The Pittsburgh Penguins had to choose between two goaltenders for their backup goaltending opening during training camp, eventually opting to place last year’s backup goalie Casey DeSmith on waivers and then sending him to the AHL, despite solid numbers last year. That demotion hit DeSmith hard, who reportedly was frustrated and hurt that Pittsburgh would do that, leading to disappointing performances early on.
“Yes, of course he was hurt and disappointed and all those emotions, which is understandable. I talked to him when he first got down here and I pulled him aside maybe 10 days ago and just said that from standpoint, he can’t let this affect him … So I think from that point on he’s been preparing to be the best he can and not worrying about things he can’t control. I think he’s settled in nice.”
- Washington Capitals star Alex Ovechkin looks to have avoided any supplementary discipline after Friday night’s hit against Montreal Canadiens’ forward Jonathan Drouin, in which Ovechkin crushed Drouin with a massive body check in the second period (video here). TVA’s Renaud Lavoie reports, however, that there will be no hearing for the hit. The Canadiens went on to win 5-2.
- Chip Alexander of the News & Observer writes that Carolina Hurricanes winger Nino Niederreiter is quite frustrated with his offensive struggles so far this season. The winger, who scored 14 goals in 36 games last season after being traded from Minnesota to Carolina, has just two goals and seven points in their first 19 games. The winger has had plenty of scoring opportunities, but has really struggled putting the puck into the net. He currently has an exceptionally low 5.9 percent shooting percentage, which he admits has gotten to him. “I try not to be,” he said. “If you’re not scoring and you don’t get the points then it’s obviously in your head.”
- New York Rangers rookie Kaapo Kakko is feeling better as he has been out with the flu, according to The Athletic’s Rick Carpiniello, but the team’s second-overall pick this season remains a game-time decision for tonight’s game against the Florida Panthers. Kakko has been hot recently with five goals in his last seven games.