Rare good injury news for Blues: Erik Johnson’s knee injury is only a sprain

Just about every sports team can come up with some legitimate excuses when they fail, but every once in a while, a club gets bamboozled by bad luck often enough that it’s tough not to give them an “incomplete” rather than a failing grade.

The St. Louis Blues seem like that team this season. They’ve been hit hard in the forward position, with David Perron, T.J. Oshie and Andy McDonald missing time. Their blueline has been black and blue too, with Roman Polak, Alex Pietrangelo and now Erik Johnson dealing with injuries.

Considering that run of bad luck along with the golf cart crash related knee injury that sidelined Johnson for the 2008-09 season, it’s not surprising that many were preparing for more awful news. Well, the bad news is that Johnson might miss a few games. The good news, though, is that the knee injury only appears to be a sprain.

The Blues are breathing a sigh of relief tonight, after learning that defenseman Erik Johnson suffered only a sprain of his right knee Wednesday night in Detroit.

“As far as the Blues go today, it’s been a good day,” Blues President John Davidson said. “Erik Johnson had an appointment with the doctor this morning … and he was sent for an MRI … and what he has is a slight sprain of the knee, and it’s day to day. So there’s not a long-term injury here, he’s relieved, we’re relieved and maybe this is a good sign for things for us to turn around finally. That’s where it is with Erik.”

In Jets return, Burmistrov delivers headshot to Bergeron

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Didn’t take long for Alex Burmistrov to make his presence felt — though not in a good way.

Burmistrov, playing in his first game for the Jets after a two-year stint in Russia, delivered a questionable elbow to the head of Boston’s Patrice Bergeron late in the first period of Thursday’s season-opener:

Burmistrov received a two-minute minor for an illegal check to the head, while Bergeron received a matching minor for roughing (retaliating for the elbow, specifically).

The Bruins went into the intermission leading 1-0, and have yet to update Bergeron’s status.

Ducks name Kesler alternate captain

Ryan Kesler
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For the second time in his career, Ryan Kesler is wearing an “A.”

On Thursday, the Anaheim Ducks announced that Kesler would serve as one of the club’s alternate captains this season, taking over for Francois Beauchemin, who signed in Colorado this summer.

With the move, Kesler joins Anaheim’s existing leadership group of captain Ryan Getzlaf, and alternate Corey Perry.

“It’s an honor,” Kesler said, per the Ducks. “It’s special. I’m going to wear it with pride and lead by example.”

As mentioned earlier, Kesler has some experience as an alternate — he wore an “A” in Vancouver from 2008-13, but had it removed prior to the start of the ’13-14 campaign.

It’s not surprising Anaheim went in this direction. GM Bob Murray made a huge investment in Kesler this summer by inking the 31-year-old to a six-year, $41.25M extension.