The St. Louis Blues will get a huge lift Saturday night when LW David Perron rejoins the lineup to face the Chicago Blackhawks. Perron has been out of action since Nov. 4, 2010, after sustaining a concussion on this hit from San Jose’s Joe Thornton:
Similarities have been drawn between Perron and Sidney Crosby — who recently returned from a concussion-related absence himself — with the main issue being premature returns. After getting nailed by David Steckel in the 2011 Winter Classic, Crosby not only returned to the game, but played the following contest against Tampa Bay (it would be his final game of the season after taking a hit from Victor Hedman.)
Perron, meanwhile, left the game after getting nailed by Thornton — but only momentarily. He returned to the ice (and scored a goal) 10 minutes after getting hit, a decision that has since been questioned.
That said, both recovery processes displayed much more patience, and that patience seems to have paid off. Perron now must be chomping at the bit to rejoin a Blues team that’s found new life – they’re 8-1-2 under Ken Hitchcock and have jumped from 14th to fifth in the Western Conference.
The Blues should be just as excited to get Perron back. They’re ranked 30th in the NHL on the power play (8.8 percent), 21st in goals per game (2.46) and could definitely use his offensive spark.
Given St. Louis’ depth down the middle, there’s no shortage of places for Perron to play. Hitch likely won’t break up the Alex Steen-David Backes-TJ Oshie line (his only constant scoring unit) but could skate Perron with Matt D’Agostini and Patrik Berglund, or Jason Arnott and Jamie Langenbrunner.
Johansen is a ‘little disappointed’ the Blue Jackets didn’t recognize him in return to Columbus
On Sunday, he finally made his return back to Columbus as a member of the Predators. However, he did not receive any sort of tribute whatsoever from the team that originally selected him fourth overall in the 2010 draft, and that is something that apparently bothered him.
“I am a little disappointed they didn’t put anything on the Jumbotron and say ‘thank you’ or anything like that,” Johansen told the Columbus Post-Dispatch. “I think we all know who made that call, but whatever.”
While Johansen enjoyed some productive seasons with the Blue Jackets, his time in Columbus, particularly his final months, were dogged with contentious headlines about his contract negotiations with the club and then his working relationship with coach John Tortorella.
Johansen, now 24 years old, has nine goals and 40 points in 58 games this season for Nashville. Currently in the final year of his three-year, $12 million contract, he’s a restricted free agent at the end of this season.
Marchand scored his 25th goal of the season and, more importantly, the overtime winner for the Boston Bruins as they defeated the San Jose Sharks 2-1 on Sunday.
That’s Boston’s fourth consecutive win since the controversial coaching change — which took another twist earlier in the week when the rival Montreal Canadiens fired Michel Therrien and hired Claude Julien. Off a defensive zone faceoff, Marchand bolted up the ice for the breakaway pass, on what appeared to be a set play, beating Martin Jones through the legs.
The Bruins move back into third in the Atlantic Division, and are now only four points back of the faltering Habs for first.
Meanwhile, the Sharks were unable to fully capitalize on another freakish Brent Burns outing. He’s been dubbed ‘an unstoppable force’ in recent posts at PHT — a defenseman possessing great size at six-foot-five-inches tall and 230 pounds, but no shortage of mobility and offensive talent with 27 goals and 64 points in 60 games. Um, and did we mention he’s a defenseman. . . ?
Against the Bruins, he had 20 shot attempts — by far the most of any player in this game — in just over 26 minutes of ice time.
Given the final score, that probably doesn’t mean much to Brad Marchand.
Jacob Trouba will have a hearing for head shot on Mark Stone
Trouba was assessed only a minor penalty on the play. Stone, who dealt with a concussion prior to the beginning of the season, stayed down on the ice before he eventually made his way to the dressing room.
The incident occurred when Trouba stepped up to throw a hit on Stone, but instead caught him in the head as he followed through, sending Stone to the ice.