Almost every team in the NHL is taking some kind of gamble on a “wild card” or “X-factor” player. Sometimes they’re solid veterans who could make the most of a plum job (see: Mike Comrie in Pittsburgh) or enigmatic talents whose decisions will leave just as many people guessing as their skills (example: Nikolai Zherdev in Columbus).
For the Nashville Predators, that “wild card” player is wayward former Montreal Canadiens prospect Sergei Kostitsyn (the speedy one of the Kostitysn brothers). He seems to have the potential to produce a Maxim Afinogenov-type underrated season, but he won’t be able to get off to a quick start if reports are correct.
Renaud Lavoie of RDS reports that Kostitsyn broke his toe during practice last Saturday and the team placed him on the injured reserve.
It’s unclear how long the toe injury will hamper Kostitsyn, but considering the fact that speed is one of his greatest assets on the ice, you have to think that Nashville might hesitate to rush him back too quickly. It’s a tough break for a player who dealt with a lot of problems the last few years, whether those wounds were self-inflicted or not.
It looks like the Boston Bruins will be without their captain again on Saturday night.
Head coach Claude Julien told members of the media that Zdeno Chara is considered doubtful for tonight’s game against the Montreal Canadiens.
Chara suffered an upper-body injury during the preseason and he’s already been forced to miss Boston’s season opening loss to the Jets.
Per CSN, Chara says he’s improving but he won’t return to the lineup until he’s as close to 100 percent as possible.
“Every area of the injury is improving,” said Chara. “Hopefully it’s not long before I’m free of any kind of discomfort. That’s what we’re doing right now…we’re being patient. For sure you don’t want to come back, and be half of what you are…and basically hurting yourself and the team. And you’re putting yourself in a position where you could be missing more time. At this time of the season, I think it’s important to be as close as you can be to 100 percent.”
Based on the number of defensive mistakes they committed on Thursday, the Bruins need Chara back as soon as possible:
Former NHL defenseman Mike Commodore may have been coached by Mike Babcock, but that doesn’t mean he’s a fan of Mike Babcock.
Commodore played in just 17 games for the Detroit Red Wings during the 2011-12 season and that was enough for him to muster up some pretty harsh feelings toward his old coach.
As Babcock’s new team, the Toronto Maple Leafs, were being embarrassed in Detroit on Friday, Commodore took to Twitter to show fans just how much he was enjoying his former coach’s struggles.
Things got especially interesting after Red Wings rookie Dylan Larkin scored just 20 seconds into the second period to give Detroit a 3-0 lead.
“3-0 nothin Babs you posing arrogant piece of (bleep),” said Commodore via his Twitter page. “Welcome back to the rink where everyone that met you hates you.”
Commodore wasn’t done there:
And there was much, much more.
To get a look at all of Commodore’s Babcock-bashing tweets, click here.