Player Notes

  • Benning is still evaluating Jacob Markstrom
    Canucks GM Jim Benning isn't sure where Jacob Markstrom fits in yet.

    Advice: Markstrom had a 1.88 GAA and .934 save percentage in 32 AHL regular season games and he's been just as effective in the playoffs. However, he's struggled in his NHL stints. Markstrom is set to become a restricted free agent this summer so Benning's evaluation could ultimately determine whether Vancouver re-signs him or attempts to deal his rights. If he decides that Markstrom is ready to be a full-time NHL goaltender, then he might even go as far as to try and trade Eddie Lack to create the necessary space.
    28 minutes ago
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  • Trevor van Riemsdyk is cleared to play
    Trevor van Riemsdyk, who had wrist surgery in April, is medically cleared to play.

    Advice: van Riemsdyk only resumed practicing on Friday though, so we have our doubts about him being inserted into the lineup. Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville didn't rule out the possibility of van Riemsdyk joining Chicago at some point during their playoff run, although he's doesn't think it will be on Saturday for Game 4 of the Western Conference Final. If nothing else, this is an opportunity for van Riemsdyk to get an idea of what it's like to be a part of an NHL team in the playoffs.
    Today, 12:31 pm
  • Brandon Saad calls Game 4 a 'must win'
    Brandon Saad considers Game 4 on Saturday to be a "must win."

    Advice: "We let one slip away last night so we have a big one coming up," Saad added. Chicago suffered a 2-1 loss to Anaheim on Thuesday after squeaking ahead with a triple-overtime victory in Game 2. The Blackhawks will certainly have their work ahead of them if they drop Game 4, but they're talented enough and have done well enough in this series to make it hard to dismiss them even if Anaheim takes a 3-1 series lead.
    Today, 12:02 pm
  • Michael Keranen will stick with Minnesota
    Michael Keranen has inked a on-year extension with the Minnesota Wild.

    Advice: Keranen had 10 goals and 37 points in 70 AHL games in 2014-15. He had a great 2013-14 campaign in SM-liiga with 52 points in 52 contests, but we wouldn't count on him having fantasy value next season. Keep in mind that he's 25 years old, so his offensive upside is limited.
    Today, 11:03 am
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  • Oscar Dansk heads to Sweden
    Oscar Dansk will play in Sweden next season.

    Advice: Dansk made the decision after struggling in the AHL and ECHL in the 2014-15 campaign. It was his first professional season in North America after moving on from the OHL Erie Otters, so there was a chance he would have found his footing in 2015-16 had he stayed within the Blue Jackets' system. He was taken with the 31st overall pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.
    Today, 9:59 am
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  • Mark Barberio might play in Game 4
    Mark Barberio might end up playing in Game 4 on Friday.

    Advice: Matt Carle (undisclosed) is out and it remains to be seen if the Tampa Bay will still go with seven defensemen. If the Lightning do, then Barberio will be the one assuming the vacant roster spot. We probably won't know for sure until right before the start of the game though as the Lightning intend to include 21 players in their pregame warmups.
    Today, 8:23 am
  • Sean Couturier had a great showing at Worlds
    Sean Couturier finished the 2015 World Championships with three goals and seven points in 10 games.

    Advice: Couturier won a gold medal with Team Canada. "Being a part of that experience, I would've done whatever was asked of me," Couturier said. "I was lucky enough to play my natural position. The players are so good there, it's easy to adjust to anything. It was such a different atmosphere than when you're with a group of guys for six or seven months. Everyone left their egos on the side and chipped in the same." Couturier went on to describe the tournament as the best hockey experience of his young career. The fact that it went so well for him on both a team and individual level should be a nice confidence boost going into the 2015-16 campaign.
    Today, 8:11 am
  • Henrik Lundqvist will get the nod on Friday
    In case there was any doubt, Henrik Lundqvist is starting on Friday.

    Advice: When asked to name his starting goaltender, there was laughter and then Rangers coach Alain Vigneault responded with, "Is that a real question?" After being told that it was, Vigneault formally named Lundqvist as the starting goaltender. Lundqvist was one of the best goaltenders in the first two rounds of the playoffs, but he's allowed six goals in back-to-back games. Even with that in mind though, it would have been surprising to see Lundqvist get benched. This team is built around him and it will be very difficult for the Rangers to succeed if he's not at his best.
    Today, 8:02 am
  • NJD needs to make decision on Anthony Brodeur
    The Devils have until the end of May to sign Anthony Brodeur or he'll reenter the draft.

    Advice: Brodeur was taken with the 208th overall pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft. At the time it was a great story with his father, Martin Brodeur, being the one to announce the selection. Anthony Brodeur has struggled since then though and posted a 3.88 GAA and .882 save percentage in 16 QMJHL games. Devils GM Ray Shero said that he still needed more information regarding the situation and consequently couldn't say whether or not the Devils would sign Brodeur.
    Today, 7:58 am
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  • Ray Shero wants to keep Patrik Elias
    New Devils GM Ray Shero made it clear that he wants to keep Patrik Elias.

