Joffrey Lupul

Brian Burke never thought Joffrey Lupul would be an All-Star


If nothing else, Brian Burke is honest. Sometimes he’s honest to a fault but you’ll never see him tiptoe around a question.

When TSN’s Jonas Siegel asked Burke if he told him a year ago that Joffrey Lupul would be an All-Star, what would he think, Burke gave Siegel a classic take.

“I’d have sent you for a urine test. We thought Joffrey could be a solid player on our team and a good addition. He has exceeded and excelled above whatever we had hoped for. He’s been terrific.”

Lupul is tied for fifth in points with Henrik Sedin and Steve Stamkos with 52, pretty lofty company for a guy who was coming off various ailments that kept him out of action in both Philadelphia and Anaheim. Now that he’s playing alongside Phil Kessel the two have blown up huge this season and are leading the Leafs towards a shot at the playoffs.

If the Leafs make the postseason we all might feel like taking a urine test as it’s been seven seasons since the Leafs last made the playoffs.

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.

Bruins put Morrow on IR, bring up Cross

Brady Skjei, Joe Morrow
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Lower-level defense is not the biggest of many worries for the Boston Bruins, yet it might be another in a series of headaches.’s Joe Haggerty points out that Joe Morrow has been placed on IR while AHL stalwart Tommy Cross was called up.

With a -3 rating and negligible offensive impact so far, few will really be missing Morrow (pictured). From the way Haggerty describes Cross, it’s a pretty cool story if he gets into the lineup:

Cross was named captain of the Providence Bruins this season, and actually had a strong training camp as the hard-hitting, tough stay-at-home defenseman he’s developed into during his five years in the B’s minor league system. The 2007 second round pick was a highly regarded potential puck-moving defenseman when he was drafted prior to his Boston College career, but a series of knee injuries negated some of his speed and puck-moving capabilities.

Granted, the Bruins would prefer a sure-thing improvement over a feel-good story right now, as this 0-3-0 start marks their worst beginning in some time.

Injuries have been an issue in general, too, with Zdeno Chara‘s slow start mixed with Dennis Seidenberg on the mend and Brad Marchand in limbo.

The Bruins’ next game comes against the Avalanche in Colorado. Maybe they’ll start to mend things on the ice?