Jordan Staal

Staal, Neal out for extended periods


More bad injury news for the Pittsburgh Penguins. According to coach Dan Bylsma, Jordan Staal is out 4-6 weeks with a knee injury and James Neal has a broken foot that will keep him out “weeks, not days.”

The Penguins are already without Sidney Crosby and Kris Letang, each with concussions and no timetables set for returns.

Pittsburgh’s also lost four straight and finds itself just one point clear of ninth-place Winnipeg in the Eastern Conference.

Is it time to discuss the possibility of the Penguins missing the playoffs? At this point you’d have to classify that as unlikely, but you can’t dismiss it entirely. To do so would be unfair to Crosby, Letang, Staal and Neal. Not many teams could lose those four for extended periods and keep winning.

Of course, another potential scenario has the Pens squeaking into the playoffs, getting healthy and handing a top seed in the East a “you gotta be kidding me” first-round matchup.

Welcome back, Babs: Red Wings chase Bernier

Mike Babcock
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Mike Babcock admitted that there might be a painful transformation as he tries to fix the Toronto Maple Leafs.

His old friends made that abundantly, painfully clear on Friday.

As of this writing, the Detroit Red Wings are up 4-0 on the Buds. Justin Abdelkader just completed a hat trick with James Reimer in net, so the subplot isn’t just about Jonathan Bernier having another tough start.

The big story might just be Detroit’s varied new line of Abdelkader, Dylan Larkin (who scored his first career goal) and Henrik Zetterberg. At the moment, they’ve combined for seven points.

This post will be updated if Detroit’s tribute video to Babcock surfaces.

Really, though, this beating has been about as ugly as this blanket so far.

Blue Jackets’ Wennberg done for night with upper-body injury

Alexander Wennberg, Jay Bouwmeester
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It wouldn’t be a regular season game without a Columbus Blue Jackets injury, right?

OK, the Blue Jackets hope that 2015-16 looks different from the medically challenged mess of last season, but at least one player is banged up tonight.

Alexander Wennberg suffered an upper-body injury and won’t return on Friday, as the team noted.

There’s no word yet regarding how serious the issue might be. It looks like he might have suffered an injury thanks to a Chris Kreider check:

Naturally, the Blue Jackets must hope that this doesn’t begin another trend.