No Controversy Left in NHL

With Sean Avery’s reassignment to the AHL and seemingly self-inflicted muzzle working (for now), it’s very hard to find controversies in the NHL.

You’d think there’d be one in Philadelphia, but Flyers coach John Stevens is a pretty smart guy. His former number one goalie, Marty Biron, has lost the starting job to Antero Niittymaki, but if Stevens won’t concede that, did it really happen?

Biron and the Flyers coaching staff say Biron’s recent struggles are mechanical and mental, which, as near as I can tell, are the two components of goaltending. Maybe the spiritual side of Biron’s game is just fine?

Biron goes through periods like this, though. He had a similar bad stretch last season and eventually he won his job back. Biron is a strong goalie, but he can’t be your only option. Luckily, for the Flyers, they have a strong tandem.

Another strong goalie tandem? New Jersey’s Scott Clemmensen and the ghost of Martin Brodeur.

Brodeur in inching closer to a comeback with Clemmensen pretty much resigned to give the net back to him. Clemmensen has been strong in Brodeur’s absence, but no one seems to be even pretending Brodeur will have to earn his job back. It seems like once he’s able to play, he’ll be the starting goalie.

And Clemmensen will wish for a team more open to a goalie controversy.

There’s no goalie controversy in Dallas. Marty Turco’s numbers are improving as the Stars have stepped-up their game.

Last night, Joe Thornton returned to Boston for just the second time since he was traded to San Jose. Pretty controversial, right? Still a huge game for Thornton, right? Nope: “It’s just another game on the schedule.”

Thanks for your candor, Joe.