During last night’s Maple Leafs loss to the Senators, Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf left the game with an injury in the second period and did not return. Reports after the game stated that Phaneuf left the arena on a stretcher and he ultimately had a deep cut that required stitches in his leg. Oddly enough, one of the first reports of the injury and how long he could be out of action for came from what could be described as an unconventional source: Phaneuf’s celebrity girlfriend Elisha Cuthbert on Twitter.
Cuthbert took to Twitter to tell her followers that Phaneuf could miss a few games but backed down shortly after that saying even she’s not sure.
Worried hockey fans, Dion got a pretty bad deep cut on his leg. He’s getting it treated & fixed up, but he will need to miss a few games😦
…I suppose I should say will MOST LIKELY miss a few games. With that diehard, even I never know for sure.
Whether she’s a die-hard fan or she just stayed in a Holiday Inn Express, either way she’s not a doctor so take that for what it’s worth. Given that those tweets came from an account that’s not verified you could argue that it’s not even actually Elisha Cuthbert but that’s neither here nor there right now.
For Phaneuf, the injury stinks because he was looking to get his game back after being booed by home fans after struggling to start the year. Brett Lebda figures to fill in for Phaneuf if he’s to miss any time due to the injury, a scary prospect on its own. All that aside, if Elisha Cuthbert wants to be an NHL insider I think that’s something everyone not named Sean Avery could have fun with.
Update: Turns out Phaneuf will miss more than a few games. TSN’s Darren Dreger hears from Leafs GM Brian Burke that Phaneuf will be out for at least four weeks due to the deep cut on his leg. So much for the potential of having Elisha Cuthbert starring as a doctor.
Double Update: According to James Mirtle, the Leafs announced that Elisha Cuthbert does not have a Twitter account. For shame.
Bryan Rust is really having himself a series.
After opening the scoring in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final, Rust took matters into his own hands after Jonathan Drouin evened the score for Tampa Bay, notching his second goal of the game — just 30 seconds after Drouin scored — to put Pittsburgh back out in front, 2-1.
Before digging into the Rust goal (posted above), let’s take a moment to appreciate Drouin’s snipe, one that whizzed by Pittsburgh netminder Matt Murray:
Now, back to Rust.
With that second goal he’s now racked up eight points for the playoffs, just three back of the 11 he put up over the course of the entire regular season. The former Notre Dame standout has become a major storyline, and now sits tied with Patric Hornqvist for the team lead in even-strength playoff goals.
Not bad for a guy that spent a fair chunk of the year in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, eh?
What an Eastern Conference Final for Bryan Rust.
Rust scored his second goal of the series — and third point in as many games — to open the scoring on Friday night, giving the Penguins a 1-0 lead over the Lighting at Consol.
After scoring just 11 points during the regular season, Rust — in just his second season at the NHL level — now has seven points in 16 playoff games, and has emerged as a vital bottom-six contributor in the process.
Chris Kunitz and Evgeni Malkin notched assists on Rust’s goal, which came early in the second period. The Pens out-shot the Bolts 8-5 in the first period, but were unable to get one past Andrei Vasilevskiy.
Oh, and speaking of Kunitz, he’s also produced extremely well in this series — he now has six points in his last five games.
As if Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final couldn’t get any more dramatic, it has — Tampa Bay captain Steve Stamkos, who hasn’t played since Mar. 31, will make his playoff debut against the Penguins tonight.
Stamkos underwent vascular surgery in early April to correct a blood clotting issue, and has remained on blood thinners ever since. While there’s been no confirmation he’s off medication, he did tell Sportsnet he’d be able to return to the lineup once he was.
Stamkos reiterated that he’s still on the same prescription of blood thinners he was given earlier this month. He takes a 12-hour dosage, twice a day, and it has been suggested to him that once he is cleared to stop taking the medication, Stamkos conceivably could return to the Lightning lineup almost immediately.
That’s why I’m trying to stay in shape,” he said.
Per NHL.com, Stamkos took the warmup and participated in line rushes centering Ondrej Palat and Ryan Callahan.
It’s been exactly eight weeks since Stamkos played his last game. At the time of his diagnosis, the Lightning said his timetable for recovery was 1-3 months.
To say his return will be a boost is a major understatement. Aside from the emotional factor, Stamkos led the Bolts in goals this year, with 36, and would presumably spark a power play that’s gone just 2-for-12 in the series.
Steve Stamkos took the team bus to tonight’s Eastern Conference Game 7 in Pittsburgh. As TVA noted, it was the first time he’s arrived early for a game in these playoffs.
In his pregame presser, Bolts head coach Jon Cooper refused to answer any questions about Stamkos’ availability.
And then Stamkos took the warmup.
As such, the drama surrounding Tampa Bay’s captain has reached an all-time high. Stamkos, who’s been out of the lineup since early April due to blood clots, looks as though he’s on the verge of an emotional comeback as the Lightning try to win an ECF Game 7 — on the road — for a second consecutive season.
“If Stamkos is in the lineup, it’s our best foot forward,” Cooper said. “If he’s not in the lineup, it’s because he wasn’t eligible to play.”
No word if No. 91 is still on the blood thinning medication he’s been taking since undergoing vascular surgery on Apr. 4.