NHL Talk: Islanders, Sabres, Canucks, Maple Leafs, Blue Jackets & More

In this edition of NHL Talk, these are the top hockey stories with quotes from players, coaches, managers, and more.

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Maple Leafs’ Giordano Wins in Hometown Team Debut

Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Mark Giordano helped lead his hometown team to a 3-2 win against the New Jersey Devils on Wednesday. He joined the Maple Leafs after 15 seasons with the Calgary Flames and 55 games with the Seattle Kraken, acquired ahead of the NHL Trade Deadline. A Toronto native, he recorded three hits and two blocked shots in his Maple Leafs debut.

Mark Giordano Toronto Maple Leafs
Mark Giordano, Toronto Maple Leafs (Photo by Kevin Sousa/NHLI via Getty Images)

“I felt good all day. I felt excited,” Giordano said. “I remember coming here when I was a young guy and all the nerves; I had some nerves today, but not really. I felt really excited, and I loved the way we played. It was an aggressive style, and it was fun to play.”

Sabres’ Thompson Scores Two Goals, Shootout-Winner

Buffalo Sabres forward Tage Thompson scored two goals and the shootout-winner in a 4-3 victory against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday. He had a game-high five shots on goal to help lead the Sabres to their third consecutive win, their first three-game winning streak since Oct. 14-19, 2021. In 60 games this season, he has a career-high 48 points (27 goals, 21 assists).

Tage Thompson, Buffalo Sabres
Tage Thompson, Buffalo Sabres (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

“We were definitely deserving of a win there,” Thompson said. “I think, obviously, the results, they usually take care of themselves. Sometimes you’re not going to get the results at the end of the game, but regardless of that, I think we can all look each other in the eyes and say that we gave it our all. I think we deserved it, and we came out on top, so it was good.”

Canucks’ Halak Puts on Stellar Performance for Win Over Avalanche

Vancouver Canucks goaltender Jaroslav Halak put on a stellar performance to defeat the NHL’s No. 1-ranked Colorado Avalanche, 3-1 on Wednesday. He saved 32 of 33 shots for his third win of the season and first win since Jan. 31. This incredible display comes after his goaltending partner Thatcher Demko started the last nine games.

Jaroslav Halak Vancouver Canucks
Jaroslav Halak, Vancouver Canucks (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

“It’s always nice to get a win in this league; it never gets old,” Halak said. “I think we, for the most part in the game, played pretty well. You’ve got to give them credit, (but) our guys battled hard. They’re a good team, Colorado. They’re a really good team, but we were able to not play into their hands. We tried to stick to our game plan.”

Blackhawks’ Kane Hits 20-Goal Mark for 14th Time in NHL Career

Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane tallied three points (one goal, two assists) in a 4-2 win at the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday. His lone goal gave him 20 on the season, marking the 14th time in 15 NHL seasons that Kane has accomplished the feat. The 33-year-old is on fire, with 27 points (eight goals, 19 assists) in his last 13 games.

Patrick Kane Chicago Blackhawks
Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

“Just make the right play. I think that’s the most important thing,” Kane said. “Whether it’s a pass or a shot, just make the right play.”

Golden Knights’ Dadonov Trade to Ducks Invalidated

The NHL announced on Wednesday that the trade sending Vegas Golden Knights forward Evgenii Dadonov to the Ducks ahead of the 2022 NHL Trade Deadline has been invalidated. In a statement, the league argued that “the trade could not be concluded because Dadonov’s contract includes a limited no-trade clause, which has not been complied with.” Dadonov has 27 points (15 goals, 12 assists) in 62 games with the Golden Knights this season.

Evgenii Dadonov Vegas Golden Knights
Evgenii Dadonov, Vegas Golden Knights (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

“We respect and accept the decision made today by the NHL with regard to our trade with Vegas on Monday,” Ducks general manager Pat Verbeek said. “Evgenii Dadonov is a player we thought could help our team this year and beyond.” 

Blue Jackets’ Korpisalo to Miss Remainder of Season With Hip Injury

Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender, Joonas Korpisalo, will miss the remainder of the season due to a hip injury that will require surgery. After missing 14 games earlier in the season with a lower-body injury, he will be sidelined for an estimated six months while he recovers from his upcoming hip surgery. He has a .877 save percentage (SV%) and 4.15 goals-against average (GAA) in 22 games (17 starts).

Joonas Korpisalo Columbus Blue Jackets
Joonas Korpisalo, Columbus Blue Jackets (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

“This is an injury that Joonas has been dealing with for some time, and it has now gotten to the point where surgery is the best option,” Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen said. “We are disappointed for him as he has worked extremely hard to be able to play, but this is the best course of action.”

Islanders’ Clutterbuck and Mayfield Out for Extended Time With Injuries

New York Islanders forward Cal Clutterbuck will miss the remainder of the season with a shoulder injury, and defenseman Scott Mayfield will be out 4-6 weeks with an upper-body injury. Clutterbuck, who signed a two-year contract with the Islanders on Monday, will require surgery after posting 15 points (six goals, nine assists) in 59 games. Mayfield, who has 18 points (three goals, 15 assists) in 61 games, was injured by a blocked shot in a 3-0 win against the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday and will not require surgery.

Cal Clutterbuck New York Islanders
Cal Clutterbuck, New York Islanders (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

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“They’re very important,” Islanders head coach Barry Trotz said. “This is the National Hockey League; there’s guys that are going to go down, it’s got to be the next-man-up mentality. It’s opportunities for other guys. But they’re both big pieces in our room, both big pieces especially on the penalty kill, and in late-game situations, defensive situations. Those are as good as we have.”