He is far from a perfect person, but it’s hard not to root for former Philadelphia Flyers/Ottawa Senators goalie Ray Emery.
After all, the eccentric netminder has gone through a lot the last few years. He went from being known as a bug-eating weirdo who occasionally put together brilliant stretches of hockey to a guy who helped the Senators make it to the Stanley Cup finals in 2007 only to find himself jettisoned to the KHL for the 2008-09 season. It seemed like he might find a temporary home in Philadelphia last season until a devastating hip injury put the 28-year-old goalie’s career in jeopardy.
Yet much like the cockroach he once allegedly consumed to win a bet with Daniel Alfredsson, Emery is a fighter. Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun reports that Emery is working with former Toronto Maple Leafs trainer Matt Nichol to try to get back into the NHL.
“He’s having vigorous, intense workouts every day,” said his agent, J.P. Barry. “He’s feeling good, but we aren’t at the stage where he’s ready to come back yet.”
Nichol, a former Maple Leafs trainer, hasn’t set a timetable for Emery’s comeback. The first step is to get him skating with a team again, which means he’ll likely work out with an OHL franchise in the coming weeks.
From there, Emery is going to have to go to the AHL on a 25-game professional tryout agreement to show that he is fully recovered and is still capable of playing at the NHL level.
“(Nichol) is being very cautious,” said Barry. “But Ray is working very hard and he’s determined to come back.”
Count me among the people who would love to see the quirky goalie in an NHL net again someday, although there aren’t exactly a ton of open spots in the league these days.
So far, the 2015-16 crop of rookies is living up to the hype, if not exceeding it. Connor McDavid‘s unfortunate injury hasn’t even derailed this year’s crop.
The Detroit Red Wings are watching their own blue chip blossom, as Dylan Larkin is making an instant impact.
No. 71 scored his 10th goal of the season against the Florida Panthers on Sunday, fattening his rookie goals lead.
He still needs five points to match rookie points leader Artemi Panarin, though.
There’s one thing we seem to know about Carey Price‘s injury situation: he first got hurt stepping on a puck on Oct. 29, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.
Contrary to earlier reports about him missing about a month, it sounds like his window of recovery is still up in the air (which, to be fair, could mean that he’ll still miss about a month when it’s all said and done).
ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun reports that Price underwent testing with Montreal’s team doctor on Saturday and is expected to go through more; we may not know more about his expected injury timeline until early this coming week.
So, basically, Price’s situation is fuzzier than his mustache right now.
Leg injuries can be tricky anyway, so we shouldn’t be too surprised that there are mixed signals regarding Price, and this may remain a fluid situation for some time.
(But we’ll hopefully know more soon enough.)
The Tampa Bay Lightning have plenty of time to rise above mediocrity, yet it still must be deserving to finish at .500 for two straight months.
After last night’s 3-2 loss to the New York Islanders, that’s exactly where they find themselves:
Record at the end of October: 5-5-2
Record at the end of November: 11-11-3
As of this writing, the Lightning found themselves on the outside looking in at the playoff picture. It all stands as a pretty tough thing for the reigning Eastern Conference champs to swallow.
The uncomfortable-yet-vital question is: can the Lightning break out of this funk?
Looking at their schedule, it won’t be easy, at least not right away.
They crawl through California during a three-game road trip to start December, and they also face six of eight on the road from Dec. 2 – 18.
The Lightning soak up home dates to finish 2015 after that, but what damage will be done by then?
Frankly, the Bolts will need to dig deep to break this pattern. If nothing else, they’ve fought with their backs against the wall before.
Sometimes a suspension will shame a player, or at least inspire him to change the way he plays.
That apparently won’t happen regarding Brandon Dubinsky‘s one-game timeout session for cross-checking Sidney Crosby.
Dubinsky told Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch that he won’t alter his style, whether it’s against Crosby or someone else.
“Nope,” Dubinsky said. “You know, I’ve played the same way my whole career and I’m not going to change. The next time I have an opportunity to play (Crosby), I’m going to play him hard.”
In case you’re wondering, that next opportunity comes on Dec. 21 in Pittsburgh, assuming that both players are healthy and not suspended.
One can understand Dubinsky’s perspective, although such honesty would be that much more interesting if there’s another incident with Crosby. His initial reaction to the hit was interestingly candid, admitting that his “stick rode up” on his adversary.
Would that stance – which, from a harsher view, might seem flippant to Dubinsky’s critics – open the door for a bigger future bit of a discipline?
Maybe, maybe not … but at least his comments aren’t as inflammatory as what John Tortorella said (at least on the record).