Antti Raanta has been activated off injured reserve and is expected to start tonight against the Buffalo Sabres according to Craig Morgan of AZ Sports. Raanta hasn’t played in three weeks with a lower-body injury after being acquired this summer to be the Coyotes starting goaltender. He’ll head to the crease with a new backup in Scott Wedgewood, a tandem that could prove capable for Arizona as they try to climb out of the bottom of the standings.
The team unfortunately will not have Niklas Hjalmarsson on the ice however, meaning Dakota Mermis will make his NHL debut on the blueline. The Coyotes are currently last in the league with just one win in their first 13 games, and right now look like the odds-on favorite for the first-overall pick next June.
- The Vegas Golden Knights will not trade for another goaltender, according to general manager George McPhee. The front office boss told Steve Carp of the Las Vegas Review-Journal that the Golden Knights will “ride it out with who we have.” Currently who they have is Maxime Lagace and 19-year old Dylan Ferguson, the last two goaltenders in the entire organization on NHL contracts. The team has given up six goals in back to back games, and still have four games remaining on their current road trip. Riding it out is likely the best move long-term for the organization, but it won’t feel good for Vegas fans who were on cloud nine after the team’s early season success. That excellent record could evaporate if they can’t find some stability in net soon.
- The Toronto Maple Leafs are clearly not settled with the fringes of their lineup, as even after a win last night in Anaheim head coach Mike Babcock intends on shaking things up. Chris Johnston of Sportsnet reports that Kasperi Kapanen and Roman Polak will draw back into the lineup in place of Josh Leivo and Connor Carrick for tonight’s matchup with Los Angeles. That uncertainty will be an interesting one to follow as the Maple Leafs’ season continues. For a team that is expected to compete not only for a playoff spot, but for a considerable seeding in the postseason, they have several unresolved issues with their lineup. James van Riemsdyk, Tyler Bozak and Leo Komarov are all unrestricted free agents, and remain possible mid-season trade candidates. If they are moved, the rotating bottom-pairing on the Toronto blueline is likely the target of upgrade.