Max Pacioretty

Science wonder or bad decisions? Max Pacioretty could return for playoffs

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When Max Pacioretty was diagnosed with a broken neck and a severe concussion following the brutal hit he took from Zdeno Chara last week it was assumed the Pacioretty would miss the rest of the season and the playoffs thanks to the injuries.

Obviously we know that hockey players seem to be tougher than us regular puny humans, but the news today that Pacioretty is aiming towards returning to action during the playoffs is stunning and surprising no matter what. Canadiens coach Jacques Martin says that while things looked bleak before, they’re getting better quickly.

Team doctors informed the coach that Pacioretty will be able to resume training, with contact, in three to five weeks.

He is to take complete rest until March 26 and then begin rehab.

“It looked for a moment that his career was in danger so it’s good news that he’ll be able to get back to practice,” said Martin.

With that sort of time frame, that means Pacioretty is on an even quicker pace to returning to action than Marc Savard was last year when he came back from his hit delivered by Matt Cooke that gave him a concussion. Obviously we’re not doctors here nor are we even paramedics with a degree from an website that was delivered written in crayon, but you’ll have to forgive us if we’re just a little bit wary of how quickly he’s trying to come back from this.

We discussed it a bit yesterday how coming back quickly from head injuries did nothing to help both Savard and Philadelphia’s Ian Laperriere. Given how serious Pacioretty’s injury was reported to be it would seem prudent to us that taking as much time as needed to come back would be the right move. We’re not the player here and we don’t know what it’s like to deal with such injuries so perhaps our skepticism is unwarranted.

Perhaps former Michigan Wolverine Max Pacioretty lives up to being a Wolverine in the most comic book hero-like senses when it comes to recovering from injury, but we’re nervous for him and we’re hopeful that the doctors and the Habs are wise about this. The last thing anyone needs to see is another brutal setback and potentially career-ruining injury because a guy wanted to get back on the ice sooner than he should have. If it turns out that it’s the right move for him, it’s a wonderful story and makes him a marvel of modern science.

WATCH LIVE: Game 3 of Sharks – Predators, Stars – Blues

Dallas Stars left wing Jamie Benn (14) skates with the puck against St. Louis Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk (22) during the first period of Game 2 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Western Conference semifinals, Sunday, May 1, 2016, in Dallas. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
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The Nashville Predators hope to get back in their series now that the San Jose Sharks are visiting “Smashville.” Meanwhile, the Dallas Stars and Blues jostle for a 2-1 lead in St. Louis.

You can keep up with Game 3 of the Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Islanders (which is in progress) right here and on NBCSN.

Game 3 of Sharks – Predators is on USA Network and can be streamed via the link below.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE

Finally, Game 3 of Stars – Blues airs on NBCSN. Keep an eye out for notes if there’s overlap with Bolts – Isles (which would bump it temporarily to NHL Network), but either way, you can stream the action below.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE

Video: Jonathan Drouin shaken up by huge Thomas Hickey hit

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Jonathan Drouin‘s strong playoff play has been a big story for the Tampa Bay Lightning, but his health is in question after taking a huge hit on Tuesday.

As you can see from the video above, Drouin was shaken up by an enormous check from New York Islanders defenseman Thomas Hickey. It’s believed that Drouin went to “The Quiet Room” to see if he suffered a concussion; PHT will pass along whatever information becomes available.

(NHL teams aren’t exactly forthcoming with this information.)

The Islanders actually ended up with a power play from the fallout, as Hickey’s hit didn’t earn a penalty. The general reaction is that it wasn’t a dirty hit, yet some might disagree with that sentiment.

Update: Drouin didn’t come out during the beginning of the third period. He did, however, return midway through the final frame.

2016 Foundation Player Award finalists: Giordano, Martin, Subban

Montreal Canadiens defenceman P.K. Subban walks away after taking with reporters during an end of season availability at the team training facility Monday, April 11, 2016 in Brossard, Quebec. None of the seven Canadian NHL teams was good enough this season to reach the Stanley Cup playoffs, a dismal milestone in the home of modern hockey and the first time it has happened since the 1969-70 season. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press via AP)
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The NHL named the three finalists for the 2016 Foundation Player Award on Tuesday: Calgary Flames captain Mark Giordano, New York Islanders forward Matt Martin and Montreal Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban.

The awarded is handed to “an NHL player who applies the core values of hockey — commitment, perseverance and teamwork — to enrich the lives of people in his community.”

The winner gets to hand $25K to the charity of his choice.

Video: Things get heated before Lightning – Islanders Game 3

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You know a playoff series is starting to rev up when teams can’t even peacefully share an ice surface during warm-ups.

The New York Islanders and Tampa Bay Lightning seemed to draw a red line in the sand between each other before Game 3, with the two sides exchanging a couple bumps and mean looks.

It’s … honestly a pretty amusing spectacle.

You can watch it all in the video above. Perhaps this GIF will fuel a meme or two:

Brian Boyle downplayed the exchange(s):