Ottawa’s Viktor Stalberg could be seeing a quick return to playoff action. Coach Guy Boucher stated that the speedy winger is “hopeful” for Game 1 of the Conference Finals series against Pittsburgh tomorrow. When he left the lineup midway through Game 6 against the New York Rangers, it was uncertain how long he would be sidelined. Stalberg has proved a solid addition to an already deep forward corps since acquired by GM Pierre Dorion at the deadline. His flexibility has been a useful asset for Boucher, who has been able to slot him up and down the lineup. Stalberg provides solid penalty killing and has added energy to the new second line alongside Derick Brassard and Bobby Ryan.
- Kevin Bieksa did not take the ice tonight for the Anaheim Ducks in their first game against the Nashville Predators. Bieksa has been in and out of the lineup for coach Randy Carlyle. Bieksa is obviously nursing a substantial lower-body issue, although there have been plenty of options on the blueline to replace him. He’s missed the last six games and was a potential go for this evening. The Ducks have had many of their players quickly recover from short-term injuries and return to action, leaving the likes of Korbinian Holzer and Clayton Stoner in the press box. Winger Patrick Eaves is also out with an injury for the team, as is the mobile but fragile defenseman Simon Despres.
- Mock drafts are all the rage with the fast-approaching Vegas Golden Knights expansion draft. Plenty of moves are sure to precede the events which will start on June 18th and conclude on the 21st. TSN’s Scott Cullen provided an interesting potential squad to add to consideration. It included the likes of Brian Dumoulin, Matt Dumba, and Trevor van Riemsdyk on D, as well as forwards Lee Stempniak, Vladislav Namestnikov, and Craig Smith. It seems like potent offensive talent will be the hardest role to fill in any hypothetical Golden Knights roster, but hopefully the addition of flashy center Vadim Shipachyov can alleviate some of that need. Defense should be easy to come by, especially considering that many teams will opt to only protect three of their own. Regardless, the concern franchises will have over losing valuable pieces for nothing at all will certainly spur movement of some kind.