Darryl Sutter can’t explain why Willie Mitchell didn’t skate for the second straight day, but the Kings’ head coach sure does sound frustrated with the time the veteran defenseman is taking to get back into action.
Per Helene Elliott of the Los Angeles Times, Sutter said he’s “not a doctor or a psychologist” and, therefore, can’t explain what’s going through the head of the 35-year-old blue-liner that’s been medically cleared to play after having knee surgery during the lockout.
Today wasn’t the first time Sutter’s expressed frustration with Mitchell’s slow return.
“You know what, he’s got doctor’s clearance,” Sutter said last week. “He’s got trainers’ clearance. Coaches want him to clear himself.
“So do it.”
The defending Stanley Cup champions host the Vancouver Canucks, the team they defeated in the first round of last year’s playoffs, tonight at the Staples Center.
Mitchell’s absence, combined with the back injury to Matt Greene, has meant even bigger minutes for Drew Doughty (28:58 per game).
In fact, no NHL defenseman has averaged more ice time per game than Doughty.
This fight between Tom Wilson, Chris Stewart got downright gory (Video)
For those who decry the decline in fighting – in “blood and guts” hockey – Tuesday presented a bloody moment, one fairly high on this season’s Muta scale.
If there’s something maybe a little off-kilter about you, seeing it happen to Tom Wilson may provide an additional pleasure.
Anyway, as you can see in the video above, Minnesota Wild winger Chris Stewart bloodied the Washington Capitals pest in a fight. Whether you’re for, against or neutral toward Wilson, it’s quite the sight.
Wilson may be hurt, by the way. He missed some time but returned later in the contest.
Auston Matthews likely ranks as the top reason that many Toronto Maple Leafs are starting to get the same feelings they had in better times, so it only makes sense that he broke a beloved Buds’ record on Tuesday.
With his 35th goal of a potential Calder season – but a brilliant debut either way – Matthews passed Wendel Clark for the Maple Leafs’ rookie record for goals in a season.
That goal was also meaningful for William Nylander, as he extended his point streak to 12 games with an assist. This team, fueled by young players, just keeps shattering first-year marks:
Leafs rookie record watch:
GOALS – 35 Matthews ASSISTS – 40 Marner tied with Bodnar POINT STREAK – 12 games Nylander SHG – 3 Hyman
The U.S. women’s national team voted in favor of accepting USA Hockey’s deal, so they’ll participate in the world championship tournament. USA Hockey recently made the news official with this press release.
The press release confirmed a report that the contract will last four years, while financial terms were kept confidential. (Team members had been seeking a living wage to represent USA Hockey.)
“Our sport is the big winner today,” Team captain Meghan Duggan said. “We stood up for what we thought was right and USA Hockey’s leadership listened. In the end, both sides came together. I’m proud of my teammates and can’t thank everyone who supported us enough. It’s time now to turn the page. We can’t wait to play in the World Championship later this week in front of our fans as we try and defend our gold medal.”
As much as many of us suffer during a trip to the dentist, few can fathom the horrors hockey players often go through when a puck, stick or fist finds their teeth/mouths. Consult this vintage PHT post from 2010 if you want to cringe, a lot.
Couture, Wilson said, did not need to have his jaw wired shut after a deflected puck caught him in the mouth on Saturday when the Sharks played the Nashville Predators.
“Hey, he can speak and eat … and his jaw isn’t wired shut!” Yeesh.
To little surprise, Couture isn’t playing on Tuesday. As far as the Sharks next three games (Thursday, Friday and Sunday), that remains to be seen.
As an aside, consider this: on the same day Jonathan Drouin‘s celebrating his birthday after helping the Lightning win, Couture is lucky if he can force down some birthday cake. Life: it isn’t always fair.