It’s a good thing that the Pittsburgh Penguins are hoping to win their 12th consecutive game and Sidney Crosby is setting the hockey world on fire right now, because if they were struggling, one background story would be getting awfully old.
That storyline is the seemingly unending Jordan Staal injury situation.
It began back in last season’s playoffs, when he rushed back from foot surgery and ultimately endangered the first month of the 2010-11 season. Just when it seemed like Staal was ready to get back to the Penguins, he broke his hand in a random accident in practice.
Still, that was in early November and sound the broken record: Staal is reportedly facing another setback as rumors are circulating that he “re-broke” his hand.
The Pittsburgh Penguins won’t know for sure until Monday, but it looks as though Jordan Staal has suffered a setback in his return from a broken hand.
Internet reports cropped up on Thursday that Staal may have re-broken the bone in his hand but Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma denied that on Friday saying there was some “calcification” issues.
“Jordan continues to progress in the timeline we had before,” Bylsma told Pittsburgh’s Tribune Review on Friday. “He’ll keep rehabbing on his current course.”
Now, however, it’s apparently possible Staal has re-broken the bone in the hand, or suffered some type of setback, although definitive word on that and the prognosis/timeline won’t come down until Monday.
With that, we’ll keep you updated on the latest “prognosis/timeline” when news surfaces next week. At this point, it almost seems like the Penguins will be lucky to get a month to integrate Staal into their lineup before the playoffs begin …
After establishing himself in the Swedish league, Anton Lindholm will head to North America.
The Colorado Avalanche announced that they have signed the 21-year-old defenseman to a three-year, entry-level contract. They selected Lindholm in the fifth round of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft.
More of a defensive defenseman, Lindholm only registered four assists in 30 Swedish league games with Skelleftea AIK in 2015-16, but he also had a team-high 85 hits despite missing a chunk of the season due to injury. During the playoffs he helped his team reach the SHL Finals by leading them in both hits and blocked shots.
That was his second full campaign with Skelleftea AIK. The next step for Lindholm will likely be for him to continue his development in the AHL.
PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.
Bob McKenzie shares his memories of Tragically Hip singer Gord Downie, who apparently was a big hockey fan. (TSN)
Don Cherry discusses John Brophy’s toughness after the former Leafs coach recently passed away. (Sportsnet)
A look at Vincent Lecavalier‘s career. (Greatest Hockey Legends)
The perils of flip-flopping goalies in the playoffs … although it worked out for the Penguins at least last night. (The Hockey News)
Speaking of which, will the Blues get burned for switching back to Brian Elliott in Game 6 tonight? Here’s a preview:
Sidney Crosby has a chance to join a very rare club of clutch goal-scorers if he can win it for Pittsburgh in Game 7:
Hot take: the Pittsburgh Penguins probably won’t deal with a goalie controversy going into Game 7.
(Ugh, that’s a failed hot take … you can’t use “probably” in those things, right?)
Matt Murray was fantastic at times during Game 6, much like his counterpart in the Tampa Bay Lightning’s net in a 5-2 win. Granted, there were some tense moments during the Bolts’ late-game push:
Much has been made about experience, especially from those calling for Marc-Andre Fleury earlier in this series. It’s telling that the praise Murray draws sure sounds like what you’d expect from a “veteran.”
“He has a calming influence,” Sullivan said. “He doesn’t get rattled. If he lets a goal in, he just continues to compete. That’s usually an attribute that usually takes years to acquire that, and to have it at such a young age is impressive.”
Thanks in part to Murray’s efforts in Game 6, he’ll get a chance to prove his resolve in something new: a Game 7 in the Eastern Conference Final.
Once again, his teammates seem pretty confident in this elimination situation.
The Tampa Bay Lightning seemed to sleepwalk through the first two periods of Game 6, and waking up in the final frame wasn’t enough to edge the Pittsburgh Penguins.
On the bright side, at least the Lightning aren’t in denial about that weak first 40 minutes.
It seemed like everyone on the team more or less admitted as much in unison.
Brian Boyle added that he felt like the Lightning tiptoed around this game. Jon Cooper often provides great quips, yet he was pretty matter-of-fact in this case.
Many will linger on this disallowed goal for Jonathan Drouin, which would have provided a 1-0 lead for Tampa Bay in the first period.
Let’s face it; that moment came pretty early in the game. To Tampa Bay’s credit, they’re not pinning the loss on that setback.
Now they must set their sights on competing throughout Game 7 … and maybe earning some bounces of their own in the process.
Read more about Game 6 here.