Sami Salo's injury shrouded in secrecy

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Thumbnail image for samisalo3.jpgThe other day we told you about Canucks defenseman Sami Salo tearing his Achilles tendon while playing floor hockey (or rather Floor Ball) this summer. What’s been a bit odd about everything is the lack of details about the injury being offered up by anyone. Salo isn’t discussing it, the Canucks aren’t commenting on matters, and the Vancouver papers are all hunting for anyone to talk about it.

As it turns out, even reports out of Finland, Salo’s home country, are sparse and Canucks blog The White Towel wants to know what’s up with all the secrecy.

Salo has won Olympic silver and bronze representing Finland, but apparently lacks the star appeal of, say, a Steve Nash or Justin Morneau, who if they were to suffer a possible career-ending injury kicking a soccer ball around in the offseason back in B.C. it would be news splashed all over the place.

But a quick scan of the two newspapers from Salo’s hometown of Turku found online, Abo Underrattelser and Turun Sanomat, and the 10 Helsinki papers available online, shows no mention of Salo after the briefest of notices on Friday.

“It’s sad, but Sami’s not big news here,” one Finnish sports reporter said.

The Province tried to contact Salo by phone at his Finnish home, but no one picked up on the other end. It’s understandable the injury-prone D-man doesn’t feel like talking about his 40th injury.

But the Canucks could do a lot more than merely confirm the reports out of Finland before issuing a terse “There will be no further comment from the club or Salo at this time.”

Did the injury occur in June, as the reports say? If so, did the club only find out Friday when local media began calling? Why all the secrecy? Is Salo’s career kaput?

These are all great questions to ask and it makes things a bit frustrating that no one wants to give any answers just yet. It’s not as if they Canucks aren’t losing much here. Salo was likely going to be one of their top four defensemen and his offensive ability makes him a key component to their power play as well. There’s also the whole part about putting the potential trading of Kevin Bieksa into limbo as well.

At the very least, The White Towel was able to have some fun at the expense of online translators when finding a description of Sami Salo.

“Sami Salo is a professional ice hockey sports magazine according to the information seriously injured in training by June.”

I wonder if that magazine’s pages fall out when you pick it up.

Predators survive Blues’ big late push to win Game 1

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The Nashville Predators’ 4-3 Game 1 win against the St. Louis Blues makes it difficult to use “perfect.”

You could get away with using that word, mind you, as the Predators followed up their surprising sweep of the Chicago Blackhawks by going up 1-0 against the Blues in St. Louis. Still, the ride was so bumpy in the third period, it’s probably wiser to focus on the fact that Nashville is unbeaten.

Because, yikes, that third period was a roller coaster for Nashville.

via Natural Stat Trick

P.K. Subban scored a goal and two assists in the first 40 minutes to help the Predators bring a 3-1 lead into the final frame. The Blues absolutely dominated play in the third, however, briefly tying the game as they put immense pressure on Pekka Rinne & Co.

Ultimately, the Predators received a game-winner from an unlikely source in Vernon Fiddler, gaining a 1-0 series edge.

Even so, few will talk about “mystique” after that shaky finish.

For one thing, both Rinne and Jake Allen allowed goals that they’d like to forget. Also, both squads experienced lopsided periods; Nashville dominated shots in the second (15-8) while the Blues almost doubled-up the Preds in the third (11-6).

Nashville also seems likely to play without rising rookie Kevin Fiala, who was hospitalized after an absolutely horrifying crash into the boards.

It was a weird and often wild – sometimes nasty – contest, with the Predators ultimately coming out on top. There’s plenty of intrigue heading into Game 2, which airs on NBCSN at 8 p.m. ET on Friday. (You can also watch online and via the NBC Sports App; here’s the livestream link.)

WATCH LIVE: Second round begins with Predators – Blues, Oilers – Ducks

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Update: With both games likely to run simultaneously, note that Ducks fans can watch on NBCSN in the Anaheim market while the game is also available via streaming links below.

In addition to that, Ducks – Oilers is slated to begin on NHL Network.

This tweet explains it in additional detail.

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The second round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs is set to begin on Wednesday, and the NBC Sports Group has you covered with wall-to-wall coverage.

We start with a battle of the hottest goalies in the postseason so far as Jake Allen and the Blues host Pekka Rinne and the Predators. The duo of Game 1’s wraps up when Connor McDavid and the Oilers take on Ryan Getzlaf and the Ducks.

Here’s what you need to know:

Nashville Predators vs. St. Louis Blues

Time: 8 p.m. ET

Network: NBCSN (Stream online here)

Edmonton Oilers vs. Anaheim Ducks 

Time: 10:30 p.m. ET

Network: NBCSN (Stream online)

Video: Austin Watson takes a shot at Vladimir Tarasenko

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The St. Louis Blues and their fans showed class in how they reacted to Kevin Fiala‘s very, very scary injury during Game 1.

Still, these are two physical Central Division rivals, so you expect to see some nastiness here and there between the Blues and Nashville Predators.

One moment that will likely divide onlookers came when Predators tough guy Austin Watson got a shot in on Vladimir Tarasenko, at least briefly hurting the world-class sniper.

It’s unlikely to be a big deal since Tarasenko seems to be OK, but there may be some debate here. On one hand, there are those who believe Watson got away with a cheap shot; on the other, some seem to imply that there was some embellishment. Maybe it’s even a combination of the two?

Either way, the Predators enter the third period up 3-1, so St. Louis will likely ask Tarasenko to focus on getting revenge by scoring goals.

Blues just have no answer for P.K. Subban right now

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In the first round, P.K. Subban was dominant against the Chicago Blackhawks, but mainly if you look at “fancy stats.” There’s nothing wrong with two assists in that sweep, but those aren’t jaw-dropping numbers.

You don’t need to dig deep to see his impact on Game 1 against the St. Louis Blues. A mere glance at the box score – or a chance to see his blistering shot – and you’ll realize that the Nashville Predators defenseman has been a nightmare for Jake Allen & Co. so far on Wednesday.

Subban seemingly scored his first postseason goal with the Predators to make it 1-0, but Colin Wilson was actually credited with the tally.

No bother there. Subban gave the Predators a crucial lift shortly after player resumed following Kevin Fiala‘s horrifying injury, getting that first Predators playoff goal with another booming shot.

Subban managed to draw a slashing penalty on Scottie Upshall and also sent another huge shot to set up a James Neal goal. There’s no mistaking that P.K. has played a huge role in Nashville going up 3-1 so far; the Blues need to find some answers, and fast.