Tonight’s heavy NHL schedule has seen a host of injuries go down this evening. Here’s a quick check on who went down and out tonight.
Boston’s David Krejci took a wicked hit in overtime from Blues forward T.J. Oshie which put him down on the ice and lead to him hitting his head on the boards. Krejci was helped from the ice and did not return to the game or the shootout in Boston’s 2-1 loss. After the game, CSN-NE’s Joe Haggerty says that a source tells him that Krejci was exhibiting signs of a concussion after the game but a Bruins player says that he should be OK. We shall see.
In Atlanta tonight, Chicago’s Jeremy Morin left the game after taking a shot off his leg in the second period. Morin did try to skate on it in the third and played one shift but did not return to the game after that. The loss of Morin will be offset by the return of Marian Hossa tomorrow.
In Phoenix, Shane Doan and Ed Jovanovski missed tonight’s game with Pittsburgh with separate ailments. Doan was injured in the Coyotes previous game and is listed as being week-to-week with a lower body injury. Meanwhile, Jovanovski missed the game with the flu. Clearly, Jovo Cop’s immune system cannot handle scoring goals.
In Los Angeles, Kings defenseman Willie Mitchell left the game with an upper body injury and has not returned. Helene Elliott of the L.A. Times tweets that it’s not a concussion for Mitchell, who has a long history of concussions in his career. Instead, it’s an arm injury for the defensive defenseman.
Through 40 minutes of action in Game 1 of the second round series between Pittsburgh and Washington and we’ve already seen some big moments, along with a pretty unusual one.
Beagle ended up with a stick lodged into his visor towards the end of the second frame. He tried to get it out himself, but ended up having to go to the bench for assistance. You can see that below:
Steve Stamkos began to practice again on Tuesday and he was back out there on Wednesday and Thursday, which some might interpret as him being close to returning. It seems premature to say that definitively.
“It could be weeks. It could be months,” Stamkos said of his timetable, per ESPN. “That’s the tough part.”
The problem isn’t getting back into game shape after undergoing vascular surgery in early April. He feels he’s already close to reaching that objective. The issue is that Stamkos is on blood thinners, which prevents him from taking any contact. It remains to be seen how long he’ll be on blood thinners.
For what it’s worth, Tampa Bay’s Andrei Vasilevskiy underwent the same surgery and was out for two months and the original timetable provided on April 4 for Stamkos was one-to-three months. So based on that, it sounds like it would be surprising if he returned anytime soon.
Will Patrice Bergeron join Bob Gainey as the only players to have ever won the Selke Trophy four times?
That’s a distinct possibility after the Bruins center was named as a finalist along with Anaheim’s Ryan Kesler and Los Angeles’ Anze Kopitar.
The Selke Trophy honors the league’s top defensive forward and for three of the last four years, that distinction has gone to Bergeron. However, Kesler and Kopitar have been popular with the voters of this award as well.
Kopitar has finished second in the voting in each of the previous two campaigns while Kesler won back in 2011, though he finished outside of the top-five in each of the last three years prior to the 2015-16 campaign.
Among the trio, Kesler excelled this season on the draw with a 58.5% success rate, which was good for second in the league among forwards who took at least 200 faceoffs. Bergeron was up there too, winning 57.1% of his draws while Kopitar posted a 53.5%. Meanwhile, Bergeron ranked seventh in the NHL with 67 takeaways compared to Kesler’s 39 and Kopitar’s 43. Where Kopitar stood out was in plus/minus as he finished second in the league at plus-34. Kesler was plus-five and Bergeron was plus-12.
Kopitar similarly led the trio with a 57.4% Corsi For versus Bergeron’s 55.9% and Kesler’s 52.9%.
Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik missed half of Washington’s first round series, but he’s back in time for the opener against his former team.
Orpik last played on April 18 and was regarded as questionable going into tonight’s contest against Pittsburgh. He’s expected to be paired with John Carlson throughout the contest.
Washington’s other projected pairings are Karl Alzner and Matt Niskanen as well as Dmitry Orlov and Nate Schmidt.
Orpik was limited to 41 games during the 2015-16 regular season, but when he did play he averaged 19:48 minutes per contest. He also recorded 125 hits and 102 blocked shots despite missing half the season. The 35-year-old blueliner got his start with Pittsburgh and played in 703 regular season contests with them and an additional 92 postseason contests. This is his second season with Washington.