1. Coyotes get a break
After being outscored 16-6 over the past week, losing in Minnesota to Devan Dubnyk and the Wild and finding out Mikkel Boedker will be out 4-6 weeks, the Arizona Coyotes needed a break. All-Star festivities will give the squad a well-timed week off and a chance to regroup before a long east coast road trip.
2. OEL heads to Columbus
As some Coyotes head to the AHL to get playing time and others enjoy a week of rest, Oliver Ekman-Larsson will represent the team at the 2015 NHL All-Star Game and its surrounding festivities. While OEL's defensive consistency has been called into question this year, his play with the puck forces one to mention his name while discussing the league's best blue liners.
3. Mike McKenna gets a shot
After trading Dubnyk to the Wild, the Coyotes recalled Mike Lee from the ECHL to serve as their backup goaltender. Lee, however, joined a slew of Yotes in a trip to the AHL during All-Star week, and Portland goalie Mike McKenna was subsequently promoted to the NHL squad. Will he see any time between the pipes when NHL action resumes next week? That remains to be seen.
4. Ovechkin no like goal cam
5. Inaugural mascot showdown
This year's All-Star events will feature the first-ever Mascot game, with 13 Eastern Conference mascots going to battle against 13 of their Western Conference counterparts. Howler will indeed be representing the West on Friday, Jan. 23 at 7 p.m. ET.
1. Boedker's busted spleen
After being atop our Hot list last week, Boedker finds himself on top again, but this time for the wrong reasons. The young forward looked similar to himself during the first few games of his season, scoring goals almost on a nightly basis, until he was forced to have his spleen removed following Sunday's game against the Winnipeg Jets. The timetable for his return, as stated above, is 4-6 weeks.
2. Four games, one point
It was a rough seven days for the already struggling Coyotes. Four games, four losses, six goals and one measly point keeps them in the McEichel conversation.
3. Rundblad's revenge
As if losing to Dubnyk on Saturday wasn't painful enough, last night's embarrassment against the Chicago Blackhawks featured a late goal by David Rundblad, an ex-Yote who saw little ice time during his stint in the desert. Lately the Blackhawks are seemingly always capable of a deep playoff run, and Rundblad could be along for the ride this time around.
4. Zac Rinaldo
It was announced today that Rinaldo will receive an in-person hearing with the NHL after boarding and injuring Penguins defenseman Kris Letang. Given his history as an agitator, he will most likely receive a suspension of at least a few games. Even the folks over at Broad Street Hockey admit willingly that he's an embarrassment to the game.