Joffrey Lupul’s recovery from bacterial ailment is slow but improving

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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.

Oilers get Kronwall’d – in more ways than one

Niklas Kronwall
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When someone gets clobbered by Niklas Kronwall, they get Kronwall’d.

(His detractors may insist that the definition require the words “dirty” or “illegal,” but that’s a debate for another day.)

It’s easy to get lost in those thunderous hits and forget that the  Swedish defenseman also brings some skill to the table.

He made a big impact – literally and figuratively – in Detroit’s 4-3 overtime win against the Edmonton Oilers on Friday.

First, the Kronwalling:

Next, Kronwall’s overtime-winner:

It hasn’t always been pretty, but the Red Wings are leaning on guys like Kronwall and Dylan Larkin to stick with it.

Tonight’s win extends their point streak to six games (4-0-2), with five of those contests going to overtime.

Dubinsky – Crosby’s nemesis – gets the last laugh on Friday

Sidney Crosby, Brandon Dubinsky

Brandon Dubinsky isn’t a household name like Sidney Crosby is, yet for all the hype that Crosby vs. Alex Ovechkin gets, Dubinsky is the sort of guy who truly rankles No. 87.

It’s been getting that spotlight since the Columbus Blue Jackets faced off against the Pittsburgh Penguins in a brisk playoff series, though it wouldn’t be surprising if the bad blood stemmed to Dubinsky’s days with New York.

To some, Dubinsky’s cross-check on Crosby will resonate far more than the end result of this game:

The bottom line is that he’ll get the last laugh, at least for now. (In-game, that moment merely drew a minor penalty.)

That’s because Dubinsky set up the overtime game-winner, and the cherry on the top of that spite sundae came with Crosby being on the ice when it happened:

They’re not just rubbing the Penguins the wrong way.

Even Dubinsky kind of sort of admits that he may have been in the wrong.


More and more, the Blue Jackets are looking like a nuisance … possibly one that will grind their way to an unlikely playoff berth. They improved to 8-4-0 in November after a disastrous 2-10-0 October.

In other words, there’s at least a chance that we may see these increasingly bitter rivals butt heads in another playoff series.

Eichel’s sweet snipe helps Sabres snap six-game skid

Jack Eichel
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The Buffalo Sabres probably deserved better during at least some chunks of their six-game skid, yet Jack Eichel swooped in on Friday to remind fans that there’s a light shining at the end of the tunnel.

You can watch his goal from tonight’s eventual 4-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes in the video above.

That’s not necessarily the absolute height of his on-ice magic, yet it clearly gave his team a lift:

Call this a healthy reminder that Eichel has the ability to change games, something Buffalo fans hope to get used to.

Report: Likely no suspension for Matt Beleskey’s hit on Derek Stepan


Alain Vigneault went there in comparing Matt Beleskey‘s hit on Derek Stepan to the notorious check Aaron Rome delivered on Nathan Horton many moons ago, but the league seems to disagree.

While Rome sat through that memorable Stanley Cup Final between Boston and Vancouver, it sounds like Beleskey won’t face any further discipline, according to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun.

In the unlikely event that anything changes, PHT will make note.

The next game between the Rangers and Bruins takes place at Madison Square Garden on Jan. 11. Will these bad feelings linger?