Would you consider your back part of your lower body?
NHL injury reports occasionally bring about such “philosophical” discussions, but it seems like those usually don’t happen until the playoffs – when teams employ such smoke-and-mirrors tactics that they might as well just call every issue a “bodily ailment.” Perhaps the Philadelphia Flyers weren’t trying to be coy with the initial reports of Kimmo Timonen’s issues, but CSNPhilly.com’s Tim Panaccio sheds some light on the situation.
Apparently the Finnish blueliner is dealing with back problems, although the good news is that it doesn’t appear to be a major disc-related headache. The best news is that Panaccio reports that “he isn’t expected to be out long.”
Even one game might be a blow to Timonen, however, as he appeared in 248 consecutive games.
Strong season for Timonen
Timonen’s been a great asset for Philly so far in 2011-12, as his 36 points leaves him just one point behind last year’s mark and three behind the 39 he scored in 2009-10. He still has a shot of beating his best-ever numbers with Philly (44 points in 07-08), but his chance of matching his overall career-high of 55 points from his Nashville Predators days took a big blow – even if he only misses minimal time.
Ultimately, the Flyers probably only care that he’s close to 100 percent by the time the playoffs roll around in early April, though.
Leafs pass Bruins for third in Atlantic after gutsy win against Columbus
It wasn’t pretty – especially if you’re disgusted by that Roman Polak hit – but the Toronto Maple Leafs keep generating big wins as a playoff return looks increasingly likely.
Toronto managed a 5-2 win against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Wednesday, passing the Boston Bruins for third place in the Atlantic Division:
Maple Leafs: 83 points in 72 games
Bruins: 82 points in 73 games
This leaves the currently in-action New York Islanders four points behind the Bruins for the final wild card in the East.
The Maple Leafs aren’t just grabbing key points; they’re doing so against some strong opponents who’ve had plenty on the line, too. They beat a Metro contender in Columbus tonight, the Bruins on Monday, grabbed an OT point against Chicago on Saturday and handled the desperate Lightning last Thursday.
John Tortorella was left enraged after Roman Polak delivered a dangerous boarding hit on Oliver Bjorkstrand, and he probably wasn’t too pleased after the Columbus Blue Jackets failed to make Toronto pay for Polak’s misdeeds.
Polak received a game misconduct and boarding major for the hit, but the Blue Jackets failed to score on a lengthy power play. Tortorella played to script, as cameras caught him expressing his anger at the situation.
Honestly, after 10 games, the question shouldn’t be “can Josh Ho-Sang stick with the Islanders full-time?” Instead, the feeling is … what took so long for him to get this chance?
For all the grumbling about Ho-Sang sporting number 66, he’s provided serious bursts of brilliance and creativity for the Islanders, whether he’s been supporting or even setting upJohn Tavares.
The video above is some really good stuff, as it walks through his confident comments – and undeniable uncertainty – during the night he was drafted, all the way through him getting his chance with the Isles this season. Some of the best stuff comes from Doug Weight, who raves that Ho-Sang is a “five out of five” from an offensive standpoint.
Leafs’ Nylander puts on show with breakaway goal, assist on Matthews’ 33rd
This wouldn’t have been worth a chuckle if not for the correction. (Well, maybe a chuckle at Auston Matthews‘ expense.)
On the 33rd goal of his brilliant rookie season, Auston Matthews made it 2-0 for Toronto on the power play. Crusty “act like you’ve been there” types might grumble that he actually celebrated before a goal really happened, only to tap it in for real the second time around. The rest of us, again, get a mild chuckle.
William Nylander‘s pass was nothing to laugh at, however. That one just gets a big thumbs up.