St. Louis Blues v Florida Panthers

Blues injury-filled season continues: Alex Steen, Barret Jackman out 4-6 weeks

While it’s true that every team deals with injuries, it seems like some get bit by that bug to an almost ridiculous degree. Aside from possibly the New York Islanders (a team who lost their best defenseman Mark Streit before a single game was played and also dealt without Kyle Okposo for most of the campaign), the St. Louis Blues were probably hit the hardest by injuries this season.

They fought major injuries to David Perron, Andy McDonald and Roman Polak. Meanwhile players such as Jaroslav Halak, TJ Oshie and seemingly their entire defense missed time with moderate problems.

In other words, it’s easy to be cheesy and call them the Black & Blues. You can add two other significant injuries to important players to the docket, as the team announced that solid forward Alex Steen and gritty defenseman Barret Jackman are out. Both are expected to miss four to six weeks, meaning that each player is unlikely to play again this season.

Steen is dealing with a high ankle sprain while Jackman underwent surgery on a broken right finger Thursday morning.

For those who might worry about seeing them play for St. Louis again, they should be back next year barring a trade. Jackman’s deal expires after the 2011-12 season while Steen is locked up through 13-14.

GM says Blue Jackets are ‘off the rails’ right now

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On Monday, PHT discussed the Columbus Blue Jackets’ troubling start, even if it felt like it may be too early to raise concerns.

Apparently Blue Jackets management is a little shaken by the second 0-3-0 start in franchise history, however.

Columbus GM Jarmo Kekalainen shared his shock and dismay with the Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline on Tuesday.

“I’m surprised how, in just five days, we’ve gone from a very confident group to something that’s the opposite of that,” Kekalainen told The Dispatch on Tuesday. “Our confidence, our game … it’s off the rails right now.

Maybe losing to the Buffalo Sabres stings a little bit extra?

Kekalainen said “there’s no excuse for how we played in Buffalo,” pointing out that every team in the NHL is a “good team.”

Indeed, just about every squad boasts some dangerous weapons if they catch an opponent sleeping.

Portzline goes deeper on Columbus’ recent history of stumbling out of the gate, but consider the foreboding stretch coming up.

Next four games: Three out of four at home
Eight games following that: Seven out of eight on the road.

As you can see, winter is coming for Columbus, so they best get things together. All things considered, this is the right time for a wake-up call.

For bonus chuckles, here’s a photo of Kekalainen on a railing.

via AP

Personal reasons: No Ovechkin for Caps tonight

Alex Ovechkin
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Alex Ovechkin won’t play for the Washington Capitals on Tuesday because of personal reasons, the team confirmed.

He entered the building considerably later than usual, but his presence at least opened the door for the possibility of No. 8 suiting up against the San Jose Sharks.

Instead, the Capitals will face the hot-starting Sharks without Ovechkin (personal reasons) and Nicklas Backstrom (injury).

That’s a tall order, yet it’s also an opportunity for Barry Trotz to prove his system is a difference-maker … and that the Capitals have the young players to take up the mantle when the big stars are out

This is how Washington’s forward lines may look tonight:

No, the Capitals have not shared details regarding what his “personal reasons” might be, by the way.