NHL Morning Links - Oct. 25 

October, 25, 2013
Examining the fallout from the offseason moves that brought Bobby Ryan east and saw Daniel Alfredsson reject his NHL club of 17 years for a red and white jersey south of the border, ESPN Insider Craig Custance takes an early look at how the Ottawa Senators, Anaheim Ducks and Detroit Red Wings are faring to start the 2013-14 campaign. Other Insider content showcases Neil Greenberg crunching the numbers in trying to figure out whether Sidney Crosby can top the 150-point mark this season. Pittsburgh Penguins devotees, and hockey fans in general, should enjoy Greenberg’s conclusions.

The Nashville Predators will have to make do without their No. 1 netminder for most, if not all, of November. Pekka Rinne is out a minimum of four weeks with what’s described as a bacterial infection in his hip. It’s a huge loss for a defensive-styled team that relies heavily on quality goaltending. But before you start visualizing Ilya Bryzgalov or any other experienced free-agent goalie in a Predators jersey, bear in mind GM David Poile initially intends to throw the reigns to the club’s own young prospects, Carter Hutton and Magnus Hellberg. Poile told ESPN’s Scott Burnside as much Thursday afternoon. And while the sample size is small (three games), Hutton has looked solid in his rookie campaign.

Thursday was unkind to more than one prominent NHL netminder. Both Cam Ward of the Carolina Hurricanes and Josh Harding of the Minnesota Wild succumbed to injuries in the same game. While Ward is expected to be sidelined three to four weeks with a lower-body injury, the extent of Harding’s injury is still unknown. Look for Mike Murphy to back up Justin Peters in Carolina, and Niklas Backstrom to shoulder the load for Minnesota if Harding is hurt at all seriously.