One of the big stories from Super Bowl week has been the status of New England TE Rob Gronkowski’s injured ankle. Gronk, who set a single-season TD record for tight ends this year, suffered a high-ankle sprain in the AFC Championship against Baltimore and has been on the limp ever since.
So who better to provide insight than a fellow New England sports icon that’s suffered the same injury — Boston Bruins winger Milan Lucic!
“I really do feel for him,” said Lucic, who dealt with a high ankle sprain for much of 2009-10. “You can tell he’s one of the toughest guys around to be able to walk around with no boot already.
“He’s going to have a tough summer recovering from that thing, but it’s good he only has to deal with it for one game, even though it is such a big game.”
Lucic seemed confident that Gronkowski would be able to play through the pain.
“I think he’ll definitely contribute even with that [injury],” Lucic said. “He’ll do whatever he can to make sure he can contribute. I’m sure he’ll come up big when they need him to.”
Lucic rolled his ankle in Nov. 2009 after getting tangled with Minnesota’s Marek Zidlicky and ended up missing 32 games, posting career lows in assists, plus-minus and power-play goals. It took him an entire offseason to get back to full strength, though Lucic notes high-ankle sprains affect football and hockey players quite differently.
“It’s a lot different, running vs. skating,” Lucic said. “It’s the worst possible leg injury, other than obviously like a torn ACL, that you can have for skating.
“All I remember was that it was such a nagging injury and that it almost made you feel feeble down there.”
You know what they say: “What a difference a game makes.”
Even in the 82-game marathon that an NHL regular season is, that can be true.
Ryan Suter admitted he went too far with comments during tough times, yet there he was on Tuesday night, grinning ear-to-ear after scoring the 2-1 goal that ended up being the game-winner.
Heck, people were even joking about things. The healing powers of winning, right?
As of this writing, this win places Minnesota in the last wild card spot, and they’re close to elbowing in on the Chicago Blackhawks (who own a standings point advantage, but have played two more games so far in 2015-16).
Jeremy Roenick labels this 2-1 win as a “team win” for Minnesota, and it showed on that 2-1 goal, as the Wild showed off some picture-perfect passing and a willingness to crash the net for rebounds.
Let’s face it, though; Devan Dubnyk deserves plenty of credit, too.
It won’t be easy in the Central Division, and things may get heated again. Still, this is the sort of win that may just help Minnesota build up some confidence.
When you’re talking about bright sides, most people believe that they boil down to the light at the end of the tunnel for the Philadelphia Flyers.
Sometimes it’s nice to enjoy a little success in the present while waiting for that bright future, though.
The Flyers are providing at least a burst of sunshine lately, as Tuesday’s 4-2 win against the Ottawa Senators gives them … (drum roll) their first three-game winning streak of this season.
Even in recent darker moments, Philly’s been pretty impressive on offense, so Flyers fans are likely relieved to see a relative offensive outburst.
Sure, it wasn’t all rainbows and unicorns – Radko Gudas might have gotten himself into some trouble, for instance – yet this is still a nice sign of life for a team expected to finish in the draft lottery.
If that fails … hey, the future may require shades.
Here’s an understatement: things haven’t gone very well for Dougie Hamilton early in his first season with the Calgary Flames.
(It must feel like the opposite of Tyler Seguin in Dallas for Boston Bruins fans, but feel free to disagree in the comments.)
You could look at Hamilton’s meager offensive stats and break down his disappointing work through a very of “fancy” and traditional metrics …
… Or you could just fire up a projector and show this own-goal on a loop.
It remains to be seen if the Ottawa Senators can avoid losing against the Philadelphia Flyers tonight, but either way, it’s been a costly night.
The Senators saw two forwards leave the game with injuries, as Milan Michalek and Mika Zibanejad were banged up on Tuesday.
Michalek may have gotten hurt blocking a shot while a Radko Gudas hit on Zibanejad left the Senators forward with an upper-body injury.
Gudas may get a call from the league for his infractions.
Update: Michalek’s issue could be significant.
The Flyers ended up beating the Senators 4-2, so a tough night for Ottawa.