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.
Brian Campbell doesn’t score as many points as he used to, but he came up with a huge goal against the Red Wings on Sunday afternoon.
With the game tied, 1-1, in overtime, Campbell skated into the slot and beat Petr Mrazek with a perfect wrister to end the game.
It was also a pretty nice passing play between Jussi Jokinen, Jonathan Huberdeau and Campbell.
Dylan Larkin opened the scoring in the second period before Reilly Smith leveled the score with just over five minutes remaining.
The Wings have blown a lead in three straight games.
Detroit was up 2-0 and 3-2 in their last game, against Edmonton, before they finally closed the game out with an overtime goal by Niklas Kronwall.
They weren’t so fortunate against the Bruins on Wednesday, as they lost 3-2 in OT after leading 2-1 with under two minutes remaining in regulation.
This was the first meeting of the season between Detroit and Florida, but they’ll see each other three times between Feb. 4 and Mar. 19.
You can’t blame Mike Babcock for siding with the relatively unknown when the other option is Jonathan Bernier, a goalie who’s 0-8-1 so far in 2015-16.
With that in mind, meet Garret Sparks, the Toronto Maple Leafs’ expected starter for Monday’s game against the Edmonton Oilers.
Sparks was a seventh-round pick (190th overall) in 2011, a guy who was off to a great start in the AHL. That much wasn’t lost on Babcock.
Let’s face it, though; this is as much about the Leafs’ other two goalies as it is about Sparks (whose name inspired a very obscure reference in this post’s headline).
In Bernier’s case, there’s an “enough’s enough” feel:
Meanwhile, James Reimer‘s not quite healthy enough to play yet, so the window of opportunity is open for Sparks … a little bit.
Sparks will get a chance to make an impression, even if it’s just a small one.
So far, the 2015-16 crop of rookies is living up to the hype, if not exceeding it. Connor McDavid‘s unfortunate injury hasn’t even derailed this year’s crop.
The Detroit Red Wings are watching their own blue chip blossom, as Dylan Larkin is making an instant impact.
No. 71 scored his 10th goal of the season against the Florida Panthers on Sunday, fattening his rookie goals lead.
He still needs five points to match rookie points leader Artemi Panarin, though.
There’s one thing we seem to know about Carey Price‘s injury situation: he first got hurt stepping on a puck on Oct. 29, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.
Contrary to earlier reports about him missing about a month, it sounds like his window of recovery is still up in the air (which, to be fair, could mean that he’ll still miss about a month when it’s all said and done).
ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun reports that Price underwent testing with Montreal’s team doctor on Saturday and is expected to go through more; we may not know more about his expected injury timeline until early this coming week.
So, basically, Price’s situation is fuzzier than his mustache right now.
Leg injuries can be tricky anyway, so we shouldn’t be too surprised that there are mixed signals regarding Price, and this may remain a fluid situation for some time.
(But we’ll hopefully know more soon enough.)