March 1st means one thing. The start of the Gagarin Cup in the KHL, the start of playoffs and playoff runs, which also will include the college playoffs. In the NHL, the Atlantic Division had a dominant day Saturday as the Tampa Bay Lightning broke a four-game losing streak, while the Toronto Maple Leafs picked up a key win over the Vancouver Canucks. However, those wins didn’t aid either team in the division as the Boston Bruins continued their dominance with a 4-0 shutout of the New York Islanders. Should be an interesting month coming up in that Atlantic Division. Teams will continue to make roster moves as we get closer to the playoffs, so keep an eye on these roster moves throughout the day.
- The Ottawa Senators announced they have assigned prospect Joshua Norris to the Belleville Senators. The 20-year-old got his feet wet with significant minutes in three games for Ottawa, but failed to register a point in that span. However, with a full schedule this week in Belleville and the fact that they are the top seed in the North Division, it’s likely the Senators will want to develop their young forward as a leader of an AHL playoff team.
- CapFriendly reports that the New Jersey Devils have assigned two players to the Binghamton Devils of the AHL. The team has sent forward Jesper Boqvist and also assigned defenseman Joshua Jacobs. Boqvist was recalled Saturday, but was not used and has been sent back already, while Jacobs was recalled Thursday, but still hasn’t made his season debut.
- The Winnipeg Jets announced they also have sent two players to the AHL. The team has assigned defenseman Nelson Nogier and forward C.J. Suess to the Manitoba Moose. Nogier was recalled on Thursday, but still hasn’t made his season debut, while Suess was recalled Friday, but did not play either. Suess has appeared in one game for the Jets this season.
- The Vancouver Canucks announced they he recalled forward Justin Bailey on an emergency basis from the Utica Comets of the AHL. The 24-year-old has been dominant in the AHL with 27 goals and 45 points in 49 games, but has appeared in just two games with the Canucks this season with no points. Bailey was recalled with the status of Jay Beagle considered questionable after blocking a shot Saturday.
- The Dallas Stars announced they have recalled forward Justin Dowling from his conditioning loan with the Texas Stars of the AHL. Dowling has missed 15 straight games with an undisclosed injury, but fared well with the Texas squad, picking up three assists in three games. The 29-year-old has three goals and six points in 27 games with Dallas.
- With Ryan Miller battling illness, the Anaheim Ducks announced the recall of goaltender Anthony Stolarz from AHL San Diego as well as blueliner Jani Hakanpaa. Stolarz ranks sixth in the AHL in save percentage this season with a .922 mark and will backup John Gibson in Miller’s absence. Meanwhile, Hakanpaa has yet to see any NHL action with Anaheim and has a goal and 12 assists in 47 minor league contests this season.
Stolarz is consistently playing well on a night by night basis. I suspect his save percentage could even be higher if the defense didn’t have periodic lapses in front of him. Excited for his opportunity.