Sports

NHL pluses and minuses: Blues honor Jaden Schwartz's late sister

St. Louis BluesJaden SchwartzJoe PavelskiPhiladelphia FlyersChicago BlackhawksJoe ThorntonAnaheim Ducks

Times columnist Helene Elliott rates the pluses and minuses in the NHL from the previous week:

Plus

+ Kudos to the St. Louis Blues for detouring during an East Coast trip to practice at Yale on Friday and attend a women's hockey game in honor of Mandi Schwartz, the late sister of Blues forward Jaden Schwartz. The team's presence helped raise awareness and funds for a foundation established in her name. Mandi, a former Yale hockey player, died of leukemia in April 2011.

+ The Winnipeg Jets are enjoying a post-coaching-change bounce. They've won six of seven games since Paul Maurice replaced Claude Noel and their victims include the league-leading Ducks — Anaheim's only regulation loss at home this season — and the No. 2 Chicago Blackhawks.

+ Good news for fans of the U.S. Olympic team: San Jose Sharks forward Joe Pavelski just had a scoring spree of six goals in three games and 19 in 21. He paused Saturday to dish off a couple of assists to Joe Thornton. Through Sunday's games Pavelski led all Americans in the NHL with 28 goals.

Minus

- The Montreal Canadiens held a closed-door meeting Saturday after a 5-0 loss to the Washington Capitals, their fourth straight defeat. Goaltender Carey Price was "mercifully" pulled for the second time in three games, according to Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette, because of "a rudderless lineup in front of him throwing him a cement life raft." Ouch.

- Playing their last game at the United Center until March 4, the Blackhawks on Sunday scored the first goal but gave up the next three in a 3-1 loss to Winnipeg. They have a six-game trip before the Olympic break, another game on the road afterward, and a Stadium Series outdoor game against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Soldier Field on March 1.

- After seeming to solve their eternal goaltending problem, the Philadelphia Flyers are shaky again. Steve Mason has been pulled twice in three games since he signed a three-year, $12.3-million contract extension and has been pulled in three of his last six starts. The Flyers have lost three straight and seven of their last 10.

helene.elliott@latimes.com

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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St. Louis BluesJaden SchwartzJoe PavelskiPhiladelphia FlyersChicago BlackhawksJoe ThorntonAnaheim Ducks
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