In a way that parallels their diverging seasons, the Red Wings have some good news while the Coyotes received some not-so-surprising bad news. Both of these bits come from a NHL.com report.
First, Detroit will reportedly welcome defenseman Brian Rafalski back into the fold. He’s been out of action since October 9th, because he underwent arthroscopic knee surgery on the 12th. He only played two games during this season so far, so the Red Wings should enjoy a nice bump on the power play if the talented American defenseman is reasonably close to full strength.
On the other end of the ice, Phoenix will be without captain Shane Doan as expected. He’s out on a week-to-week basis, so it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that he’s been ruled out of both tonight’s game against the Red Wings and Wednesday’s match against the Blackhawks.
Doan suffered a lower-body injury during Friday’s game at Dallas, and is considered “week to week.” He did not make the trip with the team, and also has been ruled out of Wednesday’s game in Chicago.
It’s the second extended absence for Doan this season, who was suspended for three games in October.
“It’s part of hockey and it’s something I have to deal with and I will be ready to go when I come back,” Doan told the team’s website Saturday. “I hope to be back sooner than later. … We’re getting on it in a hurry here and we’ll get it going, and I’ll be back quickly.”
Saturday’s been unkind to the Toronto Maple Leafs, and not just on the scoreboard (where it’s 3-0 early on against the Ottawa Senators).
The Maple Leafs lost Tyler Bozak to an apparent upper-body injury thanks to a questionable hit by Sens forward Mika Zibanejad.
You can judge that check (which drew a minor penalty for illegal check to the head) in the video above. Again, Bozak will not return to tonight’s game.
It’s unclear if Bozak will miss time beyond this contest.
Scary stuff on Saturday: multiple reporters (including the Maine Hockey Journal’s Chris Roy) note that Malcolm Subban was taken to a hospital after a puck struck his throat during warm-ups.
There’s no word yet on Subban’s condition beyond that he was taken away in an ambulance.
The AHL’s Providence Bruins seem like they’ve been left scrambling for a backup goalie in Subban’s absence.
Subban stated days ago that he’s taken some significant steps forward during the 2015-16 season.
The Ottawa Senators cannot pin all of their troubles on missing their No. 1 center, yet it probably feels like a huge relief to get him back.
After missing six games with his latest injury, Kyle Turris is in the lineup as the Senators take on the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Again, it’s not all a matter of missing Turris, but the Senators went 1-5-0 during his six-game absence. They’ve really been falling since late December, to be honest.
Will Turris be enough to stop the bleeding? Perhaps to an extent, but the Senators are in for a serious battle if they hope to fight through the East bubble.
Times have been tough for Montreal Canadiens and Edmonton Oilers fans lately, even if they’ve been frustrating in different ways.
Saturday’s 5-1 Habs win highlights a few things, but the most tantalizing thought for those fans is that it’s likely that we’ll see more great things from P.K. Subban and Connor McDavid … sometimes against each other.
Perhaps this will be a confidence booster for Montreal. More than anything else, it directed attention to Subban, who’s quietly been absolutely fantastic for the floundering Canadiens.
Consider how much of an offensive burden he’s currently carrying:
From one current All-Star to someone who could be a perennial one: McDavid certainly seemed to grab Subban’s attention.
Then again, when you make moves like these, who won’t notice?
The Oilers did lose, mind you, so it’s not surprising that Todd McLellan mentioned that the team can’t depend upon McDavid for everything.
That said, the funny thing about that quote is that McDavid might just carry the Oilers for two decades, at least if health and other factors go the right way.
If that’s true, Subban vs. McDavid could be a fun matchup to watch a few times per season for a long, long time.