    Advice: That came after Elias expressed a willingness to be traded if Shero wanted to go in that direction. "I think he's going to be a big part of this team next year and we'll see where that's going to take us," Shero said of Elias. "When I sit down and talk to him, I'll find out further his thoughts and things like that, but we did have a really nice talk on the phone and he is an interesting guy to talk to. I'll find out more about him and where he's at and what he thinks about next year and all those things. So, I'm looking forward to sitting down and talking with him." It wouldn't make much sense to trade Elias at this time anyways. The 39-year-old is coming off of a rough season and probably wouldn't net New Jersey much of a return as a consequence. Elias has spent his entire NHL career with the Devils, so it would seem counterproductive to move him now unless there was significant market value for him.
    Today, 7:53 am
  • Matt Carle doesn't skate on Friday
    Matt Carle (undisclosed) didn't take part in Friday's morning skate.

    Advice: Carle wasn't able to finish Game 3 due to the ailment. If he's not available for Friday's contest, then Tampa Bay might have Nikita Nesterov serve on the third defensive pairing.
    Today, 7:48 am
  • Joakim Nordstrom plays on 4th line in return
    Joakim Nordstrom logged 7:06 minutes in Game 3 on Thursday.

    Advice: It was Nordstrom's first game in a little over a month. Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville made some lineup changes because Game 2 went to triple-overtime and he wanted to get some fresh legs in there as a result. Nordstrom played alongside Marcus Kruger and Andrew Desjardins.
    Today, 7:35 am
  • Versteeg needed time to adjust in Game 3
    Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville suggested that part of the reason Kris Versteeg played on Thursday was so that he could get some fresh legs in there.

    Advice: That makes sense given Chicago's triple-overtime game on Tuesday. Versteeg ended up logging 13:31 minutes in Chicago's 2-1 loss to Anaheim. "The first two shifts it was like I was standing in the speedway," said Versteeg after the contest. "It was going pretty quick. Once the game progressed, I thought I settled in nicely. Obviously would have liked to tuck one away for the guys to help them out. All in all, I felt pretty good tonight."
    Today, 7:33 am
  • Patrick Maroon nets a goal vs. Chicago
    Patrick Maroon found the back of the net in the Ducks' 2-1 victory on Thursday.

    Advice: It was Maroon's first goal of the Western Conference Final and fifth marker of the playoffs. He now has eight points in 12 postseason games. Maroon also registered four hits in 14:41 minutes of ice time Thursday night.
    Today, 6:33 am
  • Simon Despres nets game-winner Thursday
    Simon Despres scored the game-winning goal in Anaheim's 2-1 victory over Chicago Thursday night.

    Advice: "I was surprised it went in actually," Despres said. "It just stayed on the ice. I just wanted to get it on net, quick release. I was definitely happy it went in." It was his first goal of the 2015 playoffs. He also has six assists in 12 games though, which is great given that he's more of a defensive defenseman.
    Today, 6:31 am
  • Ryan Callahan hopes to put up more points
    Ryan Callahan wants to contribute more offensively.

    Advice: He hasn't earned a points in eight straight games. "There's no question I have to contribute," said Callahan. "I have to put goals in the net. I have to put points on the board. That's a department I need to improve on." He added that he will try to go hard to the net more and play in the gritty areas, which is how he's had success in the past. Callahan has no goals and three assists in 15 postseason matches.
    Yesterday, 3:47 pm
  • RFA Marcus Johansson enjoys his best season
    Marcus Johansson had the best season of his career in 2014-15.

    Advice: He hit the 20-goal mark for the first time and he recorded 47 points in 82 games. New coach Barry Trotz urged Johansson to shoot more and he was credited with a personal best total of 138. He skated mostly as a top-line right winger or on the second line as a left winger. His success comes at a good time, as he'll be a restricted free agent this summer.
    Yesterday, 11:26 am
  • Another quality game for Rangers' JT Miller
    JT Miller had another quality game for the Rangers, picking up an assist during their 6-5 overtime loss in Game 3.

    Advice: Miller had five hits, two shots, and won 67% of his draws during his 18:09 of work. His most ice time since Game 5 versus Pittsburgh. His assist, by the way, helped tie the game at five with just 1:56 to go in the third. Miller now has four points, all assists, in 15 games this postseason.
    Wednesday, 9:44 pm
  • Keith Yandle picks up another pair of points
    Keith Yandle picked up two more assists in Wednesday's Game 3 6-5 overtime loss to Tampa Bay.

    Advice: The assists were huge, both coming in the third period as the Rangers mounted their late comeback to force overtime. His first helper came on the power play as well, while he contributed two shots, hits, and a block and a takeaway in 16:15 of work. Yandle now sits tied with Ryan McDonagh for the team lead among blue liners in assists, and just one behind overall leader Derek Stepan.
    Wednesday, 9:34 pm
  • Jesper Fast has first career multi-goal game
    Jesper Fast was a force for the Rangers in Game 3 on Wednesday night, scoring twice in his first career multi-goal game.

    Advice: Fast had perhaps his best career performance, now 87 total games old. His first goal was off a sweet forehand-backhand breakaway finish to make it 2-0 Rangers midway through the first period. But it was his second tally that loomed large, as he broke Tampa's momentum of three straight goals just 29 seconds after Alex Killorn made it 4-3 late in the second period. Fast also drew a tripping penalty on Andrej Sustr early in the third. Fast now has three goals and six points in 15 games this postseason.
    Wednesday, 9:13 pm
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