Joffrey Lupul

Leafs put Lupul (forearm) on IR, recall Frattin


Toronto forward Joffrey Lupul has been placed on injured reserve after breaking his forearm Wednesday night in Pittsburgh.

To fill his spot on the roster, the Leafs have recalled Matt Frattin from the AHL Marlies.

While Frattin is a solid replacement as far as AHL call-ups go — he had 15 points in 56 games for Toronto last year — there’s no denying the Lupul loss is a profound one for the Leafs.

Under normal circumstances, Lupul’s injury would be a significant one but, in a shortened season, it’s even more severe and could cost him a huge chunk of playing time. The Leafs said he’ll be examined on Thursday to gauge the severity.

In terms of recovery period (for a professional athlete), do consider that New England TE Rob Gronkowski broke his forearm on Nov. 18 and returned to play on Dec. 30 with a heavily bandaged/padded arm.

But, also consider he re-broke his forearm in the AFC Divisional playoff against Houston.

As for other issues, Damien Cox of the Toronto Star points out this won’t help Lupul’s reputation as a injury-prone player:

His reputation in some eyes as a little brittle won’t be helped, unfair as that is given that this was totally a freak injury.

Lupul misses almost all of 2010 with complications from back surgery. Last year, he suffered a shoulder injury that ruined what was a career season. He was so intent on making this season a good one he decided not to join Canada at the world championships, preferring instead to rehab his shoulder.

He reluctantly went to Russia during the lockout to get his game going, and according to GM Dave Nonis, came to camp in “excellent” shape.

Oh, Lupul also signed a five-year, $26.25 million extension with the Leafs four days ago.

As they say, timing is everything.

Update: Leafs head coach Randy Carlyle says he expects Lupul to be out at least six weeks.

Update 2: Chris Johnston of the Canadian Press notes that six weeks would cost Lupul around 22 games — roughly half the season.

Scary moment: Carlo Colaiacovo hospitalized with ‘dented trachea’

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Buffalo Sabres defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo has experienced plenty of bad injury luck in his winding career, but Saturday presented one of his worst scares.

As you can see from the video above, Colaiacovo received a scary cross-check from Viktor Arvidsson of the Nashville Predators, who received a major penalty and game misconduct.

Sabres head coach Dan Bylsma said that Colaiacovo was hospitalized with a “dented trachea” yet is OK, the Buffalo News’ John Vogl reports.

Frightening stuff from an eventual 4-1 Sabres win.

PHT will keep an eye out for additional updates regarding Colaiacovo’s health (and a possible suspension for Arvidsson).

Comeback Kings: Gaborik pulls L.A. past Kane, Blackhawks

Jake Muzzin, Scott Darling

Patrick Kane set an American scoring record, and added another assist to make it more impressive, but the Los Angeles Kings just wouldn’t be denied.

In the end, Marian Gaborik‘s big night meant more than Kane’s; he scored the tying and then overtime game-winner, both assisted by Anze Kopitar, for a rousing 4-3 overtime Kings win.

Gaborik’s first goal:

And here’s video of the OT-GWG:

Noticing a theme tonight? Yeah, it’s been an evening in which it’s dangerous to assume a lead would stand.

With that, the Kings stick to the No. 1 spot in the Pacific Division, but Chicago shouldn’t feel all bad. The Blackhawks were able to piece together a decent run during their dreaded “circus trip.”

Patrick Kane’s streak hits 19 games, setting a new American record


When it comes to point streaks for U.S.-born NHL players, Patrick Kane now stands alone.

With a power-play goal early in Saturday’s Blackhawks – Kings game, Kane extended his streak to 19 games, breaking a tie with Phil Kessel and Eddie Olczyk (who finished with at least a point in 18 straight).

As of this writing, Kane has 11 goals and 19 assists during this 19-game streak. He also leads the NHL in scoring.

Bobby Hull’s 21-game point streak stands as the Chicago Blackhawks’ overall team record, by the way.

So, how would you protect a lead against the Stars?


You know what they say: it’s easy to bash a strategy in hindsight.

Slam that NFL head coach for going for it on fourth down … or settling for the field goal. Bury that MLB manager because he kept a pitcher in too long. And so on.

“Score effects” settle in during almost any lopsided hockey game, yet the Dallas Stars present quite a conundrum: what’s the best way to put a way a team with this much firepower?

Tonight may have presented the greatest evidence that this team won’t go away easy, as it seemed like the Minnesota Wild had the best of a tired Stars team* when they built a 3-0 lead.

Instead, the Stars scored three third-period goals while Tyler Seguin capped the comeback with an overtime-winner.

It was one of those bend-and-then-break moments for Minnesota. Dallas generated a 44-26 shot advantage, including a ridiculous 35-15 edge in the final two periods.

Does that mean that Mike Yeo may have tried to play too conservatively with a healthy lead? It’s a possibility.

On the other hand, would the Wild be wiser to try to run-and-gun with one of the most dangerous offenses in the NHL?

It sure seems like a pick-your-poison situation. Which way would you lean, though?

* – To be fair to Minnesota, each team was on back-to-backs.