Quick hits: Malkin dealing with foot injury

malkin.jpgLet’s take a little stroll through some of the other stories from today, shall we?

  • Penguins star Evgeni Malkin reportedly re-aggravated a foot injury after falling into the boards against the Carolina Hurricanes last night. The good news is that it seems to be a mostly minor problem. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has more on his ailment.

“I lost my balance and hit the boards,” Malkin said Saturday after his team fell, 3-2, to Carolina at Mellon Arena “It’s a little bit sore. It’s a little bit of bad luck, but it’s OK.”

Malkin iced the foot after the game. He expects to sit out the team’s practice today but likes his chances of being able to play Monday at Detroit — the Penguins’ first trip to Joe Louis Arena since June 12 when they won Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final.

Am I alone in thinking the Pens should err on the safe side here? The Penguins didn’t need to win their division last year to win the Cup, so why not be careful with Malkin? Just saying, everyone, just saying.

  • It’s kind of strange to think that the Colorado Avalanche “settled” for Joe Sacco when Patrick Roy decided not to coach the team. The Denver Post looked back at that situation and discussed (quite logically) the fact that he’s probably going to have some good job security because of the team’s unexpected playoff run.
  • But now that the Avalanche seems likely to claim a playoff spot in the first season of Sacco’s coaching tenure, and the first season since Greg Sherman was promoted to succeed Francois Giguere as general manager, Sacco not only is what passes for secure in a ridiculously insecure league – he’s a legitimate candidate for the Jack Adams Award, which goes to the NHL’s coach of the year.

    Eh, I might have to disagree with Terry Frei on him being the coach of the year (it has to be Dave Tippett, in my opinion), but overall it’s a good point.

    Just how much does Lubomir Visnovsky appreciate being out of Edmonton?

    “For the life, it’s unreal,” Visnovsky said Saturday. “Look at the weather every day. Look at me. I’ve got shorts and sandals on. In Edmonton, it’s so cold right now.”

    For the record, it was a balmy 50 degrees in Edmonton late Saturday afternoon and 69 degrees in Anaheim. But the point was made.

    Sorry, Oilers fans.

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      Leafs pass Bruins for third in Atlantic after gutsy win against Columbus

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      It wasn’t pretty – especially if you’re disgusted by that Roman Polak hit – but the Toronto Maple Leafs keep generating big wins as a playoff return looks increasingly likely.

      Toronto managed a 5-2 win against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Wednesday, passing the Boston Bruins for third place in the Atlantic Division:

      Maple Leafs: 83 points in 72 games
      Bruins: 82 points in 73 games

      This leaves the currently in-action New York Islanders four points behind the Bruins for the final wild card in the East.

      The Maple Leafs aren’t just grabbing key points; they’re doing so against some strong opponents who’ve had plenty on the line, too. They beat a Metro contender in Columbus tonight, the Bruins on Monday, grabbed an OT point against Chicago on Saturday and handled the desperate Lightning last Thursday.

      This game was all about William Nylander‘s brilliant start:

      And also Toronto surviving a long penalty kill after that Polak hit:

      Nazem Kadri‘s 30th goal really put the game out of reach, helping Toronto nab a significant victory.

      The Blue Jackets can wallow in this defeat and Oliver Bjorkstrand‘s injury, either, as they turn around to face the Washington Capitals in a big one tomorrow.

      Tortorella was irate after Roman Polak boarded Oliver Bjorkstrand

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      John Tortorella was left enraged after Roman Polak delivered a dangerous boarding hit on Oliver Bjorkstrand, and he probably wasn’t too pleased after the Columbus Blue Jackets failed to make Toronto pay for Polak’s misdeeds.

      Polak received a game misconduct and boarding major for the hit, but the Blue Jackets failed to score on a lengthy power play. Tortorella played to script, as cameras caught him expressing his anger at the situation.

      First, take a look at the hit:

      Next, behold Tortorella’s anger:

      Again, Columbus couldn’t capitalize on its opportunities, so that didn’t make things any better.

      Right now, the Maple Leafs lead the Blue Jackets 3-2. If Toronto ends up winning, this will stand as one of the game’s pivotal moments.

      It’s far from the only exciting moment, however, with these goals and big hits also standing out.

      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.

      Leafs’ Nylander puts on show with breakaway goal, assist on Matthews’ 33rd

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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.

      Update: OK, so Nylander’s really stealing the show. This is stupendous.