There may only be four games on tap today, but with a busy slate yesterday that saw all but seven teams in action, there should be many squads reviewing their performances and making any necessary changes ahead of a new week:
- After being called up just yesterday, Sonny Milano is on his way back down to the AHL’s Cleveland Monsters once again. The Columbus Blue Jackets announced the demotion of the struggling young forward late last night after an unimpressive performance against the Arizona Coyotes. Columbus came out on top 1-0, but Milano’s only statistic of note was one giveaway in his 8:34 time on ice. Milano has five goals and five assists in 25 games with the Jackets this season, but has scored only once since October 13th. With Columbus’ depth of talent, they don’t have to put up with that inconsistency.
- NHL.com’s Igor Eronko reports that the St. Louis Blues have recalled Ivan Barbashev from the AHL. After playing in 30 games for St. Louis in 2016-17, Barbashev has only skated in six NHL contests this season and hasn’t seen big league action since October after being held scoreless to begin the campaign. With the AHL’s Chicago Wolves, Barbashev has four goals and four assists in 18 games, so the 21-year-old Russian isn’t exactly tearing up the minors either. Barbashev needs to find a rhythm this season if he hopes to stick in St. Louis and this recall is his next chance to do so.
- The Dallas Stars announced the have recalled center Jason Dickinson from the Texas Stars of the AHL this morning. The 22-year old has played in just four games with no points with the Dallas Stars this season, filling in as an emergency forward. This will be no different as the team still has Martin Hanzal out and the status of Antoine Roussel (elbow) and Greg Pateryn (thigh contusion) are both up in the air for tomorrow’s game against the New York Rangers. Dickinson is expected to play as the team’s fourth-line center on Monday, according to NHL.com’s Mark Stepneski. The former first-round pick from 2013 has played well in the AHL, where he has scored 13 goals in 20 games.
- The Montreal Canadiens announced they have activated winger Nikita Scherbak, who has been out since Oct. 26 after requiring surgery on his right knee, and has been assigned to the Laval Rocket of the AHL. Scherbak had only played with the Canadiens for less than a week when he was injured. He was recalled on Oct. 22 after a strong start with the Rocket when he put up one goal and eight assists in six games. Struggling for offense, Montreal hoped Scherbak might be able to infuse the team with his skills, but he managed to play in just two games and averaged just 7:59 of ice time before injuring his knee.
- The Anaheim Ducks placed Joseph Blandisi, who was recently acquired as part of the Sami Vatanen and Adam Henrique trade, on injured reserve with an upper body injury. He played in two games with no points after coming over in the trade, but was injured in the Dec. 2 game against the Nashville Predators. He has missed three games and could still be activated for Monday’s game against the Carolina Hurricanes. The team also recalled defenseman Andrew Welinski from the San Diego Gulls of the AHL. The 24-year-old played four years with University of Minnesota-Duluth and has played well in San Diego as the blueliner has six goals and 11 assists in 21 games. This is his first callup to Anaheim.
- The Associated Press’ Stephen Whyno tweets that the Vegas Golden Knights activated starting goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury off of injured reserve and assigned Maxime Lagace to the Chicago Wolves of the AHL. Fleury was reported yesterday to be ready for Tuesday’s game against the Carolina Hurricanes. He has been out since Oct. 13 with a concussion and has played in just four games this season. The team’s leader has a 2.48 GAA and a 3-1 record. Lagace returns to Chicago after a long stint with the Golden Knights. The 24-year-old made his NHL debut this season and had some good and bad games, wrapping up with the team Saturday as he stopped 36 shots to win his sixth game of the season against the Dallas Stars. He finished his stint having played in 14 games with a 3.79 GAA and a .872 save percentage. Because Lagace was an emergency recall, he does not have to pass through waivers to return to Chicago.