The Dump and Chase – 03/30/2011

Calder Trophy Race Too Close To Call

San Jose’s Logan Couture and Carolina’s Jeff Skinner are neck and neck in the battle for the NHL’s rookie of the year, according to a USA Today poll that includes our good friends Greg Wyshynski and Justin Bourne of Puck Daddy. Chicago’s rookie netminder Corey Crawford and waiver wire treasure Michael Grabner are garnering support for their great seasons, too. My vote, if I had one, would be with my pre-season pick in Couture.

Canucks Issues Statement on Malhotra

Via Vancouver Canucks official site:

After further consultation with specialists and team doctors, today Vancouver Canucks forward Manny Malhotra underwent a second successful eye procedure. Manny Malhotra’s health continues to be the primary concern of the hockey club. Progress updates will be made available at the appropriate time. No further comment is planned at this time.

MacDonald Making Most of Chance In Red Wings Net

Pictou, Nova Scotia native Joey MacDonald, whom I probably buried a dozen goals on by age 10, is drawing praise from Detroit’s management and coaching staff. Via Ansar Khan at MLive:

“He has taken the opportunity and run with it,” Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said. “His numbers are fantastic (2.13 goals-against average, .928 save percentage in 14 appearances). He’s big, square, he competes.”

“When we signed him, we knew we were hedging our bet (against injuries),” coach Mike Babcock said. “He’s capable and he’s mentally tough enough.”

…And You Will Know Eric Staal By The Trail of Blood

Carolina’s Eric Staal was clipped with a high stick in the Hurricanes’ 3-2 win over Washington on Tuesday and Capitals Outsider has some exclusive shots of the bloody mess he left behind.

Brett Hull: Blame Oshie’s Teammates for Absence

Today in blatant idiocy, NHL legend Brett Hull believes that good teammates would never let another player miss a practice. Via St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

“I put less blame on him and blame his teammates. When we played together … ‘Chaser’ (Kelly Chase), ‘Oatsie’ (Adam Oates) and ‘Shanny’ (Brendan Shanahan) … we took care of each other. That never would have happened. Someone would have been at his house getting him up and getting him to practice.

So to me, I would blame more the teammates than I would him. You’ve got to take care of each other, especially that team. They’re so young. They’ve got such an opportunity to bond together and be a great team. There’s so much talent there. They’ve got to take care of each other in those situations off the ice.”

Shawn Thornton Cut by Skate, Taunted by Hawks Bench

Boston’s Shawn Thornton suffered a nasty cut on his face from a skate blade which would eventually require 40 stitches to close. Something was said to Thornton as he skated by the Blackhawks bench and the bloodied enforcer wasn’t too impressed by whatever it was.