Yesterday’s slate of games featured several that re-shuffled the playoff picture, including a comeback upset by the Wild over the Flames, an overtime win for the Hurricanes, a disappointing loss for the Blue Jackets, and key victories for the Penguins and Stars against teams they’re fighting with for playoff position. Today, the docket features more of these potential landscape-shifting match-ups, including a battle between trade deadline standouts, Columbus and Winnipeg, and a surprisingly hot Minnesota team facing a cold Nashville squad. Whether preparing for a game today or the coming week at large, expect some moves today by more than a few teams:
- Ken Wiebe of The Winnipeg Sun reports that goaltender Eric Comrie, currently on recall while starter Connor Hellebuyck was sidelined temporarily, will be reassigned to the AHL’s Manitoba Moose today. Hellebuyck was a full participant in morning skate and is in fact in line to get the start tonight for the Jets. Comrie got in some work with the team this morning as well, but is unlikely to stick around as a third active keeper. The 23-year-old has yet to see any NHL action this season, but has had a heavy workload in Manitoba with 40 appearances already on the year.
- Christoffer Ehn, who was recalled on an emergency loan by the Detroit Red Wings yesterday morning, did not suit up for the team last night and has now been returned to the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins. Ehn was called up in case Anthony Mantha, who was battling sickness, was unable to play. When Mantha fought through, Ehn’s emergency conditions were terminated, forcing his demotion back to the minors. Ehn has played in 44 games with the Red Wings this season compared to just 13 games with the Griffins, but for now will have to stick it out in the AHL.
- Carolina Hurricanes’ project forward Steven Lorentz has again been sent to the ECHL, the AHL’s Charlotte Checkers announced. It’s the fourth demotion of the year for Lorentz, a 2015 seventh-round pick, who has been a victim of the depth in Charlotte. Among all forwards with more than 15 games played in the ECHL this season, Lorentz is twelfth in per-game scoring with 24 points in 20 games for the Florida Everblades. In the AHL, he has five points in 18 games with the Checkers but, despite fair production given his limited role, has been a frequent scratch and reassignment. Rather than being in the ECHL scoring race or a regular in Charlotte’s bottom-six, Lorentz’ season has been torn between the two leagues, making it appear as if he hasn’t made much of an impact at either level. Lorentz still has another year remaining on his entry-level contract, so Carolina has time for more evaluation. An extended stay and regular play time in the AHL in particular could reveal him to be a solid contributor at that level as well.
- The Anaheim Ducks announced they have recalled forward Kevin Roy from the San Diego Gulls of the AHL. Roy, who had spent most of the year on season-opening injured reserve after undergoing offseason wrist surgery, was activated and sent to San Diego on Feb. 16. The 25-year-old had a goal and four points in five games with the Gulls and looks ready to return to action in Anaheim. He played 25 games with the Ducks last year, posting six goals and seven points.