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Injury quick hits: Tomas Plekanec misses tonight’s game, Marian Hossa nearing return

In the interest of injury-related housekeeping, here are two little tidbits.

  • TSN reports that Tomas Plekanec missed tonight’s game against the Buffalo Sabres with “flu-like” symptoms.

In the off-season I said that the Montreal Canadiens basically chose Plekanec and goalie Carey Price over playoff hero Jaroslav Halak. That decision actually is working out well for the Habs so far, as Price has often been the best player on the ice while Plekanec is tied for the team lead with 10 points going into tonight’s game. If his problems are only “flu like symptoms” then I wouldn’t expect him to miss much time.

Halak hasn’t been too shabby for the St. Louis Blues, either, so maybe it’s one of those situations that works out for both sides? It’s still too early, but that seems to be the case so far.

It’s a bummer that Hossa has been ruled out of Saturday’s game against the Atlanta Thrashers since that team features a handful of former ‘Hawks, but coach Joel Quenneville said that he was involved in “all the contact drills” in practice today.

This doesn’t mean that Hossa will be back immediately, but the ‘Hawks could use his scoring burst (seven goals and 11 points already this season despite missing four games) at they lost three of their last four. Along with that game against Atlanta on Saturday, Chicago plays against Edmonton on Sunday, Phoenix on Wednesday and then Nashville on Saturday, November 13. My guess is that he should play by Wednesday or Saturday if he doesn’t face any setbacks.

In other good news for Chicago, Quenneville also said that two-way center Dave Bolland could return from an “upper-body injury” by mid-week as well.

Columbus collapse: Rangers spoil Blue Jackets’ opener

Jarret Stoll, Mats Zuccarello
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For a little more than a minute, Brandon Saad was going to be the story of the Columbus Blue Jackets’ opener. Instead, his power-play goal merely got the ball rolling on a flabbergasting finish.

The New York Rangers scored three goals in 1:17 of game time to manage a 4-2 win.

They’ve now spoiled home openers for the Chicago Blackhawks and Columbus Blue Jackets to begin their 2015-16 season.

It might be easiest just to show you when the goals were scored, noting that the third period began with a 1-1 tie.

Brandon Saad power-play goal: 16:10 into third period (2-1 Columbus)
Oscar Lindberg: 17:24 (2-2 tie)
Kevin Hayes: 17:41 (3-2 Rangers)
Mats Zuccarello: 18:41 (4-2 Rangers)

Yikes. Zuccarello scored two of the Rangers’ goals, while a beauty by Cam Atkinson is likely long forgotten.

This post will be updated if there’s video of that staggering sequence.

Welcome back, Babs: Red Wings chase Bernier

Mike Babcock
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Mike Babcock admitted that there might be a painful transformation as he tries to fix the Toronto Maple Leafs.

His old friends made that abundantly, painfully clear on Friday.

As of this writing, the Detroit Red Wings are up 4-0 on the Buds. Justin Abdelkader just completed a hat trick with James Reimer in net, so the subplot isn’t just about Jonathan Bernier having another tough start.

The big story might just be Detroit’s varied new line of Abdelkader, Dylan Larkin (who scored his first career goal) and Henrik Zetterberg. At the moment, they’ve combined for seven points.

This post will be updated if Detroit’s tribute video to Babcock surfaces.

Really, though, this beating has been about as ugly as this blanket so far.

Here’s video of Abdelkader’s hat trick: