Jason Pominville

Jason Pominville resumes light workouts, speaks on getting hit by Hjalmarsson

While we’ve seen Niklas Hjalmarsson return from his suspension for hitting Sabres forward Jason Pominville already, Pominville is still in the process of getting back into game shape to play once again. Pominville was knocked out of the game and out of the Sabres lineup by Hjalmarsson with a concussion, and getting back on the ice after that can be an arduous process.

For Jason Pominville, he’s at least happy to get back to working out to get back on the ice and discuss what happened the night he was hit from behind with The Buffalo News’ John Vogl as well as about his recovery. If you’ve never had a concussion and want an idea of what it’s like to be in such a situation (you sadist) let Pominville’s story give you an idea.

“It was definitely one of those where the puck wasn’t there and I never saw him,” Pominville said in HSBC Arena. “It’s tough for me to even take note of it. My back was turned.

“I was sleeping for two, three minutes. The trainers came out and were trying to, I don’t know what they were doing, either pinching me or trying to wake me up. Eventually, I kind of woke up and saw four, five doctors around me, so I was kind of wondering what was going on.

“But as they started asking me questions, I think my memory was pretty good. I remembered who had scored and what had happened throughout the game, so the question-answering part of it was good.”

As for his recovery, things are going well and Pominville hopes to join the team again soon but because of the concussion he’ll have a battery of tests he needs to pass in order to be able to get back to game action. The Sabres can use all the help they can get right now as they’re mired in a funk to start the season going 1-4-1 with just three points to start the season.

The offense isn’t exactly sputtering, but it’s not all that it could be either and Pominville can help that out, but only when he’s ready to get back on the ice. Until then, the Sabres are going to have to figure things out on their own and doing so fast might help ease the worries of fans in Buffalo who are clearly stressed out thanks to their poor start.

Goalie nods: Niemi expected for Stars against Penguins

Antti Niemi, Jonathan Toews
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Talk about getting thrown into the fire.

Antti Niemi is expected to be the starting goalie tonight in Dallas when his Stars host Sidney Crosby, Phil Kessel, Evgeni Malkin and the rest of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Niemi has, not surprisingly, been given the assignment over Kari Lehtonen, the latter of whom struggled badly during the preseason, allowing 15 goals on 84 shots.

Not that Niemi was razor sharp himself. He allowed eight goals on 65 shots, for a save percentage of .877.

Considering the Stars have a combined $10.4 million in cap space tied up in those two veteran netminders, it’s no wonder the number-one question facing the club is whether the goaltending has indeed been fixed.

We’ll start to find out tonight.

Marc-Andre Fleury will undoubtedly be in goal for Pittsburgh, though that hasn’t been confirmed.


Craig Anderson, the goalie the Senators decided to keep, versus Robin Lehner, the one they traded to the Sabres.

Cam Ward will start for Carolina when the Hurricanes visit the Predators, who will obviously go with Pekka Rinne. The consensus is that Eddie Lack will eventually supplant Ward as Carolina’s starter, but that apparently hasn’t happened yet.

Brian Elliott goes for the Blues versus Cam Talbot for the Oilers. Elliott was excellent in the preseason, stopping all but two of the 57 shots he faced, while Jake Allen allowed six goals on 60 shots.

Steve Mason for the Flyers versus Ben Bishop for the Lightning.

Ondrej Pavelec for Winnipeg versus Tuukka Rask for Boston.

Devan Dubnyk likely for the Wild versus Semyon Varlamov for the Avs.

Flyers want to prove doubters wrong

Jakub Voracek, Claude Giroux
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Jakub Voracek totally understands why nobody’s expecting much from the Philadelphia Flyers. When a team finishes 14 points out of the playoffs the year before, that’s typically going to be the case.

“We weren’t good enough last year, let’s face it,” Voracek told CSN Philly. 

So, no, it doesn’t upset him that the Flyers aren’t considered among the Stanley Cup favorites.

That being said, “it makes you feel you want to prove them wrong.”

The Flyers get going tonight with a tough game against the Lightning in Tampa Bay. They also play Saturday in Florida against the Panthers, before a rematch with the Panthers Monday in Philadelphia.

“My biggest concern would be getting off to a good start,” GM Ron Hextall said. “That’s one thing that we need to do.”

That’s something they didn’t do last year. In fact, they won just once in their first six games. By the end of November, they were 8-12-3 and in a big hole — one that proved too deep to climb out of.

Related: Flyers to start season with seven defensemen