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Dallas coach on Ribeiro MCL tear: “We don’t know how he played the last game”

On Saturday, Dallas Stars center Mike Ribeiro went knee-on-knee with Edmonton defenseman Theo Peckham. The collision stung a bit so Ribeiro left the game momentarily, threw on a knee brace, returned to the game and potted two goals in a 4-1 win.

It was a gutsy performance, made even more gutsy by the fact Ribeiro suffered an MCL tear on the play.

“We don’t know how he played the last game,” Stars head coach Glen Gulutzan told the Dallas Morning News. “He seems to do good when he gets injured and comes back.

“He has an MCL [tear] there, but there’s an old MCL [scar] there, so that pollutes the water of what’s actually there. He has it and he’s limping around, but Ribs thinks he can play.”

The Stars held Ribeiro out of Tuesday’s game against Anaheim — a 5-2 loss — after an MRI revealed the tear. Now Gulutzan faces the difficult decision of letting Ribeiro play through the injury, which is what the center would prefer, or keeping Ribeiro in Dallas for rehab while the Stars complete their mini two-game road trip (Dallas finishes in L.A. on Thursday.)

“He may fly in tomorrow,” Gulutzan said. “In Ribby’s case, we just don’t want Ribby to put that knee in a vulnerable situation, where guys can take a run at him and he can’t get out of the way. As far as blazing speed, that’s not part of Ribby’s repertoire…but we want him to have the ability to get away from guys.”

Even without blazing speed, Ribeiro’s been a key contributor for Dallas this season. He’s third on the team in scoring (31 points in 40 games) and second on the team in assists, with 21.

GM says Blue Jackets are ‘off the rails’ right now

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On Monday, PHT discussed the Columbus Blue Jackets’ troubling start, even if it felt like it may be too early to raise concerns.

Apparently Blue Jackets management is a little shaken by the second 0-3-0 start in franchise history, however.

Columbus GM Jarmo Kekalainen shared his shock and dismay with the Columbus Post-Dispatch on Tuesday.

“I’m surprised how, in just five days, we’ve gone from a very confident group to something that’s the opposite of that,” Kekalainen told The Dispatch on Tuesday. “Our confidence, our game … it’s off the rails right now.

Maybe losing to the Buffalo Sabres stings a little bit extra?

Kekalainen said “there’s no excuse for how we played in Buffalo,” pointing out that every team in the NHL is a “good team.”

Indeed, just about every squad boasts some dangerous weapons if they catch an opponent sleeping.

The Post-Dispatch goes deeper on Columbus’ recent history of stumbling out of the gate, but consider the foreboding stretch coming up.

Next four games: Three out of four at home
Eight games following that: Seven out of eight on the road.

As you can see, winter is coming for Columbus, so they best get things together. All things considered, this is the right time for a wake-up call.

For bonus chuckles, here’s a photo of Kekalainen on a railing.

via AP

Personal reasons: No Ovechkin for Caps tonight

Alex Ovechkin
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Alex Ovechkin won’t play for the Washington Capitals on Tuesday because of personal reasons, the team confirmed.

He entered the building considerably later than usual, but his presence at least opened the door for the possibility of No. 8 suiting up against the San Jose Sharks.

Instead, the Capitals will face the hot-starting Sharks without Ovechkin (personal reasons) and Nicklas Backstrom (injury).

That’s a tall order, yet it’s also an opportunity for Barry Trotz to prove his system is a difference-maker … and that the Capitals have the young players to take up the mantle when the big stars are out

This is how Washington’s forward lines may look tonight:

No, the Capitals have not shared details regarding what his “personal reasons” might be, by the way.