Wholesale Columbus Blue Jackets Jersey

Carlsson, 20, has recorded one assist with the Blue Jackets

The Columbus Blue Jackets have recalled defenseman Gabriel Carlsson from the Cleveland Monsters, Columbus’ American Hockey League affiliate, club General Manager Jarmo Kekalainen announced today.

Carlsson, 20, has recorded 0-1-1 and two penalty minutes in 10 games with the Blue Jackets and has collected four penalty minutes in six contests with the Monsters this season. He has tallied 0-2-2 and two penalty minutes in 12 career regular season games since making his NHL debut at the end of the 2016-17 season. The Orebro, Sweden native has registered 0-1-1, six penalty minutes and an “even” plus/minus rating in nine career AHL games with Cleveland. He was Columbus’ second first round pick, 29th overall, in the 2015 NHL Draft.

Wholesale Dallas Stars Jersey

The Western Conference standings are beginning to get tighter and tighter. That’s intriguing news for the Dallas Stars, whose margin for error is shrinking as a result.

With 31 regular season games behind them, the Dallas Stars have a lot to look back and reflect on.

There have been some rocky lows, some thrilling highs, and some altogether confusing in-betweens through the first 38 percent of the season. But all of it combined together has made for a pretty interesting run.

It’s also helped craft an overall record of 17-13-1 for the Stars. That’s 35 points in 31 games, which is respectable. It may not be as high as Dallas Stars fans expected it to be at this point in the season, but it’s definitely better than the 12-13-6 mark that they held at this point in last season.

As the Stars continue to search for a consistent identity for their team, the standings are consistently fluctuating. And that is beginning to bring some interesting conversations to light, specifically for Dallas.

After the win against the New York Rangers on Monday night, the Dallas Stars improved to 35 points on the year. This win effectively wiped out a three-game losing skid and gave the Stars a much-needed boost. It also helped vault the Stars back into the playoff picture.

Just a little over a week ago, Dallas was four points out of third place in the Central Division. They had won five games in a row and looked like serious contenders. But after losing three straight, they were bumped from the postseason picture altogether.

That just goes to show how tight the standings are right now. And it looks as though they are only getting tighter, meaning the Stars have less and less room for error.

With Monday night’s win, Dallas jumped into the first wild card spot in the Western Conference. But it didn’t last long.

After a 2-1 shootout victory over the Calgary Flames tonight, the Minnesota Wild picked up their 34th and 35th points of the season. Considering they have done this in only 30 games, they took sole control of the first wild card spot and bumped Dallas to the second seed.

With St. Louis (32 games, 44 points), Winnipeg (31 games, 41 points), and Nashville (29 games, 30 points) all holding steady in the top three spots in the Central Division, the Stars are currently scrapping simply for a wild card spot. That’s becoming tougher and tougher, though, as more teams join the race and attempt to state their claim.

Here is a look at the standings as of Wednesday morning in the Western Conference wild card race.

WC1. Minnesota Wild 30 GP 35 PTS

WC2. Dallas Stars 31 GP 35 PTS

3. Chicago Blackhawks 31 GP 35 PTS

4. Calgary Flames 31 GP 35 PTS

5. Anaheim Ducks 31 GP 33 PTS

6. Vancouver Canucks 31 GP 32 PTS

As you can see, the race is rather airtight. Only three points separate the top six teams in the wild card standings.

That creates a decent amount of pressure for the teams currently at the front of the race (i.e. Minnesota and Dallas). The pressure is on to keep the intensity alive and continue producing at a high rate.

Chicago has won three in a row, Calgary is 2-0-2 in their last four games, and Anaheim has points in each of their past five games. The teams around the Stars are staying hot and starting to generate a push.

It’s going to be up to Dallas to push back and create a streak of their own. With it being December, there is still plenty of time left before we start watching the standings. But until then, they are helpful to keep around.

