Ducks forward Joffrey Lupul has had himself a hard time lately. Lupul has been out of the Ducks lineup since December 8th thanks to getting surgery on his back. While the surgery went well, the recovery has gone slowly thanks to getting a bacterial blood infection after the fact.
For Lupul, the road to recovery has been and continues to be a slow-going one and one that’s helping him learn about being patient. Being patient is made a lot more difficult as his team struggles mightily to start the season. The Sporting News’ Craig Custance finds out from Lupul that learning to pace himself in recovery is hard but necessary especially when not doing that leads to more problems.
He thought he had the infection beat in June, started working out again, started skating again and the intense pain returned.
“The explanation that I was given was that the bacteria love the movement,” Lupul said.
It was another setback in what’s been a life-changing year for the Edmonton native.
“There were a couple months where I was beginning to get really worried about my career and even to take it a step further, I was starting to get worried about my life in general,” he said. “I was having a real tough time moving around. There were days on end when I wasn’t getting out of bed.”
Having to deal with something like this where moving around only helps the infection out is the most unfortunate part of this for Lupul considering his career is a professional hockey player. Movement is kind of a big deal there. For the Ducks, after scoring just two goals in their first three games, not having him in the lineup means not having a guy that’s counted on to score goals that they so desperately need.
Things are improving for him, however and Ducks GM Bob Murray is hoping that he can be back in the Ducks lineup by Christmas time.
For Lupul, however, he’s taken his forced time off to at least keep Ducks and NHL fans alike apprised of how he’s doing and what he’s up to through Twitter. Just be careful if you’re asking him his opinion about Brett Favre.
The Florida Panthers have had no problem giving Roberto Luongo the odd night off this season. That’s because Al Montoya has been one of the best backups in the league.
Montoya (8-2-1, .931) will get the call tonight in Detroit, with Luongo (23-13-5, .930) expected to start tomorrow in Buffalo.
The Panthers have the highest team save percentage in the NHL, at .926 (which includes empty-net goals).
“They both give us a chance to win every night,” Panthers d-man Brian Campbell told the Miami Herald recently. “Both make huge saves for us at times. You need consistent saves every night and they both bring it. Montoya gets put into a tough spot a lot of times and nothing seems to change.”
Not good news for the St. Louis Blues — the club announced this morning that defenseman Alex Pietrangelo has been placed on injured reserve with a right-knee injury. He’ll be re-evaluated in three weeks.
Pietrangelo suffered the injury Saturday in a knee-on-knee collision with Minnesota’s Charlie Coyle.
Based on the timeline provided, the Blues will be without their leader in average ice time (26:40) until at least the end of the month. St. Louis plays 10 times between now and Feb. 29, which also happens to be the trade deadline.
The big question, of course, is whether Pietrangelo will be ready to go upon re-evaluation.
The first day of the playoffs is April 13.
Related: Armstrong wants Blues to get healthy before any trades are made
Alain Vigneault took another shot at the NHL’s Department of Player Safety today.
This time, the Rangers head coach was upset about the lack of supplementary discipline for Philadelphia’s Wayne Simmonds in the wake of Saturday’s altercation with New York captain Ryan McDonagh.
“An All-Star player gets sucker-punched, goes down,” Vigneault said, per The Record. “I wonder if that’s (Sidney) Crosby, what happens? What are the consequences? And, on top of that, a player breaks his stick, throws it at the referees. In the rulebook, that’s automatic. It’s three games. Nothing happens. It’s not even on the sheet after the game.”
Simmonds’ punch left McDonagh concussed and unable to play tonight versus New Jersey, with no timetable for his return.
Earlier this season, Vigneault voiced his frustration with the league after Rangers center Derek Stepan suffered broken ribs in Boston on a hit from Bruins forward Matt Beleskey.
Vigneault felt the hit was late.
“I remember Aaron Rome in this building, .6 seconds late, getting suspended four games in the Stanley Cup Final,” the former Vancouver Canucks coach said, recalling the contentious 2011 final.
Beleskey was not suspended.
Penguins center Sidney Crosby, Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson, and Panthers center Vincent Trocheck have been named the NHL’s three stars for the past week.
From the NHL:
Crosby led the League in goals and points (5-3-8) in three games as the Penguins (26-18-7, 59 points) earned four of a possible six points to secure the second Wild Card position in the Eastern Conference.
Karlsson led the League in assists and ranked second in points (0-7-7) in three games as the Senators (24-23-6, 54 points) won one of three starts for the week.
Trocheck notched six points (3-3—6) in three games, helping the Panthers (31-15-6, 68 points) widen their lead atop the Atlantic Division to six points.
Related: Red-hot Crosby could make Pens a flawed (but dangerous) dark horse