Joffrey Lupul could miss training camp, beginning of season due to back infection

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lupulscores.jpgMost injury reports are fairly mundane. They’re generally full of tweaks and scopes and strains and tears.

Every once and a while, though, you stumble on an ailment that sounds downright scary. Take, for instance, the case of Joffrey Lupul. News broke that the goal scoring winger will miss the opening of training camp and might not be ready for the beginning of the regular season due to the return of a blood infection in his back, according to the Orange County Register.

Lupul said Monday he suffered the setback one month ago and stopped training because of the discomfort. Results from blood tests showed that the infection had returned, according to the team.

Lupul will continue to take antibiotics for another four weeks and cannot do any physical activity during that time. He will be re-evaluated on or around Sept.20, about two or three days after the Ducks open camp.

Lupul said that being ready for the Ducks’ season opener on Oct.8 is not a possibility. There is no timetable for his return.

“It’s really frustrating,” Lupul said. “I haven’t played hockey in a long time. I was hoping to be ready on day one of camp. But now my focus has changed. I want to get rid of this. I’m very confident I can get back playing and playing well.”

Oof, that’s rough, folks.

After becoming one of the only players in sports I’ve ever heard of who was packaged in two trades for the same player (he was thrown in the other side of two deals involving all-world defenseman Chris Pronger … both times his side lost pretty badly), Lupul only played in 23 games last season thanks to those health issues.

Even when he’s healthy, he’s overpaid at $4.25 million per year over the next three seasons and is a bit one-dimensional, but there’s little doubt that he can be an effective goal scorer. Considering the blows the Ducks’ blueline has taken lately, Anaheim needs every bit of offense they can get. This could be a sizable blow to a struggling – but still in many ways talented – Ducks team.

Scary moment: Carlo Colaiacovo hospitalized with ‘dented trachea’

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Buffalo Sabres defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo has experienced plenty of bad injury luck in his winding career, but Saturday presented one of his worst scares.

As you can see from the video above, Colaiacovo received a scary cross-check from Viktor Arvidsson of the Nashville Predators, who received a major penalty and game misconduct.

Sabres head coach Dan Bylsma said that Colaiacovo was hospitalized with a “dented trachea” yet is OK, the Buffalo News’ John Vogl reports.

Frightening stuff from an eventual 4-1 Sabres win.

PHT will keep an eye out for additional updates regarding Colaiacovo’s health (and a possible suspension for Arvidsson).

Comeback Kings: Gaborik pulls L.A. past Kane, Blackhawks

Jake Muzzin, Scott Darling

Patrick Kane set an American scoring record, and added another assist to make it more impressive, but the Los Angeles Kings just wouldn’t be denied.

In the end, Marian Gaborik‘s big night meant more than Kane’s; he scored the tying and then overtime game-winner, both assisted by Anze Kopitar, for a rousing 4-3 overtime Kings win.

Gaborik’s first goal:

And here’s video of the OT-GWG:

Noticing a theme tonight? Yeah, it’s been an evening in which it’s dangerous to assume a lead would stand.

With that, the Kings stick to the No. 1 spot in the Pacific Division, but Chicago shouldn’t feel all bad. The Blackhawks were able to piece together a decent run during their dreaded “circus trip.”

Patrick Kane’s streak hits 19 games, setting a new American record


When it comes to point streaks for U.S.-born NHL players, Patrick Kane now stands alone.

With a power-play goal early in Saturday’s Blackhawks – Kings game, Kane extended his streak to 19 games, breaking a tie with Phil Kessel and Eddie Olczyk (who finished with at least a point in 18 straight).

As of this writing, Kane has 11 goals and 19 assists during this 19-game streak. He also leads the NHL in scoring.

Bobby Hull’s 21-game point streak stands as the Chicago Blackhawks’ overall team record, by the way.

So, how would you protect a lead against the Stars?


You know what they say: it’s easy to bash a strategy in hindsight.

Slam that NFL head coach for going for it on fourth down … or settling for the field goal. Bury that MLB manager because he kept a pitcher in too long. And so on.

“Score effects” settle in during almost any lopsided hockey game, yet the Dallas Stars present quite a conundrum: what’s the best way to put a way a team with this much firepower?

Tonight may have presented the greatest evidence that this team won’t go away easy, as it seemed like the Minnesota Wild had the best of a tired Stars team* when they built a 3-0 lead.

Instead, the Stars scored three third-period goals while Tyler Seguin capped the comeback with an overtime-winner.

It was one of those bend-and-then-break moments for Minnesota. Dallas generated a 44-26 shot advantage, including a ridiculous 35-15 edge in the final two periods.

Does that mean that Mike Yeo may have tried to play too conservatively with a healthy lead? It’s a possibility.

On the other hand, would the Wild be wiser to try to run-and-gun with one of the most dangerous offenses in the NHL?

It sure seems like a pick-your-poison situation. Which way would you lean, though?

* – To be fair to Minnesota, each team was on back-to-backs.