It’s still early in the year and there is plenty of time for teams to go one way or the other. But as it stands right now, the Dallas Stars are in for a real show over the next few games as they look to battle it out and keep themselves in the wild card running. Any one slip-up could be detrimental and pin the Stars in a hole that they then have to fight their way out of.

Getting buried in the standings took a toll on the Stars last season. Will it happen again this year? It’s all up to how the team plays, and that play continues tonight at 6:00 p.m. against the New York Islanders.

Wholesale Detroit Red Wings Jersey

Darren Helm (43) and the Red Wings played a complete game in Tuesday's victory over Winnipeg.The Detroit Red Wings took advantage of a lull in their schedule to practice making plays in tight spaces, and again focused on winning puck battles.

They don’t play again until Saturday when they host the St. Louis Blues, allowing for a 50-minute practice Wednesday that included small games emphasizing making plays. The mood was light after Tuesday’s 5-1 victory over Winnipeg ended a seven-game losing streak.

“It was huge for us to start good, that is what we have been focusing on,” Tomas Tatar said, after he’d done a reading of “A Visit from St. Nicholas” for team personnel. “It just feels way better when you lead. We had 16 shots after the first and they had three, and then we talked about it in the locker room, like hey, we have to continue to play some way, don’t let them get back on the horse.”

“We pressured them all night and just played really good hockey. We had maybe like 18 turnovers. The one in Montreal we had 43. So that is a huge difference. We just have to play the right way, play smart, and the system will take care of us. We just have to continue to be better every day.”

It speaks to how tight the NHL is that the Wings could go through a stretch where they banked just three of a possible 14 points and still remain within two points of third place in the Atlantic Division. It speaks to the Wings’ need to play as well as they did Tuesday, after the poor hockey that defined last week.

“It is a little bit mind-boggling sometimes when you look around this room and see how much talent we have,” Frans Nielsen said. “We find ways to beat ourselves. We can’t stop the bleeding when it’s going on for some reason. It was good to see us show up last night and play that way for almost 60 minutes.

“We just have to realize that was only one game. We have to learn from it and keep doing that. Something has happened lately when we got scored on, but I think we kept playing yesterday. That was another thing that was good to see, that it didn’t bother us too much that they got that goal. We felt good about our game and we just kept going.”

The first period against the Jets was as good a start as the Wings have had all season. It will be needed against the Blues, who, like the Jets, are one of the best teams in the NHL.

“We need to have the same start,” Anthony Mantha said. “We outshot them, we caused a couple penalties, so that is key. I think it came down to being simple — lots of shots on net, easy plays, just giving it to the open guy instead of forcing a play.”

Power play focus

Special teams will come under scrutiny at Friday’s practice. The Wings had two long 5-on-3s (totaling 2:59) and were 0-for-4 during 5-on-4s (5:41). “Our power play let us down,” coach Jeff Blashill said. “It let us down in Montreal in a 3-0 game that you could really change it and make it 3-1, instead it’s 4-0 because you give up a shortie. It’s been in the top 10 here in the last number of weeks. I like that both units seem to have competitiveness to them. I thought the first 5-on-3 was good, we had tons of good looks. The second was no good at all. We’ll work on it. For us to be a playoff team, we have to have both special teams unit probably in the top 10.”

Lineup math

The Wings went back to 12 forwards and six defensemen Tuesday, after experimenting with 11 and seven for several games. Blashill said the latter is “not easy for the defensemen. Sometimes they struggle to get in rhythm. Early when we did it we had success, and we didn’t have as much success later. I also thought, David Booth has played pretty good hockey for us in minimal minutes and putting him there allowed us to be a little bit more of a four-line team. Winnipeg’s top two lines are really good, but we felt we could win the four-line battle.”

Prospects note

The Wings’ first-round pick from 2016, Dennis Cholowski, was among the list of invitees to Team Canada’s world juniors camp. Defenseman Kasper Kotkansalo, a 2017 third-round pick, was invited to Team Finland’s camp.