NHL notes: Giguere says teammates more worried about Vegas

Avalanche goaltender J.S. Giguere. (DAVE ABEL/QMI Agency)

Avalanche goaltender J.S. Giguere. (DAVE ABEL/QMI Agency)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:04 PM ET

J.S. Giguere ripped his teammates a new one Monday night following a 3-1 loss to the Calgary Flames.

The Colorado Avalanche goaltender vented his frustration regarding his team's effort of late. The Avs have lost five games in a row and are last place in the NHL with 29 points in 39 games.

"Some guys are more worried about their (Las) Vegas trip at the end of the season than playing the games," Giguere told the Denver Post. "Quite frankly, I don't care about your Vegas trip right now."

Asked what was truly behind the team's problems, the NHL veteran couldn't nail it to a single point.

"I don't know why we seem like we don't care at points.”

Giguere was then asked about his team's status a month ago when the Avs were floating around a .500 record and had stopped the Chicago Blackhawks' historic win streak at 24 games.

"But that was just one game,” Giguere said. “It's easy to get going when you play a team that is going to embarrass you if you don't play well.

“But can you get yourself going when you play the Calgary Flames? Can you do that right now? And obviously, we're too immature to do that."

KOVALCHUK HOPES TO RETURN SOON

The struggling New Jersey Devils will have to wait just a little longer for Ilya Kovalchuk's return to the lineup.

The Russian forward practiced Tuesday for the first time since suffering a right shoulder injury on March 23. During his absence, the Devils have gone 0-3-4.

"We all know the situation we are in and I want to be back as soon as possible," Kovalchuk told NHL.com.

But the Devils, sitting tied for 9th heading into Tuesday's games, won't rush his recovery.

"We're not going to put his safety in jeopardy, but we're not going to wait until he's 100% to get him back," Devils coach Peter DeBoer said. "That's not realistic."

STAAL BACK ON ICE FOR RANGERS

Marc Staal skated for the first time since taking a puck just above his right eye in a game last month.

The New York Rangers defenceman was on the ice before the team practiced Tuesday afternoon at their training facility in Greenburgh, N.Y.

He has missed the last 18 games.

The 26-year-old suffered the injury when Philadelphia Flyers forward Jakub Voracek deflected the puck in a March 8 game at Madison Square Garden.

Although he has not worn a visor in the NHL, Staal is expected to use one when he returns to the lineup, which reportedly could be in the next 7-10 days.

HEATLEY GOES UNDER KNIFE

Dany Heatley underwent shoulder surgery at the Cleveland Clinic on Tuesday, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.

The Minnesota Wild forward was injured at the end of an April 3 game against the San Jose Sharks when he got into an altercation with former teammate Marc-Edouard Vlasic.

Wild head coach Mike Yeo hopes to have Heatley back before the end of the regular season.

Heatley has 11 goals and 10 assists in 36 games this year.

WINGS EXPECT HELM TO MISS SEASON

Detroit Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock doesn't have high hopes that Darren Helm will return to the lineup with nine games left this season.

"He's not going to play hockey ... this year, I don't think," Babcock told the Detroit Free Press. "So we've got to get ourselves into the playoffs and be ready to go without him."

The Wings’ speedy centre appeared in just one game this season due to back problems.

Helm, 26, has 32 goals and 83 points in 249 career regular-season games.

BRUINS TO BRING IN BIG SWEDE

The Boston Bruins are set to add another player to their potent lineup.

ESPN Boston is reporting a multi-year contract between the Bruins and Swedish forward Carl Soderberg has been agreed upon.

An official transfer from the Swedish Ice Hockey Association is all that is holding up the 27-year-old from playing in Boston for the rest of the season and playoffs.

"I think we'd like to try him on the wing first and see if he's comfortable there," Bruins president Cam Neely told Boston sports radio station 98.5 the Sports Hub.

The 6-foot-3, 210-pound forward has never played in the NHL. The Bruins acquired his rights in a 2007 trade that sent goaltender Hannu Toivonen to the St. Louis Blues.

 


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