NHL News – April 20, 2010

Sharks expect Heatley back for Game 4

Tampa Bay Lightning appears interested in GM candidate Doug Risebrough

Cheechoo to play in Game 4?

Coyotes’ Shane Doan , Vernon Fiddler might play in Game 4

Sharks expect Heatley back for Game 4

Without star forward Dany Heatley , San Jose produced 51 shots in Sunday’s Game 3 loss to the Avalanche.

Given that Heatley led the Sharks with 280 shots in the regular season and was second in goals with 39, coach Todd McLellan said a key piece of the team’s offense was missing in the 1-0 setback at the Pepsi Center.

“I’d like to think that if he’s in the lineup and we have another 50 or 55 shots on goal and he’s in on some of them, eventually the puck is going to go in the net,” McLellan said Monday at the team hotel. “So (not having him) hurt us, but I was especially proud of the players that picked up the slack.”

Heatley, who played in all 82 regular-season games for the Sharks, is expected to return to the
lineup for tonight’s Game 4 at the Pepsi Center.

He was scratched Sunday with what the team is calling a lower-body injury suffered in Game 2. He was replaced by Manny Malhotra.

Upon further review.

Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle no longer thinks he lost the game for his team by scoring on his own goal.

After reviewing video of the Avs’ game-winning play, he’s convinced the Avs’ Ryan O’Reilly redirected his backhand pass, causing it to carom off goalie Evgeni Nabokov and into the net.

“On TV it’s not obvious . . . but definitely, right away he puts his stick right there, and I’m trying to go around the boards with it, and it ends up going, obviously, in the net,” Boyle said Monday.


Tampa Bay Lightning appears interested in GM candidate Doug Risebrough

The person whose name has been the most whispered regarding the Lightning’s search for a general manager for the first time Monday confirmed and spoke about his interest in the job.

“Yes,” Doug Risebrough said, “I’m very interested.”

Tampa Bay apparently has asked for permission to speak to Risebrough, the former Wild general manager who is a scout/consultant for the Rangers.

Risebrough would not confirm contact with the Lightning, and the Rangers declined comment. But given Risebrough’s close relationship with Jac Sperling, a former Wild alternate governor who is spearheading Tampa Bay’s general manager and CEO searches, it is not unreasonable to believe there might already have been preliminary talks.

Owner Jeff Vinik has said he wants both positions filled before the June 25-26 draft.

“I think the way they’re doing it and going about it is the right approach,” Risebrough said. “They’re taking their time. The most important thing is getting it right.”

Risebrough, 56, who played for the Canadiens and Flames in a 13-year career, was the expansion Wild’s general manager through its first eight seasons and led the team to a division title and three playoff appearances. He was fired after a disappointing 2008-09 as part of a housecleaning by owner Craig Leipold.

“Right now, it’s a good young team,” Risebrough said of the Lightning. “It deserves a good, bright future.”


to play in Game 4?

Jonathan Cheechoo is itching for a chance to salvage his season.

He’s also anxious for the opportunity to give the Senators something they didn’t get much of from him before his February demotion to Binghamton: Consistency and offence.

“I’ve played in the playoffs before, I’ve made it to the conference final,” Cheechoo said after Monday’s practice with the Senators. “I think I can bring a little bit of grit and a little bit of scoring.”

With only three goals in losing the last two games of their best-of-seven with the Penguins, coach Cory Clouston confirmed the Senators are considering “one or two” lineup changes for Tuesday’s Game 4. He said Cheechoo and/or Shean Donovan are the players he’s thinking about adding.

Ryan Shannon would be the likely candidate to come out of the lineup.

Between them, Cheechoo and Donovan have 105 games of playoff experience. While Donovan has been with the team all season, Cheechoo returned after clearing re-entry waivers last week.

He had 14 points (eight goals) in 25 games with the Baby Senators after scoring 14 points (five goals) in 61 games for Ottawa.

“I thought I played real well down there,” said Cheechoo . “I feel good about my game. I feel confident. If I get a chance, hopefully I can show them something.”

Asked if he harboured any bitter feelings about being sent down, he added: “It is what it is. I was still playing hockey down there. We had a great group of guys down there and we made a push for the playoffs. It was fun to be a part of that.”

, who still has another year on his contract that pays him a $3-million salary, considers himself a “playoff performer.


Coyotes’ Shane Doan , Vernon Fiddler might play in Game 4

Coyotes coach Dave Tippett was optimistic about having injured forwards Shane Doan and Vernon Fiddler in the lineup tonight for Game 4 against the Red Wings.

Doan appeared to injure his right shoulder after falling into the end boards in the second period of a 4-2 victory over the Wings at Joe Louis Arena on Sunday. Doan missed the rest of the game and skated briefly before the rest of the Coyotes practiced Monday.

Tippett said Doan was day-to-day.

“I think we’ll get a good indication tomorrow morning, whether he’s going to be able to play,” Tippett said Monday. “He was in good spirits today, so that was positive.”

So was Fiddler, who missed Game 3 because of an upper-body injury.

“I did a full practice and participated in all the drills,” Fiddler said. “I felt pretty good for most part of the practice. Obviously, have a little skate tomorrow and hopefully I’m good to go.

“I felt good today. I’ve taken a couple days off. It’s just something that gets better and better as the days go on.”

Fiddler said it was tough to sit out Game 3.

“The guys did a great job,” Fiddler said. “There’s lots of guys that stepped up. Doaner got hurt. There’s some guys who took on extra minutes and did a good job.”

Doan is the captain of the Coyotes, so his absence would be significant.

Having Fiddler back, though, should be a boost. He’s a dependable penalty killer who has won 23 of 40 face-offs in the first two games, including six of nine (67%) against Henrik Zetterberg and seven of nine (78%) against Pavel Datsyuk in Game 1.

“He’s a very good penalty killer, just one of those guys that typifies how our team plays,” Tippett said of Fiddler . “He’s just all in all the time. He’s a hard player to play against.

“If we can get him back tomorrow that will certainly help.”


One Response to NHL News – April 20, 2010

  1. pensfan29 says:

    Cheechoo will be on the 4th line tonight.  I don't see him being much of a factor.  A former Rocket Richard winner with 56 goals could only put up 14 points in 25 games in the AHL?  I think he is done, but we will see tonight.  He has 1 goal and 2 assists on the season against the Pens.  If anything, the Pens will have to respect his (one-time) ability to put up good numbers in the NHL.

    Pens win 5-2

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