Usually, a high-sticking penalty that draws blood yields a double-minor. That wasn’t the case last night, as referees missed a Zbynek Michalek high-stick on Martin St. Louis, even though the missed infraction cost him two teeth.
Cameras caught St. Louis fuming on the Tampa Bay Lightning bench after the missed call. It was with good reason, too. Not only did the Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman go without a penalty – which would have been huge, especially since the Bolts only received one power play all game long – but St. Louis was forced to endure a painful dental surgery after the game.
Erik Erlendsson reports that the wayward stick fractured two of his teeth, forcing St. Louis to get a double root canal. There isn’t much of a chance for officials to deliver a “makeup call” in this situation, unless they allow a Lightning player to reenact a squirm-inducing interrogation scene from the movie “Old Boy.” (Note: that previous link isn’t for the faint of heart.)
Of course, St. Louis is expected to play in Friday’s Game 2 match, because he’s a hockey player. It goes back to the motto “hockey players are tough,” although somehow this is even more impressive than usual. There’s something about fighting through dental injuries that’s on a higher level of toughness, so kudos to St. Louis … a guy who deserves far more Hart Trophy attention than he’s getting, by the way.
As promised, Capitals star Alex Ovechkin rocked a pair of custom skates in honor of Russian Heritage Night on Thursday.
On his right skate, he paid tribute to the United States with a custom design, and paid tribute to his home nation on his left skate while taking the pre-game warm-up prior to facing the Columbus Blue Jackets.
He’ll be auctioning off the skates, as well.
From CSN Mid-Atlantic:
The skates were painted by noted custom shoe artists Nick Avery and Polo Kerber, whom Ovechkin personally selected. The skates feature the U.S. and Russia flags as well as the Capitol Building and Moscow’s St. Basil’s Cathedral.
Sidney Crosby has made news lately for his goal scoring and his use of the stick.
He speared Sabres forward Ryan O’Reilly below the belt the other night, and on Thursday he delivered a slash to Senators defenseman Marc Methot, who has since not returned to the game.
The slash rendered a finger on Methot’s left hand bloodied and injured. It certainly didn’t look good as Method (calmly) skated to the bench.
There was no call on the play.
Updated: Methot won’t return to this game.
Toronto’s talented rookies were back at it again Thursday, as William Nylander and Auston Matthews combined to set up the Maple Leafs’ first goal versus the New Jersey Devils.
Nylander added the second assist on the power play goal, giving him 35 helpers on the season.
That’s significant for a couple of reasons: He extends his point streak to 10 games, which sets a new Leafs rookie record. And the assist reportedly secured him another entry-level bonus:
The Anaheim Ducks have been without goalie John Gibson for almost two full weeks because of injury, but head coach Randy Carlyle provided reason for optimism on Thursday.
Per reports, Gibson took part in practice and Carlyle has said that his No. 1 netminder will play again during the regular season. Anaheim has nine games remaining on its schedule.
That’s good news for Anaheim heading into the post-season.
While Gibson has been out, Jonathan Bernier has stepped beyond his back-up role and provided solid goaltending for the Ducks during the stretch drive — which should also be a bonus for this club with the playoffs quickly approaching.
Bernier has wins in six of his last seven starts. In nine games this month, he has only twice allowed three goals or more.
The Ducks have fought their way back into contention for the Pacific Division with a recent surge that has coincided with San Jose’s current skid — only four wins in their last 10 games and four straight losses.
Related: Career back on track, Bernier hopes he can re-sign in Anaheim