Since February 4th, every goaltender in the league has had to wear the new tighter fitting pants in games. While some goalies like Robin Lehner and Pekka Rinne have come out in favor of the new style, others are having difficulty adjusting. Eric Engels of Sportsnet spoke to both Carey Price and Al Montoya about them, who told him they are considering sending pictures of the new bruises they’ve suffered because of the lack of protection. Price in particular showed Engels that he got hit in the inside of his thigh with a shot, where there is almost no protection.
While it’s unclear if the two would actually send the pictures, it is a concern as the league moves forward with smaller equipment. With shots becoming harder and harder in the game, and players moving at a faster pace, protection of goaltenders is still a huge point of contention for the NHL and NHLPA. While the league (and many players) wants higher scoring and believe that reducing equipment would help that, safety is still of a high importance. When a player of Price’s caliber speaks out, the player’s union is sure to listen.
- Paul Stastny is back in the lineup tonight for the St. Louis Blues after missing the previous four games with a lower-body injury. He’ll skate with Alex Steen and Vladimir Tarasenko tonight on a line that has found tremendous success in the past. Patrik Berglund will be the second line center besides Jaden Schwartz and Magnus Paajarvi, while Ivan Barbashev—who has impressed in his short time with the club—will move to the wing beside Jori Lehtera.
- Mathew Dumba, who hasn’t played since February 10th is physically ready to play according to head coach Bruce Boudreau. The coach hasn’t committed to letting him play tomorrow against the Chicago Blackhawks, and since Jonas Brodin has returned recently he could play it a little slowly with Dumba to make sure he is at no risk of re-injuring himself.
- Mike Chambers of the Denver Post reports that Erik Johnson and Rene Bourque both skated today at Colorado Avalanche practice. Both players were in red non-contact sweaters, but it is a good sign for them going forward. Bourque has just 13 points this season, but could be someone who could fill a bottom-six role on a contender if he can prove he’s healthy enough to contribute.