Star of the Week jinx? Samuelsson out 2-3 weeks

mikael.jpgAs far as I know, there’s no concrete award for being named the NHL’s player of the week, but surely Mikael Samuelsson could think of a better way to celebrate than to be injured for 2-3 weeks. Right?

All kidding aside, it’s been an up and down season for the Swedish winger. The Vancouver Sun reports that he’ll miss up to three weeks with the always nebulous “upper body injury.”

That injury, thought to be shoulder-related, was suffered late in Tuesday night’s 5-2 loss to the New York Islanders.

Canuck coach Alain Vigneault acknowledged the loss of Samuelsson is a significant blow to his team.

“He had been playing real well,” Vigneault said after his team’s practice today at General Motors Place. “He just got named first star in the NHL last week so obviously he was contributing to our success and it’s something we are going to have to deal with.”

Samuelsson had been one of the Canucks’ hottest offensive players of late. He has recorded 30 goals and 53 points this season. Both are career highs.

Along with posting career highs in points, Samuelsson also made waves when he shared some profanity-laced responses upon hearing news of being left off the Swedish Olympic team. Considering his solid chemistry with the Sedin twins, one cannot help but wonder if his right-handed shot could have come in handy for what turned out to be an underwhelming Swedish team.

Michael Grabner has been called up to replace him.

Video: Josh Ho-Sang’s creativity gives Islanders a shot in the arm

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Honestly, after 10 games, the question shouldn’t be “can Josh Ho-Sang stick with the Islanders full-time?” Instead, the feeling is … what took so long for him to get this chance?

For all the grumbling about Ho-Sang sporting number 66, he’s provided serious bursts of brilliance and creativity for the Islanders, whether he’s been supporting or even setting up John Tavares.

The video above is some really good stuff, as it walks through his confident comments – and undeniable uncertainty – during the night he was drafted, all the way through him getting his chance with the Isles this season. Some of the best stuff comes from Doug Weight, who raves that Ho-Sang is a “five out of five” from an offensive standpoint.

Auston Matthews’ 33rd goal includes a dash of comedy (Video)

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This wouldn’t have been worth a chuckle if not for the correction. (Well, maybe a chuckle at Auston Matthews‘ expense.)

On the 33rd goal of his brilliant rookie season, Auston Matthews made it 2-0 for Toronto on the power play. Crusty “act like you’ve been there” types might grumble that he actually celebrated before a goal really happened, only to tap it in for real the second time around. The rest of us, again, get a mild chuckle.

William Nylander‘s pass was nothing to laugh at, however. That one just gets a big thumbs up.

Hnnngmgghh indeed.

That goal could end up being key as the Blue Jackets quickly scored to start the second period, shrinking Toronto’s lead to 2-1 on Wednesday.

Video: Leafs’ Carrick delivers thunderous hit on Blue Jackets’ Anderson

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Both the Columbus Blue Jackets and Toronto Maple Leafs have motivation to win their Wednesday game, but the Maple Leafs need it more.

So far, it shows, too.

The Maple Leafs have raced off to a 2-0 lead, with Auston Matthews scoring his 33rd goal of the season. If generating such offense didn’t highlight the urgency, Connor Carrick‘s huge hit on Josh Anderson makes a compelling argument. Witness that big impact in the video above.

There was also another high-impact moment when Nick Foligno went crashing into the boards:

Ouch, Blues consider Paul Stastny out week-to-week

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The St. Louis Blues announced that Paul Stastny is out week-to-week with a lower-body injury.

Stastny was limited to less than four minutes of ice time during last night’s 4-2 win against the Colorado Avalanche. Initially, head coach Mike Yeo indicated that the issue wasn’t serious.

There are only about three weeks left in the regular season, so it’s tough to tell if “week-to-week” would mean that the Blues will be without Stastny for any playoff time.

With Stastny out for an expended period of time and other injuries affecting Blues forwards, it sounds like Nail Yakupov gets another chance to prove himself:

Stastny generated 18 goals and 40 points in 66 games so far this season. He has played more of a defensive role this season (46.2 offensive zone start percentage after being closer to 50 earlier in his Blues days) and has been impressive in the dot, winning 53.8 of his faceoffs.