The last time we saw Max Pacioretty on the ice for the Montreal Canadiens, he was being taken off on a stretcher after being run into a stanchion by Bruins captain Zdeno Chara. After police investigations, a feisty playoff series between the Bruins and Canadiens, and just over six months gone, Pacioretty was back on the ice in a game.
Pacioretty suited up tonight for the Canadiens in their preseason game against the Buffalo Sabres and for Pacioretty, it was his first step towards getting back into the mix full time for Montreal.
After suffering broken vertebra in his neck and a severe concussion, Pacioretty playing once again gives the Habs great hope that he’ll be able to continue his ascension in Montreal as one of their better forwards. Seeing him get back to action also shows the strangeness for how treating a concussion works. We’ve seen how guys like Sidney Crosby, David Perron, and Peter Mueller among others have lost months and even a season’s worth of action while dealing with their head injuries.
Pacioretty is just over six months removed from his concussion and is back to game action. Some believe that players who suffer concussions can come back quickly and get right back to action. Given the severity of Pacioretty’s injury, you’d think that six months would be a relatively quick amount of time. Judging these injuries based how others treat them, however, is wrong to do. Different players respond differently to treatment. Pacioretty has apparently moved quickly in his recovery.
After seeing Chara’s investigation in Montreal come to a close and with Pacioretty back on the ice, the only final piece left for full closure is for both of them to face each other on the ice in a regular season game. Good luck toning down the hype that will build for that first match up in Montreal.
Born in Scottsdale, AZ., Auston Matthews has taken the NHL by storm in his rookie season as an elite talent headlining an impressive freshman class.
Taken first overall last June, Matthews made history with four goals in his debut, surely a dizzying experience for Maple Leafs fans accustomed to heartbreak and frustration. And he really hasn’t slowed down since.
On Sunday against the Carolina Hurricanes — and on Hockey Day in America — the 19-year-old Matthews once again put on a show, scoring his 28th goal of the season. That gave Toronto a two-goal lead.
As he’s often done in his brief time in the NHL, this goal was of the spectacular variety, as he broke in off the left wing and, as he was getting hauled down to the ice, slid the puck five-hole on Cam Ward.
Related: Auston Matthews is having a rookie season for the ages
For about a month now, Evander Kane has enjoyed a particularly productive stretch for the Buffalo Sabres.
Kane scored with 5.6 seconds remaining in the first period of Sunday’s game versus the Chicago Blackhawks, converting on a nifty pass from Jack Eichel and going top shelf on Scott Darling.
He now has goals in three straight games, and 15 points in 14 games as the Sabres have fought their way back into the playoff race in the Eastern Conference.
Of course, this latest run comes just before the trade deadline, and Kane’s name has consistently been in speculation about a possible move — in addition to off-ice issues. While GM Tim Murray has said earlier this month that he’s not actively shopping Kane, he also didn’t absolutely rule out trading the 25-year-old left winger, now into his second season in Buffalo.
(Murray: “Is there a crazy deal that somebody could throw at me that would force me to do it? I guess there is.”)
Most impressive about Kane’s numbers — remember he missed time earlier this season with a rib injury and then had a slow start, which drew the ire of the coach — is that he’s done the vast majority of his scoring, 20 of 21 goals, at five-on-five.
The Boston Bruins are back from their bye week, looking to continue a three-game winning streak since Bruce Cassidy took over as head coach from Claude Julien.
The Bruins can extend their streak Sunday, when they visit the San Jose Sharks (8:30 p.m. ET). You can check out the game on NBCSN or online with NBC Sports’ Live Extra.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE
Here are some links to check out for tonight’s game:
The NHL’s bye week experiment is still a work in progress
Pre-game reading: Are the Bruins and Avalanche on verge of trade?
Sharks have reason to wait on Thornton, Marleau extensions
Jacob Trouba could be getting a call from the NHL Department of Player Safety for a hit to the head of Ottawa Senators forward Mark Stone.
The incident occurred during the third period of Sunday’s game, as Stone was passing the puck after he entered the zone. Trouba stepped up and delivered a high hit, resulting in only a minor penalty for an illegal check to the head.
Stone, who dealt with a concussion that was reported in September, remained down on the ice before eventually going to the dressing room.
As you can see from the video, Senators coach Guy Boucher was furious officials on the ice decided this was only worth a minor for Trouba.