There was some dour news from an otherwise lighthearted presser in Phoenix today — Coyotes head coach Dave Tippett confirmed defenseman Adrian Aucoin wouldn’t play on Sunday in the Western Conference finals opener against Los Angeles.
“He won’t play tomorrow,” Tippett told reporters. “He certainly won’t be a player in Game 1. He skated a little bit today. I think we’ll monitor his situation, but he won’t be a player in Game 1.”
Aucoin was injured early Monday’s series-clinching win against Nashville and hasn’t returned to the ice since.
As with most postseason ailments, Aucoin’s isn’t being disclosed — though he did miss a game of the Chicago series to injury as well. It’s unclear if what’s bothering him now is what bothered him then, but Phoenix ruling him out a full day before Game 1 suggests the injury is serious.
It’s likely that David Schlemko will draw back into the Coyotes lineup and replace Aucoin, who had been playing close to 18 minutes a night. Schlemko’s played three games this postseason, averaging 17 minutes per.
The injury must be a disappointment for Aucoin, 38. A veteran of over 60 playoff games, he’s never played in a conference final.
They’re just one game into their regular season, but the Buffalo Sabres have already had to shift things around in their crease.
The Sabres announced that they have placed starting goaltender Robin Lehner on injured reserve after he was knocked out of Thursday’s game with a lower-body injury.
In a corresponding move, the club has recalled Nathan Lieuwen from their AHL affiliate in Rochester.
The 24-year-old didn’t play in the NHL last season, but he did have a 1-4-0 record with a 2.98 goals-against-average and a .906 save percentage in seven games during the 2013-14 season.
Lieuwen was Buffalo’s sixth round pick, 167th overall, in the 2011 draft.
The Sabres also announced that they have loaned defenseman Jake McCabe and goaltender Linus Ullmark to the Rochester Americans (AHL).
McCabe was a healthy scratch in Thursday’s game against Ottawa, while Ullmark is being activated off I.R. after having double hip surgery during the off-season.
It looks like the Boston Bruins will be without their captain again on Saturday night.
Head coach Claude Julien told members of the media that Zdeno Chara is considered doubtful for tonight’s game against the Montreal Canadiens.
Chara suffered an upper-body injury during the preseason and he’s already been forced to miss Boston’s season opening loss to the Jets.
Per CSN, Chara says he’s improving but he won’t return to the lineup until he’s as close to 100 percent as possible.
“Every area of the injury is improving,” said Chara. “Hopefully it’s not long before I’m free of any kind of discomfort. That’s what we’re doing right now…we’re being patient. For sure you don’t want to come back, and be half of what you are…and basically hurting yourself and the team. And you’re putting yourself in a position where you could be missing more time. At this time of the season, I think it’s important to be as close as you can be to 100 percent.”
Based on the number of defensive mistakes they committed on Thursday, the Bruins need Chara back as soon as possible: