If the Florida Panthers truly believe they have a chance to break their lengthy playoff drought, that journey just got a bit tougher.
On Frozen Pond’s George Richards reports that Panthers center Shawn Matthias will miss six to eight weeks due to a broken ankle suffered in the team’s last game before the All-Star weekend. The semi-good news is that the reported window of time won’t cover the rest of the 2010-11 season, unless he suffers a setback. Still, the injury could keep him on the shelf into the late stages of March, when the Panthers are usually scratching and clawing to stay in the Eastern Conference bubble. (Then they usually end up just a few strides behind the bottom seeds in the playoffs.)
The team won’t be able to use the Matthias injury as a go-to excuse for why they didn’t make the playoffs because he’s only averaging a little less than 12 minutes of ice time per game. Still, the young forward already matched his modest career high of 16 points from last season, so it’s sad to see his moderate progress halted.
Matthias became a member of the Panthers system thanks to a trade that sent Todd Bertuzzi to the Detroit Red Wings in February 2007.
It’s been getting that spotlight since the Columbus Blue Jackets faced off against the Pittsburgh Penguins in a brisk playoff series, though it wouldn’t be surprising if the bad blood stemmed to Dubinsky’s days with New York.
To some, Dubinsky’s cross-check on Crosby will resonate far more than the end result of this game:
The bottom line is that he’ll get the last laugh, at least for now. (In-game, that moment merely drew a minor penalty.)
That’s because Dubinsky set up the overtime game-winner, and the cherry on the top of that spite sundae came with Crosby being on the ice when it happened:
They’re not just rubbing the Penguins the wrong way.
Cheap shot on a superstar, a little uncalled goalie interference and presto – Blue Jackets win!
The Buffalo Sabres probably deserved better during at least some chunks of their six-game skid, yet Jack Eichel swooped in on Friday to remind fans that there’s a light shining at the end of the tunnel.
You can watch his goal from tonight’s eventual 4-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes in the video above.
That’s not necessarily the absolute height of his on-ice magic, yet it clearly gave his team a lift:
Coach Bylsma: Feel like after Jack's goal, the game changed for us. #gamechanger