Some good news out of Montreal on Wednesday: Canadiens forward Blake Geoffrion was released from hospital after undergoing surgery for a depressed skull fracture.
The 24-year-old has yet to speak publicly — he did manage to walk around downtown Montreal and have lunch with his fiancee — but his father, Danny, updated Blake’s status.
“You almost have to think it’s a miracle,” the elder Geoffrion told the Montreal Gazette. “[Blake] just can’t believe that this has happened. And that’s what is so tough mentally.
“He’s just asking himself the ‘why’ question.”
Here’s more on Geoffrion’s trying last few days, from the Hamilton Spectator:
During a CT scan, Blake had gone into convulsions. Quickly it became apparent that he had a depressed skull fracture and a piece of his skull had been pushed into his brain. This was suddenly very dangerous. Without hesitation, they OK’d the operation. Then waited nervously for word…
…A day later, Danny says he and his wife stared out the window as the sun rose over Montreal, a city he knows so well. It was beautiful, he thought. Then they turned and looked at their kid lying on a hospital bed. Half his head was shaved. A long, snaking incision starting from his sideburn curled over the scalp to look like a giant question mark.
It remains unclear if Geoffrion will be able to return to the ice this season.
Canadiens prospect Blake Geoffrion hospitalized with head injury
Geoffrion in stable condition after surgery for skull fracture
Hospital moves Blake Geoffrion out of intensive care unit
You’d think the reaction to taking a skate to the face would be something like “Not coming back to that game, getting some ice and maybe do some soul-searching.”
Nope, not in the NHL, at least.
In this league, the real reaction is almost always to come back to the same game … and barely miss a beat.
Ottawa Senators Mark Stone provides the latest example of hockey toughness, as he bounced back almost immediately from this.
What did he do? He scored a nice goal in the Senators’ 6-1 blowout of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
It’s said that variety is the spice of life, yet it seems to be the spite of the Minnesota Wild.
As head coach Mike Yeo said, this struggling team appears to find a new way to lose virtually every night. That couldn’t have happened once again on Saturday, when they fell 4-1 to the St. Louis Blues, could it?
If you ask Jarret Stoll, the latest problem was the penalty kill.
Honestly, Stoll may have been too specific, likely trying to throw his own unit under the bus. Instead, it might be more accurate to say that Minnesota’s special teams let them down.
Indeed, the Wild struggled to limit the Blues’ power play, which went an unsettling 3-for-6. That said, Minnesota had a chance to trade blows with St. Louis. Instead, the Wild managed one power-play goal on seven opportunities.
The silver lining is that the Wild believe that they showed more fight than this fragile bunch had been generating before.
On the other hand, with Jonas Brodin on IR and Jared Spurgeon apparently hurt, that silver lining may not be so easy to see.
Worry (if you’re pulling for the Stars) or gloat (if you’re a Blackhawks fan) all you want, but the bottom line is that the Central Division’s No.1 spot is clearly in Chicago’s control after Saturday night.
The Blackhawks earned a decisive 5-1 win against the Dallas Stars, giving them a five-point standings lead over Dallas for the Central Division lead.
You may feel like that’s more of the same, but consider this: things would look a lot closer if Dallas won or gained points, as they hold three games in hand on the ‘Hawks.
At least one Blackhawks player admits this game means a little more than your average W.
Indeed, while Antti Niemi was pulled from the game and Kari Lehtonen faced his own struggles in Dallas’ net, Corey Crawford ranked as one of the big reasons why the score was so lopsided.
(Artem Anisimov had a big say in that, too.)
As a wise coach with 1,000+ games of experience would do, Joel Quenneville didn’t go overboard in assessing the victory.
Was this a statement game? Who knows, but a certain statement is that the Blackhawks now have a five-point standings lead.
Looking at the standings, beating the Buffalo Sabres was pretty important for the Boston Bruins. The Atlantic Division’s run for spots appears particularly congested out East.
Of all the Bruins to get a chance to win it all, the team might have wanted Brad Marchand to have that opportunity. He’s on pace to destroy his previous career-highs for scoring, and Marchand’s been particularly hot lately.
Either way, Marchand came up big indeed, scoring the rare overtime game-winner on a penalty shot. Check out the drama below:
That can be a big extra point and ROW (regulation/overtime win) when the regular season is finished.
Note: Many believe that Marchand should not have received a penalty shot on the play.