Who Says Ruff Can't Coach Offensive Players?
Who says that Lindy Ruff cannot coach skilled, offensive players?
Stars captain Jamie Benn collected six points in Calgary on Thursday night, while his line mate Tyler Seguin banged in four goals.
It would be a travesty if Team Canada omits Benn from its Sochi Olympic roster The kid is a rockstar. He’ll have to play the wing instead of his natural center position, but who cares? Benn wants to play for his home land, like he did at the 2009 World Junior Hockey Championships in Ottawa.
After his 6 point explosion in Calgary, Benn told Stars TV:
"There's obviously so many great players in this League that can get picked," Benn said. "There was obviously some pretty high talent at that camp in the summer so it is what it is. I just came into camp this year with a focus of being the best player I can be. I'm just trying to get better each and every day.
With Ruff on Mike Babcock’s Team Canada coaching staff, Benn and Seguin will have a great chance to make the team. Especially since Steven Stamkos is injured.
"It's going to be an honor if you do get picked for this team, but for me and Tyler right now, our focus is on the Dallas Stars and trying to make this team win hockey games. So far so good, lately."
As I tweeted earlier Thursday afternoon, the news is not good right now concerning LA Kings keeper Jonathon Quick.
The Stanley Cup winner has been diagnosed with a Grade 2 groin strain. On the severity scale, a Grade 3 is the worst type a player, or men's league bender can be diagnosed with.
NHL Live reported during the dinner hour that Quick will have to miss the next 4-6 weeks, if not longer. An injury such as this coupled with Quick's aggressive butterfly style, makes him a candidate for re-injury. Quick and the team medical staff no doubt will be investing the proper amount of time in the rest and rehabilitation period to allow the injury to heal to 100%. A premature return from a Grade 2 strain may cause further complications and a set back. Thats certainly not what the Kings, nor Quick, are hoping for.
Right now, Ben Scrivens will act as #1 goalie in LA. It will be a challenge for the 27 year old considering he's only ever been a back-up and a spot starter in the NHL. The zillion dollar question in LA right now is: Can Scrivens win games on a consistent basis for the Kings for the next 20-25 games?It remains to be seen. His NHL career high in games played was 20 games in 2012-13 while with Toronto when he went 7-9 with a .915 save % and a 2.69 GAA.
Scrivens has started five games this season for the Kings.
The Kings entered Thursday night's action in 9th place in the ultra-competitiveWwest with an 11-6-1 record.
If Scrivens struggles or gets injured himself, the only other goalie that the Kings have is Martin Jones, their top organizational goal prospect.
The Kings may want to put out feelers right now for another goalie just to be on the safe side. They may want to inquire about the availability of Buffalo Ryan Miller, who will become UFA in July 2014. Miller is earning $6.25 million, however, 20% or $1.25 million has already been burned off the contract after 20 games played. That leaves roughly $5 million is salary remaining on Miller's contract. Were the Sabres to pick up 20% of his contract in a potential deal (the same amount that they absorbed in the Thomas Vanek trade), its possible for the Kings to land Miller for approximately $4 million. Miller would be an expensive rental, however, he'd be a valuable insurance policy in the event that Scrivens struggles. having Miller would allow the Kings tell Quick to take his time in his healing process.
Pat LaFontaine is in a unique position with Miller. On one hand he wants to keep the best goalie in the NHL this season for as long as he can, however, he is cognizant of the fact that Miller is UFA eligible in July. LaFintaine may want to phone Kings GM Dean Lombard, if he hasn't already, and ask for Tyler Toffoli and first rounder for Miller.
If the 33 year old Miller's wish is to leave Buffalo, then LaFontaine must get maximum return for the man who may well be named the starting goalie for Tean USA now that Quick is injured.
Toronto Maple Leafs forward Nazem Kadri has been suspended for three games, without pay, for blasting Minnesota Wild goaltender Niklas Backstrom in the head.
Kadri will take a $44,615 haircut off of the take-it-or-leave-it bridge contract that he didn't want to sign with the Leafs this past summer.
Kadri's selfish act will cost his team dearly as the Leafs are now painfully thin at center ice with the long term injury to Dave Bolland and the thetyler Bozak injury. The Leafs will lose their top three centers for this weekend's home and home series with Buffalo. Kadri will also miss the Leafs-Islanders game.
I'd like to suggest that the Leafs sign Toronto Mayor Rob ford to play center in Kadri's absence. Ford plays a strong possession game and his heavy on the puck.