CBCSports.ca senior reporter Tim Wharnsby dishes out the latest news, buzz and inside information in the hockey world.
Five things you should know
1. Teenagers abound. There are 18 of them on NHL rosters — Josh Bailey of the New York Islanders and Colin Wilson of the Nashville Predators, who scored his first NHL goal Wednesday, turned 20 earlier this month — and we're witnessing some impressive exploits every evening. Youngster Tyler Myers scored his second goal for the Buffalo Sabres and John Tavares chipped in a shootout goal for the Islanders on Wednesday.
2. The teenagers in the NHL this season: Dmitry Kulikov, 18 (Florida), Evander Kane, 18 (Altanta), Ryan O’Reilly, 18 (Colorado), Matt Duchene, 18 (Colorado), Victor Hedman, 18 (Tampa), Tavares, 19, Zach Bogosian, 18 (Atlanta), Mike Del Zotto, 19 (NY Rangers), Nikita Filatov, 19 (Columbus), Erik Karlsson, 19 (Ottawa), James Wright, 19 (Tampa), Myers, 19, Steven Stamkos, 19 (Tampa), Alex Pietrangelo, 19 (St. Louis), Luca Sbisa, 19 (Anaheim), Drew Doughty, 19 (Los Angeles), Mikkel Boedker, 19 (Phoenix), Luke Schenn, 19 (Toronto).
3. The mystery has been solved as to how Bruins centre Marc Savard came down with a broken left foot four days after his last game. He had been playing with a sore foot for three weeks, and after getting dinged on top of his skate in practice Tuesday, Savard had the ailment examined and that’s when the broken bone was discovered.
4. Toronto Maple Leafs rookie goalie Jonas Gustavsson, who has been out with a groin injury, would not rule out a possible return to action against the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday, but also would not commit to a return. He stated he will not decide whether he is ready to play until after practice on Friday.
5. The Detroit Red Wings hope to have Pavel Datsyuk (upper body) back in the lineup Thursday night when they begin an important road in Phoenix before visiting Colorado, Vancouver, Edmonton and Calgary. Surprisingly, all five teams are ahead of the Red Wings (3-3-1) in the Western Conference standings after 21 days of the regular season.
Three stars from Wednesday’s games
1. Patrice Bergeron, Boston. With Savard (foot) missing, Bruins coach Claude Julien put David Krejci in his spot on the top line. But it was Bergeron who elevated his game with a big goal in the Bruins' win over the Nashville Predators.
2. Mikko Koivu, Minnesota. He was made the first permanent captain in Wild history earlier this week and responded by scoring the game-tying goal and again in the shootout for Minnesota’s home victory over the Colorado Avalanche.
3. Michael Grabner, Vancouver. Canucks two-way forward Ryan Kesler took the hit to make the play, but give credit to 22-year-old Grabner of Austria for scoring his first NHL goal, the game-tying marker against the Chicago Blackhawks, after being foiled on a couple of dandy chances earlier in the game.