It sounds like NHL enforcers won’t have to worry about “The Boogeyman” for quite some time, as word from the New York Rangers indicates that tough guy Derek Boogaard is struggling to bounce back from a December 9th concussion.
Aside from the obvious number one choice that was the Ilya Kovalchuk free agent soap opera, the gold rush for enforcers was probably the oddest development in the often-bewildering free agent frenzy last summer.
In the span of hours, the Atlantic Division became “the heavyweight division” as the Islanders (Zenon Konopka), Flyers (Jody Shelley) and Rangers (Brandon Prust, Derek Boogaard) added to the already stout group of fighters among those five teams. Right after Philadelphia gave Jody Shelley a silly amount of money, Glen Sather upstaged them (and reminded us why people make fun of him so often) by giving “The Boogeyman” an absurd four-year, $6.6 million deal.
What was already a silly signing keeps getting worse, although perhaps a career-ending concussion might bail the Rangers out from his unnecessary cap hit (much like sending Wade Redden’s $6.5 million to the minors). We’ll let you know if Boogaard manages to appear in another game during the 2010-11 season, but it doesn’t look good right now, as John Tortorella notes that he hasn’t even begun working out yet.
It makes sense that a swift bit of history happened in a game in which three goals were scored scored on three shots in about three minutes.
Brad Marchand found the net eight seconds in after an icing call, setting a new record for the Boston Bruins.
(You can see that goal in the video above.)
Watch that three-goal burst in this video:
The two teams weren’t done then. Loui Eriksson made it 3-1 while Pavel Datsyuk scored his 900th point to make it 3-2.
Maybe the best moment wasn’t a goal: Torey Krug was seemingly hurt by a Pavel Datsyuk hit, yet he returned without missing much time.
When the New Jersey Devils shut down a team 1-0, it’s usually with Cory Schneider in net.
Their workhorse got the afternoon off against the Los Angeles Kings on Sunday, yet Keith Kinkaid did his Schneider impression, grabbing his first NHL shutout in the process.
It was a low-event game with just 46 combined shots on goal, but Kinkaid had to work, stopping all 28 shots. To give you an idea of how tight this game was, the only tally was credited to David Schlemko on the power play.
This gives the Devils three straight wins. They managed to climb into third place in the Metropolitan Division, although New Jersey’s edge is a little misleading; the Islanders trail them by one standings point while holding three games in hand.
That leaves the Islanders in the bottom wild card spot, while the Penguins aren’t so far behind either.
Third in Metro: Devils – 65 points with 57 games played
Second wildcard: Islanders – 64 points, 54 GP
First spot outside the East playoffs: Penguins – 63 points, 54 GP
So, the Devils’ hold of a playoff spot is a bit tenuous, yet the bottom line is that they’re staying in the mix.
The Kings, meanwhile, remain comfortably in first in the Pacific.
The Boston Bruins (without Patrice Bergeron) take on the Detroit Red Wings (missing Jonathan Ericsson) on Sunday afternoon.
It’s a matchup between the second-ranked and third-ranked teams in the Atlantic Division, with little separating the two in the standings.
You can watch the game on NBC and also stream it online via the link below.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE
As cool as it was at the time for many, Patrice Bergeron‘s fight against Blake Wheeler is … honestly, a good reminder why players like Bergeron rarely drop the gloves.
Multiple outlets including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty report that Bergeron will miss Sunday afternoon’s game against the Detroit Red Wings (which you can watch on NBC).
We don’t know a ton about the injury aside from the fact that the multiple Selke-winner is considered day-to-day.
People don’t seem overly concerned about this issue, but you have to wonder if Bergeron made a bad choice, especially considering his history of concussion issues.
You can watch the bout that may or may not have left him injured in the video above.