The WaPo discusses the possibility of 19-year-old defenseman Mike Green making the team. As Tarik el-Bashir (hereafter TeB) notes, "[Green's] most remarkable statistic... is the number of obstruction penalties he's taken -- zero," and also mentions how valuable Brendan Witt has been in mentoring the young rearguard (though one wonders how a disciple of Witt's could get through one period, much less four games, without committing a penalty). Good stuff.
In today's WTimes, Dave Fay discusses the final round of cuts facing the team and the difficulties associated therewith given the variety of one- and two-way contracts and players who would have to clear waivers in order to be sent to Hershey. The bottom line is this: Witt, Steve Eminger and Jamie Heward have spots locked up. Lawrence Nycholat and Mathieu Biron both have one-way deals (NHL money whether they're in the NHL or not). Shaone Morrisonn and Nolan Yonkman would have to clear waivers (which wouldn't happen) in order to be sent down. That leaves Jakub Cutta, Bryan Muir and Green who could be sent down without risk or financial loss. Our unsolicted advice? Suck it up and send down Nycholat and Biron, Cutta and Muir.
Tonight's game: Penguins @ Capitals, 7:00 PM, MCI Center (TV: Comcast SportsNet).
- Simon Gagne had two assists and Robert Esche stopped 17 of 18 shots as the Flyers ran their preseason record to a perfect 5-0 with a 3-2 win over the Devils. Martin Brodeur had the night off for Jersey, probably for one of the last times this season.
- Kevin Weekes made 33 saves and allowed only 2 goals through overtime, but it wasn't enough for the Rangers who fell to the Isles in a shootout thanks to goals by Mark Parrish and Shawn Bates and saves by Rick DiPietro.
- Dany Heatley and Jason Spezza had a goal and an assist each in Ottawa's 4-1 win over Pittsburgh. The win keeps the Senators undefeated in the preseason at 6-0. Marc-Andre Fleury made 35 saves in defeat.
- Matt Cullen's shootout goal pushed the 'Canes past the Panthers 2-1. Roberto Luongo made 36 saves through overtime for Florida while Martin Gerber allowed only one goal on 27 shots for Carolina.
- A five-goal second period and 33 saves from Mike Dunham lifted the Thrashers over the Predators 5-2.
- Valeri Cameron Bure scored the only goal in the shootout to give the Kings a 4-3 win over Colorado.
- Injuries abound. Detroit's Niklas Kronwall is out with a knee injury and captain Steve Yzerman is out with a groin injury; St. Loo's Doug Weight and Barrett Jackman are out with shoulder injuries; Calgary's Robyn Regeher is out with a knee; Ranger Ville Nieminen and Philly's Kim Johnsson left last night's games with groin injuries; and Bryan Marchment's ego is no doubt hurt after the Leafs decided not to sign him. For those of you keeping score at home, that's three groins, two shoulders, two knees and one inner tough guy on the mend.
- Speaking of Weight (or weight), Keith Tkachunky is back skating with the Blues and will immediately return to left wing on the Weight-Kirstie Alley line.
- Penguin enforcer/clown Andre Roy has been suspended two regular season games for making throat-slashing gestures at Caps farmhand Robin Gomez over the weekend. I guess that means it's open season on Sid the Kid for a couple of games.
- The first pick in Sunday's Phantasy Hockey League draft is rumored to be Red Wings defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom, a casualty of the League's five-keepers-per-team cap.