Anaheim Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf has been out with one of the gorier injuries we’ve heard of this year. After being struck in the head by a puck, Getzlaf was knocked out with sinus fractures. We can’t imagine the amount of pain that goes into such a thing, but it’s kept Getzlaf out of 14 straight games. Now it looks like Getzlaf will be back on the ice with the team this week and ready to play on Wednesday against Vancouver as Getzlaf says he’s ready to go.
Getzlaf had 13 goals and 24 assists in 40 games this year and he was undoubtedly the team’s offensive spark plug. With Getzlaf centering Corey Perry on the team’s top line, scoring became a bit easier for Perry and everyone around them on the top line. With Getzlaf out, Perry has continued to score and even earned the NHL’s third star of the week recognition this week.
Getzlaf will be rejoining a Ducks team that has thrived in his absence and holds on to a fifth place tie in the Western Conference with a resurgent San Jose team. You’d have to imagine that with his return and the likely addition of Ray Emery as a backup for Jonas Hiller, the Ducks are shaping up nicely. Getting some better play on defense could make them very dangerous in the playoffs. For now, getting Getzlaf helps make the Ducks more potent offensively and that never hurts to have.
Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.
It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.
The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.
As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.
Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?
The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.
This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.
Zack Kassian may have avoided major injuries stemming from his Sunday car accident, but it likely sent the signal that he may need help.
The response: he was placed in Stage Two of the Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program (SABH) of the NHL and NHLPA on Monday.
According to the league’s release, Kassian “will be suspended without pay until cleared for on-ice competition by the program administrators.”
Speaking of being suspended without pay, here’s a key detail:
The 24-year-old ended up with a broken nose and broken foot from that accident. The 2015-16 season was set to be his first campaign in the Montreal Canadiens organization after a tumultuous time with the Vancouver Canucks.
Kassian spoke of becoming more mature heading to Montreal, but the Canadiens were critical of his actions, wondering how many wake-up calls someone can get.
In case you’re wondering about the difference between stage one and two: