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Ottawa Senators’ Pascal Leclaire leaves with ‘lower body injury’; Could Brian Elliott be better option anyway?


It’s a good thing that the Ottawa Senators are used to life without Pascal Leclaire – and with backup/1b goalie Brian Elliott – because it looks like the troubled goalie will face yet another injury issue. Leclaire left tonight’s game against the Carolina Hurricanes with a “lower body injury” and won’t return, according to TSN.

TSN spins it negatively as the Senators losing a guy who “coach Cory Clouston called the team’s best player so far this season,” but I look at it as a possible blessing in disguise. Here’s a description regarding how Leclaire ended up getting injured, though.

Early in the opening period Leclaire was involved in what appeared to be a minor collision with Carolina Hurricanes forward Brian Skinner.  Moments later he was also involved in a second collision with Tom Kostopoulos. At that point Leclaire went down on the ice and remained there until he was attended to by a team trainer.  He then headed immediately to the Senators dressing room and was replaced by Brian Elliott.

Elliott helped the team make the playoffs last season while Leclaire battled horrible play and difficult injury problems. Elliott played in 55 games in 09-10, going 29-18-4 with a 2.57 GAA and 90.9 save percentage. Leclaire’s numbers were pathetic by comparison; he played in 34 games, going 12-14-2 with especially bad individual numbers (3.2 GAA and an 88.7 save percentage). Any time you go under 90 percent, you’re probably not having a very good season.

So, yes, it’s bad news if Leclaire misses significant time (no word on the extent of the injury), but it might actually save the Senators from themselves.

Memorial Cup champion goalie Appleby signs with Devils

Ken Appleby
The Canadian Press via AP
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Ken Appleby never got drafted, but his efforts during the New Jersey Devils’ training camp have earned him an entry-level contract, per the Bergen Record.

Although no team saw it fit to take him before the preseason, the 20-year-old is coming off of a very strong season. He had a 2.08 GAA and .924 save percentage in 50 games with the OHL’s Oshawa Generals. He went on to lead them to a Memorial Cup championship and earned the the Hap Emms Memorial Trophy as the tournament’s top goalie.

Appleby is the fifth goaltender the Devils have under contract after Cory Schneider, Keith Kinkaid, Scott Wedgewood, and Yann Danis. He’ll likely begin the season in the ECHL.

Alexandre Goulet and Jacob Sweeney also participated in the Devils’ training camp on an amateur tryout basis, but both of them have been released.

PHT Morning Skate: NHL stars weigh in on McDavid

Connor McDavid
The Canadian Press via AP
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PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Some of the NHL’s top players discuss Connor McDavid‘s potential and the hype surrounding him. (Toronto Sun)

While we’re on the subject, Wayne Gretzky recalls what it was like for him going into the NHL and what’s in store for McDavid. (Edmonton Sun)

Sam Gagner is about to start a key season in his career. (Philadelphia Inquirer)

It’s time for the Washington Capitals to make some tough calls, particularly when it comes to Derek Roy. (CSN Mid-Atlantic)

With Raffi Torres hearing scheduled for today, here’s a look back at his suspension history. (San Jose Mercury News)

The Chicago Blackhawks have gotten their championship rings. (