Tonight’s rivalry match-up between Washington and Pittsburgh from CONSOL Energy Center is going to have a pair of key defensemen missing from both teams.
Pittsburgh’s Paul Martin will miss tonight’s game as he got a bit banged up in yesterday’s game against Chicago. Martin was shoved from behind while heading towards the end boards and collided with them in a rough way. Martin left the game briefly but returned to finish up the rest of the way. Giving him a day off to rest after playing yesterday afternoon isn’t the worst idea in the world and the Pens can certainly soldier on without him. Pittsburgh called up former Boston University defenseman Brian Strait from the AHL to take Martin’s place tonight which is especially needed since newly acquired defenseman Matt Niskanen won’t be in Pittsburgh in time to play tonight.
Washington will still be without Mike Green as he continues to struggle bouncing back from being struck in the head with a puck back on February 6. Green’s absence from the lineup for a fifth straight game hurts them offensively as without Green’s ability to shoot the puck from the point and help pinch in to assist the defense generate offense. Oddly enough while the Caps offensive numbers have fallen off this year compared to the previous seasons, the complaints about Green’s defensive inabilities have subsided. Funny how that works out.
If the Caps are going to bounce back in the race in the Southeast Division and catch Tampa Bay, they’ll need him back to do it. Luckily for them, Green is shaping up to be back in the lineup in time for their game Friday against the Rangers.
Alexei Emelin has been in and out of the Montreal Canadiens lineup, but this wasn’t the way they wanted him to keep his legs fresh.
The hard-hitting defenseman received a game misconduct and five-minute major penalty for a late hit on Columbus Blue Jackets forward Matt Calvert on Tuesday.
So far, it sounds like Calvert may be OK.
You can see video of that hit above, as well as a GIF of the infraction via My Regular Face.
Many believe that Emelin should not have been ejected.
Injuries have been a regular problem for Joffrey Lupul for much of his time with the Toronto Maple Leafs, and it doesn’t look like that’s changing in 2015-16.
The team placed him on injured reserve retroactive to Nov. 28, calling up Rich Clune in the process.
This IR stint means that Lupul will miss at least three games for Toronto.
From the sound of things, it’s a nagging issue, as NHL.com notes.
“He’s been having the same problem here for a bit,” Mike Babcock told media members on Sunday. “He doesn’t seem to be getting the power back that they thought, so we’re just trying to monitor it the best we can.”
Leafs Nation points out that Lupul has missed about one-third of Toronto’s contests since suffering a separated shoulder in April 2012.
At 32, there’s still time for Lupul to fight through this, although injuries generally accumulate with age.
Will Ryan Suter say something foolish during tonight’s game? Is Brent Burns‘ beard so long that it’s finally starting to scrape the ice?
We’ll find out the answer to those questions and more during Tuesday’s NBCSN doubleheader.
Need to follow the two games online? Never fear.
Game 1: Minnesota Wild at Chicago Blackhawks
CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE
Game 2: Pittsburgh Penguins at San Jose Sharks
CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE
Message sent or not via healthy scratches or not, Dave Bolland returns to the Florida Panthers mix on Tuesday.
Unfortunately for the Panthers, it’s maybe not under the most ideal circumstances, as part of the explanation for his return is Nick Bjugstad‘s absence.
The Miami Herald’s George Richards reports that Bjugstad is out tonight against the St. Louis Blues with an upper-body injury that he suffered during a Monday practice.
In fact, as you can see in the tweet above, the young forward was sent home because of the injury.
This forces some shuffling, with Vincent Trocheck moving up to the second line while Bolland centers the third combo as usual.
The Panthers are currently on a two-game winning streak and visit St. Louis as the second date in a five-game road trip.
This is also the early part of a span in which they play nine of 10 games on the road (counting Sunday’s away win), so a prolonged absence from Bjugstad could sting that much more.