Aside from flat-out fatigue and/or disinterest, star injuries are possibly the biggest threat to the entertainment value of any All-Star game that takes place during a sport’s season. Any hit in any game can render an important talent unable to participate.
Considering the fact that Sidney Crosby is dealing with concussion problems, former All-Star and current NHL executive Brendan Shanahan must grapple with the possibility that the game’s biggest name might need to miss the event. Calgary Sun columnist Eric Francis notes that Shanahan’s plan was to announce the two teams’ captains this week, but Crosby’s in-limbo status might throw a wrench in those plans.
Francis notes that the Pittsburgh Penguins aren’t giving daily updates on Crosby’s status anymore, but he phoned the player’s agent Pat Brisson. Brisson basically backed up other reports, stating that Crosby seems to be getting better but is still dealing with some symptoms.
The Penguins have stopped giving daily updates on Crosby, but his agent talked to him Saturday and told the Sun his post-concussion symptoms are still there.
“He feels better, but he’s still not there,” said Pat Brisson.
“He’s groggy in the morning and doesn’t feel too good.He’ll feel better for five or six hours, and then it gets worse. It’s the grogginess more than anything. He had severe neck pain after the (David) Steckel hit, but it’s going away a bit.”
Bylsma added that Crosby, the ultimate grown-up rink rat, is staying involved as best he can while he recovers from a concussion that has kept him off the ice for the past four games.
“It’s funny,” Bylsma said. “Physical activity is not something that he’s involved in right now, but he’s been around the rink an awful lot talking hockey, thinking about the power play, doing things to try to stay motivated and be involved.”
As you’ve probably noticed, guessing when a player might return from concussion problems is a fool’s errand. So instead of speculating regarding when Crosby might return, we’ll pass along updates on his condition.
‘If he was in Toronto, there’d be no Carey Price, media-wise’ – Boudreau on Dubnyk
While his 11-6-3 record won’t blow anyone’s mind, his 1.65 GAA and .946 save percentage are jaw-dropping. With Dubnyk doing special things, Bruce Boudreau felt the need to say weird things* after Dubnyk helped the Wild beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-2 on Wednesday.
“If he was in Toronto, there would be no Carey Price … I’m just saying media-wise,” Boudreau said after the game, as you can see in this video:
Even if Dubnyk was in a bigger market, there’d probably be room in our hockey thoughts for Dubnyk and the consensus best goalie in the world, but Boudreau’s larger point is taken: Dubnyk has been right there with the best early on this season.
And, let’s be honest, we shouldn’t be too hard on Boudreau or he might stop saying … well, things like this:
Boudreau: "I told the guys, 'It may not look it, but my insides are really happy right now.'" #mnwild
It’s difficult to tell just how big of a headache this might be, but SBNation‘s Mary Clarke uncovered quite the eyebrow-raiser on Wednesday: the Vegas Golden Knights’ trademark request was rejected by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
You can read the 164-page document here (if you’re weird), but the gist is that “registration of the applied-for mark is refused because of a likelihood of confusion with the mark” used by the College of Saint Rose Golden Knights.
Clarke summarized it simply enough:
Essentially, the logos and stylizations are too similar. It’s baffling the NHL and Vegas didn’t go through the trademark process before announcing the name and logo last month. Yet, all is not lost. Later down, the document states the Black Knight Sports and Entertainment group “may respond to the refusal by submitting evidence and arguments in support of registration.”
Sports Illustrated’s Alex Prewitt received this release from the Vegas Golden Knights, which indicated that they will respond to the refusal (and also noted how teams like the Boston Bruins and UCLA Bruins share names without issues).
It wasn’t pretty, and they might have lost key defenseman Matt Niskanento injury, but at least the Washington Capitals managed a win against the Boston Bruins.
For a while, it was looking pretty ugly.
After going up 3-0, the Capitals went more than a period’s worth of time without even managing a shot on goal. Whether you lean more toward giving the Bruins credit for fighting back or beating up the Capitals for “sitting on a lead,” it’s staggering that such a dangerous offense could be held in check for so long.
Luckily for Washington, Nicklas Backstrom salvaged the night with an overtime goal to give the Capitals a 4-3 overtime win.
Both teams have had a knack for extending games beyond regulation lately, by the way:
Capitals over the last three games:
Shootout loss to the Lightning
Overtime win against the Sabres
Overtime win tonight against the Bruins
Bruins over the last five games:
Shootout loss against Flyers
Shootout win against Hurricanes
Regulation win against Sabres
Overtime win against Panthers
Overtime loss to the Capitals
Maybe that’s what gets it done in 2016-17: finding ways to carve out wins and shake out rough patches, like the Caps did tonight.
Matt Niskanen injured by Patrice Bergeron boarding hit
The Capitals consider Niskanen “probable” to return to Wednesday’s game against the Boston Bruins with what they’re calling an upper-body injury. Bergeron received a two-minute boarding penalty for the infraction.
(Check out video of the hit above.)
The Capitals’ Twitter acknowledged the brewing bad feelings.