Alex Pietrangelo

Pietrangelo on knee injury: “There was more of an issue than I originally thought”

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Confirming what many suspected, Alex Pietrangelo told reporters on Tuesday he suffered a bad knee sprain on a hit from Kings forward Dwight King during Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinal.

“I could feel something wrong,” Pietrangelo told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “I went off and they re-evaluated it and realized there was more of an issue than I originally thought.”

While the Blues defenseman praised the training staff for getting him back into the mix — he only missed Game 2 and said he “got back to pretty good health,” — he clearly wasn’t his usual self.

Pietrangelo had just one assist and a minus-4 rating after the injury and was on the ice for six of L.A.’s seven goals in the final two contests.

St. Louis head coach Ken Hitchcock acknowledged Pietrangelo was hurting, but loaded him up with playing time anyway. “Petro” played 28:44 in the fourth and deciding game, the most of any player on either team (the next closest was fellow St. Louis defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, who played five minutes less.)

“Playing at this time of year, my attitude is if you’re in, you’re in,” he said. “Now you might be in at 60 percent or 70 percent, like a guy like Petro was, but you’re still in the lineup.

“I’ve always felt that with certain players, 70 percent of the player is better than anybody you could put in. I think we proved that with Petro.”

Report: Islanders cut first-rounder Barzal from camp

Mathew Barzal
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It seems Mathew Barzal has played in his last game in a New York Islanders’ uniform for a little while.

Barzal took part in the Islanders’ preseason finale against the Washington Capitals on Sunday, but after that contest the Islanders decided to return him to WHL Seattle, per Newsday’s Arthur Staple.

He was taken with the 16th overall pick in 2015 NHL Entry Draft. That selection was well-traveled as it originally belonged to the Pittsburgh Penguins, but was involved in the David Perron trade and then moved to the Islanders as part of Edmonton’s deal to get Griffin Reinhart.

Barzal is noteworthy for his skill and speed, but he may have slipped in the draft due to a knee injury he sustained during the 2014-15 campaign.

The Islanders also reassigned Kirill Petrov, Kevin Czuczman, Scott Mayfield, and Adam Pelech to the AHL’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers.

Torres offered in-person hearing, potentially setting up long suspension

Torres hit

What will Raffi Torres get this time?

The 33-year-old forward that has become known primarily for his controversial hits has once again put himself in the sights of the NHL’s Department of Players Safety. They confirmed that he was offered an in-person hearing following his hit on Jakub Silfverberg Saturday night. He declined the opportunity to meet with them face-to-face, but the offer itself is an important detail because it gives the league the option to suspend him for more than five games.

It certainly seems like the stage is set for a lengthy suspension. While Torres is not considered a repeat offender as his last suspension came more than 18 months ago, the NHL still retains the right to consider his history when deciding on this matter.

Among other incidents, he was once was banned from 25 games for his hit on Marian Hossa in 2012, although it was later reduced to 21 contests after an appeal. The NHL found that Torres was guilty of breaking three rules for that hit; namely interference, charging, and illegally hitting the head. The NHL is reviewing Torres’ latest incident for the same three violations.

You can see the hit below:

And here it is slowed down:

Torres got a match penalty and Silfverberg left the game. Fortunately, Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said that Silfverberg could have returned, but was kept out for precautionary reasons.