The New York Islanders announced on Thursday morning that they have recalled goaltender Jaroslav Halak from the AHL, possibly preparing him for the team's next game, Friday night in Pittsburgh. Halak has been in the minors since the end of December and has been lighting it up down there, making the most of the starts he was getting. The Islanders are hoping that his confidence will translate with the big club down the stretch.
This is actually a pretty big blow to Dale B.'s chances at 1st place, if Halak begins to start games for the club, as his goalie, Thomas Greiss would be demoted to back-up, which doesn't help. Halak still belongs to Troy, as there was no use wasting a Waiver Draft move to replace him on a goon team. There is obviously some hope that he will hack and slash his way into the playoffs.
Speaking of goalies for New York teams, the Rangers sent Magnus Hellberg back down to the AHL, giving the sign that the return of Henrik Lundqvist is imminent. The Rangers coaching staff have pointed out that they expect the 35-year old number one to start two of three games on their road trip out West, starting this weekend.
It is too little, too late for Grant's team, which will enjoy the idea that Lundqvist is coming back, just for shits and giggles. It helps his team's projected games total, which lifts up to 32 games for the finish of the week, only two games back of the leaders in the column.
Ahead of the match-up against the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday night, the Montreal Canadiens are going to adjust their lineup a bit, including the expected healthy scratch of defenseman Nathan Beaulieu, as Brandon Davidson, an acquisition from the Oilers this year, will slot in for him.
Cam's team is only 1 point clear of the Basement Dweller spot in the weekly standings and he doesn't need another body up in the press box. Not much hope left in this season for Cam's team anyways.
The Florida Panthers will again be without defenseman Aaron Ekblad with the Arizona Coyotes in town on Thursday night. Ekblad was fresh off a concussion, when he suffered a neck injury this week and he's now day-to-day again. There's no timetable available for his return, but the Panthers could really use him, if they are going to make any progress for a playoff spot.
Wilton only has the PIM pool left to play for and Ekblad has been a key contributor, with 58 minutes in penalties this season. Wilton's team is 115 PIM behind Marcie's team today, but I don't think Ekblad was going to close that gap.