Game recaps, Sharks and Kings prepare for outdoor game, and more in today’s collection of notable NHL headlines.
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: New York Rangers rookie goaltender MacKenzie Skapski shook off giving up a goal 14 seconds into his NHL debut to backstop his club to a 3-1 victory over the Buffalo Sabres. Skapski made 24 saves for the win, while Rick Nash scored his 37th of the season.
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH: Vladimir Tarasenko scored twice and Alex Steen collected three assists as the St. Louis Blues downed the Boston Bruins 5-1, chasing Bruins rookie Malcolm Subban out of the net after giving up three goals on six shots. The Bruins also lost center David Krejci to a leg injury in the second period.
THE DENVER POST: The Colorado Avalanche scored three goals in the final ten minutes to beat the Chicago Blackhawks 4-1. Tyson Barrie had two goals while Avs captain Gabriel Landeskog scored in his fifth straight game, which was also the game winner.
NOTE: Games involving Canadian NHL teams are recapped in “Canadian Corner.”
SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS/LOS ANGELES TIMES: The San Jose Sharks and Los Angeles Kings are preparing for tonight’s game at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California before an anticipated crowd of 69, 000.
PHILLY.COM: In a roster shakeup, Philadelphia Flyers coach Craig Berube has broken up long-time linemates Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek.
THE BUFFALO NEWS: Sabres defenseman Josh Gorges (lower-body injury) could be finished for the season.
THE BOSTON GLOBE: Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli acknowledges his job could be on the line as his team continues to flounder.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Holy knee jerk, Batman! You don’t fire the man who built the Bruins into a Stanley Cup champion and perennial Cup contender because of one bad season. Look, it hasn’t been perfect, and Chiarelli put himself into a bind cap-wise with some of his signings, but firing him if the Bruins miss the playoffs would be a huge over-reaction.
NBC SPORTS: The 1980 US Men’s Olympic hockey team will stage a “Miracle on Ice” reunion ahead of Sunday’s Hockey Day in America.
YAHOO SPORTS: NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said the league won’t publish player salaries as he’s not sure the fans care. “I don’t think it’s a resource we need to provide because I’m not sure fans are as focused on what players make as they are about their performance on the ice,” he said.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I respectfully disagree, Mr. Commissioner. The combination of your precious salary-cap system combined with the rise of fantasy hockey turned a large number of hockey fans into what one of my readers called “a nation of armchair GMs.” The now-defunct and much-missed CapGeek.com was the go-to site for salary and payroll information. More than just reporters and bloggers followed that site on a regular basis.
To be fair to Bettman, publicizing salaries likely needs the cooperation of the NHLPA, meaning this is probably an issue which requires collective bargaining to resolve, if at all. Still, I think the NHL is missing a tremendous opportunity to draw more eyeballs to their website. There’s several salary-tracking sites still available, though none are as detailed as CapGeek was. It wouldn’t surprise me, though, if another site springs up down the road to fill the void.