Alex Ovechkin’s lack of goal scoring this year has been a headline all of its own this season. Through 41 games Ovechkin has just 14 goals on the season. He’s still leading the Caps in points scored thanks to getting 28 assists this year, but Ovechkin is and has been a goal-scoring monster since joining the NHL.
Today, we found out that Ovechkin received a cortisone shot for an injury that’s been nagging him this season. While it raises our eyebrows enough to hear that he’s getting a shot to take care of an injury, it’s strange enough to hear that he’s injured at all. Caps coach Bruce Boudreau has to take any and all precautions with his top star as the Caps cannot afford to lose any amount of offense from the lineup. Corey Masisak of NHL.com has the story.
Neither Ovechkin nor Boudreau would comment on the specifics of the injury, but the Capitals captain was taking his left hand off his stick during drills and even shot the puck once with only his right hand. Ovechkin has been spotted on television broadcasts rolling his left wrist while sitting at the bench during games at different points this season.
Boudreau said he didn’t know how long the injury has been bothering Ovechkin, or if it has affected his play. Ovechkin has 14 goals at the halfway point of the season — far off the pace for even his worst season of his career (46 in 2006-07).
“I don’t know — it has probably been awhile for him to get a cortisone shot,” Boudreau said. “I don’t know, I couldn’t tell you. We’ll find out this weekend maybe if it’s worked or what.”
Ovechkin is a right-handed shooter and if the left hand or wrist is bothering that’s a huge problem as far as controlling the puck or getting any leverage to control a shot. With how hard Ovechkin plays each game, getting any nicks and bumps isn’t a big deal but getting such aggressive treatment to make sure he can stay in the lineup isn’t something we’re used to hearing about with Ovechkin.
If this injury is indeed the thing that’s kept Ovechkin from potting goals at his usual insane rate, business is about to pick up in a big way for the Capitals if the treatment takes. The rest of the Eastern Conference had better be prepared for a potential Ovi onslaught of goals.
As much as many of us suffer during a trip to the dentist, few can fathom the horrors hockey players often go through when a puck, stick or fist finds their teeth/mouths. Consult this vintage PHT post from 2010 if you want to cringe, a lot.
Much like Eddie Lack “only” dealing with a neck sprain, it’s strange to be heartened to hear that Logan Couture can speak and eat after his own painful ordeal, but that’s the positive update from the Mercury News on Tuesday.
Couture, Wilson said, did not need to have his jaw wired shut after a deflected puck caught him in the mouth on Saturday when the Sharks played the Nashville Predators.
“Hey, he can speak and eat … and his jaw isn’t wired shut!” Yeesh.
To little surprise, Couture isn’t playing on Tuesday. As far as the Sharks next three games (Thursday, Friday and Sunday), that remains to be seen.
As an aside, consider this: on the same day Jonathan Drouin‘s celebrating his birthday after helping the Lightning win, Couture is lucky if he can force down some birthday cake. Life: it isn’t always fair.
PHT discussed his trip to the dentist on Monday.
More mouth pain: When David Backes felt like his face was falling off.
The Carolina Hurricanes and Detroit Red Wings both exchanged signs of respect after Eddie Lack left last night’s game on a stretcher, but there’s a little controversy surrounding that situation … from the Red Wings’ perspective.
You see, Andreas Athanasiou may not have collided with Lack if not for a shove/cross-check by Hurricanes forward Victor Rask.
Athanasiou is out for the Red Wings tonight, and as the Detroit Free Press’ Helene St. James reports, he blames the Rask hit.
Here’s a screen grab of that moment via NBCSN/the Fox Sports broadcast:
Now, check it out in full motion:
It’s unfortunate that two injuries came of that overtime-clincher, though one may at least mildly defend Rask in noting that Athanasiou was really displaying his blazing speed on that play.
The Red Wings could very well be eliminated tonight, or soon, but Athanasiou has been a bright spot during a sometimes-glum season for Detroit. Hopefully, like Lack, this is merely a minor issue from an unfortunate collision.
Yes, it feels a little weird to “cheer” a neck strain, but such injury news feels pretty fantastic for Eddie Lack.
The Carolina Hurricanes announced that he’s dealing with exactly that on Tuesday morning, not that long after Lack’s scare after being stretchered off the ice following a collision with Detroit Red Wings Andreas Athanasiou.
Lack ended up being hospitalized, but as it turns out, that was a pretty short-term situation.
With the positive news in mind, it’s already appropriate to wonder when Lack might be back, particularly since he’s been on quite a tear during Carolina’s unlikely push for a possible playoff spot. The Hurricanes didn’t provide a window of time for his recovery, and Lack himself was vague-if-positive:
In the mean time, the Hurricanes recalled Alex Nedeljkovic, who one would assume would primarily back up Cam Ward.
So, long story short: things seem very positive for Lack, though his rehab process remains cloudy.
Update: As it turns out, Anton Khudobin might be the goalie dealing with an injury, according to the Boston Herald’s Steve Conroy. So, tonight’s starter boils down to Tuukka Rask or Zane McIntyre.
(Rask it is.)
Tuukka Rask was supposed to be back in goal for the Boston Bruins tonight.
But then, just a couple of hours before their game with the Nashville Predators, the B’s announced they’d recalled goalie Zane McIntyre from the AHL on an emergency basis.
It’s not yet clear why McIntyre was recalled. Rask missed Saturday’s game in Brooklyn with a lower-body injury, but coach Bruce Cassidy said earlier today that Rask was healthy and ready to go.
“Tuukka is healthy,” said Cassidy. “That’s what he indicated to me and that’s all I needed to hear. He’ll be our starter tonight.”
If Rask is unable to play, expect Anton Khudobin to get the nod.
Khudobin backstopped the B’s to a 2-1 victory over the Isles on Saturday.