Friday, October 11, 2013
NHL Morning Links - Oct. 11
By Tim Kavanagh
Thursday's slate of Insider content included Craig Custance's look at why Jaroslav Halak is playing better this season, and how his resurgence makes the Blues a Cup contender. In addition, Corey Pronman provided an update on the top NHL prospects after a few weeks of play in the Canadian junior leagues and international leagues. Let's move on to the links.
In the preseason, many were hyping the Bruins' new addition, Loui Eriksson, as a key part of their offense for 2013-14. Unfortunately, that hasn't happened yet, and no one really knows why. For now, it doesn't seem that a line combo change is on the way.
A health update on the Rick Nash front: the latest report has him being out for another seven to 10 days. In Thursday's game, Alain Vigneault stuck Ryan Callahan on the first line with Brad Richards and Benoit Pouliot, while Derek Stepan centered Jesper Fast and Taylor Pyatt.
Leafs defenseman Morgan Rielly is making the club's decision on his 2013-14 whereabouts a difficult one with performances like Thursday's. They've got some time left -- he's only skated in three games thus far -- but this seems like a tough call.
Another top prospect that's seeing a lot of work early on this season is Jets blueliner Jacob Trouba. He played on the top pairing with Zach Bogosian during the Jets' loss Thursday, and that could be a sign of things to come.
There could be some changes to the Devils' lines again, as Adam Henrique was back at center in practice Thursday, between Michael Ryder and Ryane Clowe. Henrique had been skating on the wing.
The Wild are giving Nino Niederreiter a chance: in Thursday's game, he skated on the top line with Mikko Koivu and Zach Parise, with Mikael Granlund centering Jason Pominville and Dany Heatley on the second. He didn't manage to find his way on the score sheet, but did manage three shots on goal. We'll see how long this line sticks.
Flames president Brian Burke had some harsh public comments for Sven Baertschi a couple weeks back, and Baertschi has responded nicely. Tough love works sometimes, folks.
The Penguins' prospect base is lacking in offensive punch, but they have a lot of strength on the blue line. One member of the group, Olli Maatta, is making the Penguins' decision on him very difficult, as he's looked like he belongs in his three games thus far.
"Regression? We don't need no stinkin' regression!" And fortunately for the Sharks, Antti Niemi hasn't really regressed from last season (yet). In fact, he's been as much of a part of their early season success as anyone.