verge of playing his 1,000th NHL game. His resume also features three Stanley Cups, a Conn Smythe, a Hart, an Art Ross, and a Calder Trophy.

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Tortorella not worried about job status after Jackets’ 5th straight loss

John Tortorella isn't concerned about his job security after the Columbus Blue Jackets dropped their fifth straight game Sunday.

"I never worry about that. I do my job the best I can," Tortorella said following a 2-1 defeat to the Nashville Predators, according to The Athletic's Aaron Portzline. "If people want to make decisions on me, that's their decision. ... I go about my business, and I'm going to coach this team the best way I possibly can."

The Jackets' recent slide has dropped the club to fifth in the Central Division. They're five points out of a playoff spot despite playing more games than all the teams ahead of them. Columbus has missed the playoffs only once since Tortorella was hired for the 2015-16 season.

The veteran bench boss has preached defense for his entire tenure with the club, but the Blue Jackets haven't met expectations in 2021. They rank 28th in goals against per game this season (3.54) after finishing the 2020 campaign with the NHL's third-best mark (2.61).

Columbus was the talk of the NHL in January after dealing a disgruntled Pierre-Luc Dubois to the Winnipeg Jets for sniper Patrik Laine. Dubois requested a trade in the offseason, and his relationship with the club appeared to become irreparable after Tortorella benched him for a lack of effort.

The Blue Jackets' next chance to snap their skid comes Tuesday versus the Detroit Red Wings.

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Fantasy: 5 moves you need to make in Week 7

Every week, theScore offers a fantasy hockey column detailing a handful of moves you should make. This edition focuses on Week 7. Roster percentages and position eligibility are courtesy of Yahoo.

Add Vladimir Tarasenko

Scott Rovak / National Hockey League / Getty

Team: Blues
Position: RW
Rostered: 71%

Tarasenko's return to St. Louis' lineup is near, and he's available in more leagues than he should be. There's no concrete date on his season debut, but using an early add this week on the Russian sniper is a savvy move. Tarasenko could make a massive difference for your team down the stretch if he plays anywhere close to his ceiling.

Add Jake Allen

Icon Sportswire / Icon Sportswire / Getty

Team: Canadiens
Position: G
Rostered: 44%

The Dominique Ducharme era isn't off to the smoothest start, as Montreal has collected a single point in two games under its new head coach. Still, Ducharme has already made waves by starting Allen over a struggling Carey Price, which could become the norm for the Canadiens going forward. Allen has far superior numbers this season and is operating on a much longer leash than Price, who may need some additional time on the sideline to rediscover his old self. Take a crack at adding a potential new starter on a playoff hopeful.

Sell high on Mark Scheifele

Jonathan Kozub / National Hockey League / Getty

Team: Jets
Position: C
Rostered: 97%

Scheifele is off to a roaring start this season, currently ranking sixth in scoring with 28 points. He's also fresh off an 11-game point streak. But now is the time to move the Jets pivot for a different superstar or a package of players. Scheifele is bound for some regression. He's shooting a whopping 25% to this point, and his underlying numbers are poor for a top-line pivot. Sell him while his inflated totals are attractive to your fellow competitors.

Move on from John Gibson

Joe Sargent / National Hockey League / Getty

Team: Ducks
Position: G
Rostered: 80%

Gibson has all the tools to be a star goalie, but the Ducks can't be relied upon to give him any help. He's lost five consecutive starts and owns a measly .874 save percentage over his last 10 appearances. It's unlikely anyone would trade for him, and it'll hurt to drop a guy you may have drafted to be your starter. Sometimes you have to bite the bullet, though, and streaming goalies with better odds of winning single games is a better strategy than bearing the burden of rostering Gibson.

Add Mats Zuccarello

Dave Reginek / National Hockey League / Getty

Team: Wild
Position: RW
Rostered: 41%

Zuccarello has been dynamite for the Wild after making his season debut a couple of weeks ago. He's found incredible chemistry with Victor Rask and Calder Trophy favorite Kirill Kaprizov on Minnesota's second line, and Zuccarello's notched 11 points over his last six contests. He doesn't offer much in shots, hits, or blocks, but he's worth taking a chance on as he rides this unforeseen wave of success.

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Price unable to pinpoint struggles: ‘Maybe I’m overthinking things’

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price is as perplexed as anyone at his poor form to start the 2021 campaign.

Price entered Thursday's tilt against the Winnipeg Jets with a 5-3-3 record and .893 save percentage before allowing five goals in the loss - his fifth in his last six games. Afterward, he addressed his recent struggles.

"Maybe I'm overthinking things. That's all I've got for you," Price said, per The Athletic's Arpon Basu.

Montreal entered this campaign with high expectations after a busy offseason that brought in several new faces. Despite the roster overhaul, Price remained the Habs' biggest X-factor for success, and he looked poised for a big year after posting a .936 save percentage through 10 games in the bubble playoffs over the summer.

Price, 33, started the season undefeated in regulation through six starts but has earned just one victory since. Jake Allen, Montreal's backup goalie, is 4-2-1 this season with a .932 save percentage.

The Canadiens began their 2021 schedule with a 7-1-2 record but have since cooled off and now sit fourth in the North Division at 9-6-2. Thursday's game marked the club's first under head coach Dominique Ducharme, who took over the role on an interim basis after Claude Julien was fired Wednesday.

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