Nikolay Goldobin has found his way back onto the Vancouver Canucks top line next to Elias Pettersson and Brock Boeser after having to sit out as a healthy scratch for four straight games and six of the last nine. The Province’s Ben Kuzma writes that one of the key reasons for his return to the first line has been the 23-year-old’s dedication to improving on his shortcomings that has seen him slip out of Travis Green’s good graces.
Goldobin has spent countless hours the last few weeks watching game film and has proven himself to Green to earn his way back to the top line. Kuzma adds that this is not the team’s way to showcase the forward before the trade deadline as his name has surfaced on numerous occasions already.
“That’s not the case,” insisted general manager Jim Benning. “He’s a good kid and wants to do well, and he’s progressing to get better and that’s part of development. It’s also the skill set that makes it worth our time to get that out of him. We’re going to continue to work with him and hope that he can get to where he needs to be.”
While there is no guarantee that his play will be better than it was previously, the Canucks like what they’ve seen from him while sitting in the press box. Goldobin has gone 13 games without registering a point and was struggling when not possessing the puck.
- TSN’s Pierre LeBrun reports that the Anaheim Ducks and forward Jakob Silfverberg, who will be a unrestricted free agent this summer, are continuing to discuss a new contract. Talks are progressing and LeBrun writes that Anaheim is very interested in locking up the 28-year-old. Silfverberg has 12 goals and 19 points this season in 42 games, but has missed some time due to injury. The team likely will want a deal in place before the trade deadline, suggesting that if the team cannot, the Ducks are likely to move him.
- The Arizona Coyotes will be without defenseman Jakob Chychrun once again. Head coach Rick Tocchet said that blueliner, out with a lower-body injury, did not accompany the team on their three-game road trip, which started tonight in San Jose, according to NHL.com’s Dave Vest. “He tweaked something and we just want to nip it in the bud,” said Tocchet.
- The Anaheim Ducks officially placed forward Ondrej Kase on long-term injured reserve today after the team activated both Corey Perry and Patrick Eaves, according to Orange County Register’s Eliott Teaford. Kase has had a tough season as he didn’t appear in his first game until Nov. 12 after suffering a concussion in a preseason game and now has undergone season-ending shoulder surgery. He finished the season with 11 goals and 20 points in just 30 games.