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Montreal’s Josh Gorges played on a torn ACL for eight years

Last night we found out that Montreal would be losing the services of defensive defenseman Josh Gorges for the remainder of the season thanks to a knee injury in which he’ll need to have surgery to repair. Knee injuries are no joke and they’re a bit too common amongst Habs defensemen as Andrei Markov is out with one himself.

What we sometimes don’t know is how badly an injury really is or how much pain a player will go through in order to keep playing or keep his spot in the lineup. Hockey players are generally considered a tougher bunch than most amongst athletes, you have to wonder if sometimes the stories you hear about how much pain a guy plays through is just myth making. Josh Gorges scoffs at such claims as he says he’s been playing with a torn ACL in his knee since 2002.

A day after Canadiens GM Pierre Gauthier announced that Gorges would need season-ending knee surgery, the 26-year-old blue-liner wasn’t ready to see the glass as half-empty just yet.

“I’ve had better times. This obviously sucks. As a player, you never want to be on the sidelines watching and it’s something new for me so it’s going to be difficult to deal with,” admitted Gorges, who has been playing with a torn ACL since his days with the Kelowna Rockets in 2002. “Obviously, right now, it’s tough to swallow and it sucks, but down the road I’ll have a good knee that’s 100 percent functional and working better than it has in seven years. I’ll see the light at the end of the tunnel at some point and when that day comes, it will be good.”

Now since we’re just keyboard jockeys that sit here and type out words for a living, jamming a finger or stubbing our toes are generally the worst injuries we’ll encounter when working from home. To hear about a guy playing with a torn knee ligament for over eight years is astounding and ridiculous.

We’ve said it before jokingly at times but usually pretty seriously: Hockey players aren’t human. Say, anyone seen that cart they took Brett Favre off for having a cut on his chin?

Predators smash Sharks to get back in series

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After a dispiriting 1-0 goal allowed by Pekka Rinne, things were looking bleak for the Nashville Predators for a moment there.

Nashville’s developed into a resilient group, however, and they stormed back for a commanding 4-1 win to shrink San Jose’s series advantage to 2-1.

The Predators saw some of their big names come up huge as the series shifted from San Jose to Nashville.

Pekka Rinne looked sharp following that first goal (and didn’t allow another). Their goals came from James Neal, Colin Wilson, Filip Forsberg and captain Shea Weber.

Weber’s tally was the game-winner, and it was downright thunderous:

Another promising sign: after a struggling to a 2-for-31 clip in previous playoff games, the Predators’ power play went 2-for-5 in Game 3.

Overall, the Predators really couldn’t ask for much more from this win, especially if Colton Sissons is indeed OK after a scary crash into the Sharks’ net.

Things could get really interesting if Nashville manages to “hold serve” with another home win on Thursday.

Stars’ goalie carousel goes around again: Lehtonen replaces Niemi

Dallas Stars goalie Antti Niemi (31) subs in for goalie Kari Lehtonen (32) during the third period of an NHL hockey game, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015, in Dallas. The Stars won 6-5. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
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It’s pretty tough not to make jokes about the Dallas Stars spending $10.4 million on their goalies at times like these, even if Dallas’ defense should shoulder plenty of blame.

After Kari Lehtonen was pulled from a Game 2 loss, the St. Louis Blues chased Antti Niemi early in the second period of Game 3 after Niemi allowed three goals on 12 shots.

Troy Brouwer‘s 3-1 goal was enough for Lindy Ruff to give Niemi the hook:

Unfortunately for the Stars, Lehtonen got off to a slow start as well, allowing an immediate Vladimir Tarasenko goal.

The Blues are now 4-1 and the Stars are searching for answers … and probably wishing Tyler Seguin was around to help them out-score their problems.

Islanders believe Boyle should be suspended for hit before OT goal

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Thomas Hickey is involved in a controversial hit, yet the greater debate may revolve around the one he received rather than the one he delivered.

In the second period, the New York Islanders defenseman connected for a thunderous hit on Tampa Bay Lightning forward Jonathan Drouin, which sidelined Drouin for a chunk of Game 3.

Many believe that hit was legal:

The Islanders are upset about the Brian Boyle hit on Hickey in overtime, which came moments before Boyle scored the game-winning goal. You can see the full sequence here, with the hit happening around the 50-second mark:

Islanders head coach Jack Capuano believes that it was a suspension-worthy hit.

You’re not going to believe this, but the Lightning disagree.

Boyle clearly didn’t receive a penalty on that sequence, yet one would imagine that the league will at least take a look at that hit.

Lightning take dramatic OT win vs. Islanders, go up 2-1 in series

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Brian Boyle was part of the fight before Game 3 even started … and then he ended it in overtime.

In a Tampa Bay Lightning win in which they just kept rolling with the New York Islanders’ punches, it only seems fitting that Boyle battled to land a big hit and then score the clinching goal for a 5-4 overtime victory.

This gives the Lightning a 2-1 series lead heading into Game 4.

Also fitting? Boyle landed a big hit on Thomas Hickey, the guy who sidelined Jonathan Drouin for a chunk of this contest.

That sequence prompted a brief goal review, but it ultimately stood:

(Was that Boyle hit on Hickey dirty, by the way?)

Drama was in the air from the beginning, yet Drouin really stole the show when he came back from what some believe was a concussion to assist on Nikita Kucherov‘s last-minute goal, which sent the game to overtime.

In some ways, this win feels like a microcosm of the Lightning’s season. They keep getting hit in the mouth with injuries and near-injuries, yet they just won’t stay down.

The Islanders saw three leads disappear in this contest, but one would think that they won’t roll over, either.