If you could picture an NHL player’s list of career injuries as a resume of sorts (maybe the hockey player is applying for the title of the league’s “Glass Man” or something?), then Tim Connolly would make Marian Gaborik and Kari Lehtonen sweat out the interview process.
While he hasn’t put together the kind of elite seasons that Gaborik managed in the rare years the Slovakian winger manages to played in more than 70 games, Connolly has often flirted with point-per-game productivity when he’s been able to stay on the ice. Yet his health concerns are such a perennial issue that its gone from something slightly humorous to a situation that’s tedious and sad.
Now, this shouldn’t be a major injury, but it must be frustrating for the Buffalo Sabres and Connolly: the center is expected to miss at least one week as he gets surgery on his nose.
Connolly’s facial injuries will require reconstructive surgery, Ruff clarified, “It looks like he’s gonna have to get operated on, It’s bad, so we’re gonna have to get it taken care of.”
When asked the duration of his recovery, Ruff was unsure of a timetable. “I don’t know if it will be a multi-week, we’re gonna cut it off at a week and see where’s he at.” When questioned if it involves his sinus and his nose, “everything needs to be reconstructed, there’s nothing there right now.”
Connolly finished the game in Tampa with a face shield, but Ruff confirmed Connolly can not suit up even with any protective gear until at least a week. The Sabres will reevaluate his status in a few days following his surgery, but he will not be able to play until next week.
The Sabres have called up forward Luke Adam from Portland. Adam has 12 goals and 10 assists this year for the Pirates, and one goal and one assist in 10 games with the Sabres.
“There’s nothing there right now” is the kind of comment that turns your stomach a bit. It makes me think of all the jokes surrounding Michael Jackson’s nose, so you can understand why Connolly might miss a week or more. Good luck to Connolly as he goes through the arduous (and yucky?) schnozzle reconstructive process.
Raanta rewards Rangers for starts over Lundqvist by blanking Blackhawks
If someone told you that the New York Rangers started a goalie on back-to-back nights, and that goalie wasn’t Henrik Lundqvist, you’d probably wonder if he was hurt or retired.
Nope. It just so happens that Antti Raanta is playing at an incredibly high level, Alain Vigneault noticed, and that decision paid dividends on Friday night. Raanta won both nights of a back-to-back, allowing a single goal (with the Rangers protecting him, being that he only needed to stop 43 of 44 shots during that span).
Raanta and the Rangers blanked the Chicago Blackhawks with a 1-0 overtime win, at least briefly climbing to first place in the massively competitive Metro Division:
1. Rangers – 39 points in 29 games played
2. Penguins- 37 points in 27 GP
3. Blue Jackets – 36 points in 25 GP
4. Capitals – 35 points in 26 GP
5. Flyers – 35 points in 29 GP
Nick Holden ended up scoring the only goal of the game:
Meanwhile, the Blackhawks lost but at least salvaged a standings point and it seems like Patrick Kane is OK after this injury scare:
Raanta improved to 7-1-0 on the season, allowing two goals or less in all but one of his appearances so far this season. That’s the kind of work you’d expect to see if you’re going sit a guy who’s, you know, a living legend.
Blue Jackets remain in thick of things in Metro on tough night for Red Wings
As the Columbus Blue Jackets keep rolling, the Detroit Red Wings are probably just happy to get Friday behind them.
For the second straight game, the Blue Jackets beat their opponent 4-1.
They’re now on a five-game winning streak, and like the climbing St. Louis Blues, things look great if you go back a little further. They’re 10-1-2 in their last 13 games and 13-2-3 since November began.
The New Jersey Devils have been incredibly difficult to beat at home. Lately, the St. Louis Blues have been on a roll just about anywhere.
On Friday night, the Blues were the hotter team, handing the Devils their first home loss in regulation in 2016-17. And it wasn’t particularly close, with St. Louis winning 4-1.
It’s a convenient time to note that the Blues rank among the hottest teams in the NHL. Most recently, they’re 5-1-1 in their last seven games, but they’ve been especially impressive since they flirted with .500 at 7-6-3. Beginning with a 4-1 win against the Buffalo Sabres on Nov. 15, the Blues are on a 8-2-1 tear.
This leaves them second in the Central with a 16-8-4 record.
That’s impressive stuff.
This 4-1 win was quite the showcase for Robby Fabbri and Vladimir Tarasenko, in particular. Tarasenko collected three assists while Fabbri scored two goals on Friday night. His second goal was particularly slick:
The Blues are right in saying that this was a pretty fitting opportunity to drop a “Holy Jumpin.”
Minnesota Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk has been the most difficult goalies to score against this season. Leave it to a high-level player like Leon Draisaitl to make it look this, well, “easy.”
Draisaitl scored his 13th goal of 2016-17 by capping this pretty give-and-go play with Benoit Pouliot. You can see the frustration from Dubnyk at the end of the tally, as if he was saying “How was I supposed to stop that?” (though probably with more colorful language).
Draisaitl came into Friday with five goals and three assists in his last five games, so he’s been almost unstoppable lately.