Winnipeg Jets v Pittsburgh Penguins

Ondrej Pavelec, Jets release statements about DUI

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Earlier this week, reports revealed that Winnipeg Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec was involved in a DUI incident. The Winnipeg Free Press passes along statements from both the Jets and the netminder, starting with Pavelec’s apology to fans and the team.

“On May 26, 2012, I was involved in a traffic accident in the Czech Republic. There were no injuries. Police arrived at the scene and I agreed to a blood alcohol test. On June 12, my attorney appeared in court on my behalf and submitted a plea of guilty at the first proceeding. The court issued a six month suspended sentence and suspended my driver’s license for 20 months in the Czech Republic. The case will be dismissed in 12 months provided I have no alcohol related violations during this time. I’m disappointed in myself for this error in judgment. I’m thankful no one was injured as a result of my actions. I want to sincerely apologize to our fans, the Winnipeg Jets organization, and to my teammates for any embarrassment this has caused. I’m truly sorry for letting you all down.”

Ed Tait notes that the Jets’ statement implies that they weren’t aware of the May 26 arrest when they signed him to a five-year, $19.5 million contract extension:

“The Winnipeg Jets Hockey Club would like to state we have now confirmed the details surrounding Ondrej Pavelec while driving under the influence in Kladno, Czech Republic on May 26, 2012. The organization was deeply disappointed to learn of this information yesterday and is fully aware of the seriousness of this matter. We will determine our course of action once we have the chance to meet and discuss with Ondrej in person, which we expect to do at the earliest possible opportunity.”

Again, the key phrase is “the organization was deeply disappointed to learn of this information yesterday.”

Stars end Capitals’ winning streak, pass Blackhawks for West lead

Washington Capitals goalie Braden Holtby (70) is knocked to the ice by Dallas Stars right wing Ales Hemsky (83) during the second period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Dallas. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
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For two periods, the Dallas Stars seemed to say, “Are you sure the Washington Capitals are the best team in the NHL?”

They chased Braden Holtby and built a 4-0 lead through those first 40 minutes, and that was enough … but barely. The Stars beat the Capitals 4-3 on Saturday, which accomplished the following:

  • Dallas ended Washington’s winning streak at five games. The Stars have now won three straight.
  • This win slides the Stars ahead of the Chicago Blackhawks for first place in the highly competitive Central Division. While both teams sit at 77 standings points, Dallas holds three games in hand.
  • By passing Chicago, the Stars now lead the Western Conference as a whole.

Impressive stuff. Some might even call it a statement game, although others may hold that nail-biting ending against them (possibly arguing that the Stars’ flaws may come back to haunt them in the playoffs).

Dallas’ biggest concern likely has little to do with doubters. Instead, they must monitor the statuses of forwards Tyler Seguin and Cody Eakin.

Long story short, the Stars are red-hot, yet bigger challenges likely lie ahead.

Blackhawks fall to Ducks in OT, lose Hossa to injury

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The Chicago Blackhawks are on edge on Saturday, and it’s not because of what’s currently a close game against the Anaheim Ducks.

(Not that they’re indifferent toward a match against their opponents from last year’s conference final match, mind you.)

Instead, the Blackhawks are quite concerned about the health of Marian Hossa, who needed help off of the ice following an awkward, scary-looking crash into the boards. (Hampus Lindholm delivered the hip check that sent Hossa sprawling, in case you’re wondering.)

You can see that moment in the video above, while My Regular Face’s GIF also captures that troubling moment:

It’s too early to tell if Hossa will bounce back or miss some time from this. Stay tuned for potential updates.

Update: Joel Quenneville seems optimistic about Hossa, broadly speaking:

Ryan Getzlaf scored the overtime game-winner as the Ducks won 3-2 (OT).

Understatement: Saturday was a rough night for Panthers

Nashville Predators center Colin Wilson (33) checks Florida Panthers center Jonathan Huberdeau (11) during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Sunrise, Fla. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)
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If it weren’t for Mike Yeo and the Minnesota Wild, you could argue that the Florida Panthers suffered from the worst night so far.

You can see that Saturday was unpleasant merely from looking at the scoreboard: the Nashville Predators pummeled the Panthers by an unkind score of 5-0.

The pain goes beyond that … literally so.

For one thing, Quinton Howden suffered an upper-body injury and did not return. That’s no good, but if you want to feel sick to your stomach, footage of Brandon Pirri‘s likely lower-body injury (ankle maybe?) may do the trick.

(Seriously, you may be happier if you don’t look.)

The Panthers didn’t make an announcement about Pirri one way or another, so we’ll see if he somehow avoided anything significant.

Either way, it was a night this team would like to forget.

Fractured jaw from fight sidelines Chris Stewart for 4-8 weeks

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It’s unlikely that Chris Stewart will generate another 30-goal season in the NHL, but he still might be missed by the Anaheim Ducks.

The team announced that the ornery forward is expected to miss four-to-eight weeks with a fractured jaw. If that’s the recovery window, Stewart may go into the playoffs a little rusty (if he can get in any regular season games at all).

The Ducks didn’t elaborate, but the Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline believes that the injury happened during a fight with Dalton Prout of the Columbus Blue Jackets. You can see that brawl in the video above.

One bright side for Anaheim: if they believe that they need to replace what Stewart brings to the table (rugged play with a dash of offense), then at least this injury happened before the the Feb. 29 trade deadline.