News and notes from around the NHL this evening:
- The Los Angeles Kings seem content to go with goaltender Peter Budaj during the playoff run stretch, reports LA Kings Insider Jon Rosen. Kings head coach Darryl Sutter articulated that the upcoming deadline had no effect on injured goaltender Jonathan Quick’s recovery timeline—the organization will not start Quick earlier than planned just to see if they need to add something at the deadline. This implies that the Kings will not seek additional goaltending help. Overall, the Kings have to be satisfies with Budaj’s performance so far. He’s gone 26-19-3 with a .916 SV% and a 2.14 GAA, and a league-leading 7 shutouts. Budaj, however, has lost 5 of his last six, though peeled off five straight wins—with three shutouts—before that.
- Toronto Maple Leafs forward Brooks Laich indicated to media today that he would like to go to a playoff contender if the Maple Leafs do not plan to use him this season. Laich has spent the entire season in the AHL with the Toronto Marlies, and has seen other forwards—Josh Leivo and Frederik Gauthier—receive callups to the big league. Part of the reason that Laich remains in the AHL is that the Leafs have been relatively injury-free this year. The organization has had little need for AHL replacements, and as a result veteran players like Laich get left behind. While one cannot blame an organization for wanting to test out its younger prospects, Laich’s feelings are sure to gather sympathy with the front office. The Maple Leafs have already traded away rarely-used forward Peter Holland, and could do the same to Brooks Laich.
- Colorado Avalanche defenseman Nikita Zadorov is out for the remainder of the season, the team announced today. Zadorov hurt his ankle today in practice after tangling up with forward Mikko Rantanen. The 21 year-old defensive prospect has 0G and 10A for the Avalanche while averaging just over 19 minutes a night. With Colorado mired in last place—the next worst team is 12 points ahead of them—there is no reason to rush Zadorov back.