Welcome to the early morning skate. A look around at what happened in the hockey world last night:
Montreal Canadiens 7; Ottawa Senators 1
Two Canadian teams going in opposite directions. The Canadiens are making a push for the division lead while the Senators are just trying to survive.
Crushing the Senators by six goals may not even be the biggest story in Montreal today as the city and the fans are preparing to welcome back Saku Koivu. Not often that much fan fair is made of the return of a former player with his new team but give it to the Habs fans for already the much to-do for the homecoming of former long time captain Saku Koivu. Habs Inside/Out has the video of Koivu at Friday’s press conference at the Bell Centre.
Tampa Bay Lightning 2; Florida Panthers 1 (SO)
Panthers kicked off the scoring with a goal 50 seconds into the game – then never closed the deal again. Dan Ellis had a good show for the Lightning stopping 29 out of 30 shots – seems that first shot is one of #DanEllisProblems – and a perfect shootout.
Donny Rivette has more on the game over at the Litter Box Cats.
New York Islanders 5; Buffalo Sabres 2
Just when you think the Sabres are pulling things together and could pull off a three game winning steak the New York Islanders come and ruin the party. With playoff hopes in question Tim Redinger over at Sabre Noise has more.
Dallas Stars 4; Calgary Flames 7
Speaking of playoff hopes. The Stars sit atop the pacific division while the Calgary Flames sit 14th in the Western conference with as many points as games played (48). Being the only game out west came with some shocking results as the Flames trampled the Stars to end their franchise record eight game road winning streak.
Art Middleton over at Defending Big D has the game recap.
Up into the netting:
Grand Rapids Griffins’ Ilari Filppula (older brother of Red Wings Valterri) has been selected to the AHL All-Star Classic. Added to the roster on Friday along with Peoria’s T.J. Hensick to replace the Hamilton Bulldogs’ David Desharnais and Max Pacioretty both of whom were called up to the NHL Montreal Canadiens.
NabbyWatch2011 is still in place until noon today. At noon the fate of Evegni Nabokov will be declaired. Odds of him ending up with the Detroit Red Wings seems low – like he would have a better shot at being struck by lightning (not the team). There are pleanty of theories going around including one that calls on Rule 11.8b from the NHL CBA that reads:
A no-move clause may prevent the involuntary relocation of a Player,
whether by Trade, Loan or Waiver claim.
If this works for the Detroit Red Wings the St. Louis Blues are going to be kicking themselves after losing two players to waiver.
Another theory was about the Red Wings making a deal with the Devil.
Last thing on the NabbyWatch2011: The Prouction Line has a Nabokov Pledge going right now where you can put money down on what you think will happen at noon today. Check it out here. Money goes to a good cause. (TPL is the same blog that broguht you Operation Curly Fries).
The Retrun of Foppa! Hitting the ice this morning with the Colorado Avalanche. Yes you read that right Peter Forsberg is going to test out his foot skating legs with the Avalanche and see if he is fit for an NHL comeback. Brett Favre would be proud.
Thanks for joining the early morning skate. Don’t forget to check out the THW Ask the Alumni Series: Theoren Fleury – see you tomorrow morning.
An avid hockey lover that grew up in Michigan and lived in the Washington D.C. area while going school for Sports Management. Volunteer with the American Special Hockey Association (ASHA); and follows as much SM-liiga and Elitserien as possible along with the vast array of North American leagues.