Joffrey Lupul

Leafs’ Lupul to miss third straight game with ‘upper-body injury’


Toronto forward Joffrey Lupul will miss his third consecutive game on Wednesday, as he didn’t travel with the team to New York to take on the Rangers.

Lupul, 29, hasn’t played since taking this heavy hit from Flyers forwards Jay Rosehill and Adam Hall on Apr. 4:

The Leafs have been calling the ailment an “upper-body” injury over the last week and have been very cautious regarding the topic of a potential concussion.

“No that’s a bad word,” head coach Randy Carlyle said over the weekend. “We don’t use that word until we’re 100 per cent sure on any of those situations medically.

“The term concussion, in today’s sporting world, you want to make sure you’re 100 per cent sure before you start using that one.”

Lupul’s had a frustrating year in terms of trying to get into the lineup. He missed a bunch of time with a broken arm and, shortly after returning, served a two-game suspension for hitting Tampa defenseman Victor Hedman.

Now, he’s back on the shelf with his latest injury.

Despite all this, Lupul has still managed to rack up 14 points in 10 games and earn himself a five-year, $26.25 million extension from the Leafs.

Kane scores OT-winner, caps Islanders’ bumpy start in Brooklyn

Patrick Kane

On paper, it’s the perfect way to kick off meaningful hockey in Brooklyn, as the New York Islanders faced the defending champion Chicago Blackhawks on Friday.

In reality, there were some highs and lows, culminating with Patrick Kane scoring a power-play overtime-winner to give Chicago a 3-2 (OT) win.

The Barclays Center crowd was going to be a big part of the story one way or another, but even by building-opening standards, the audience made some waves.

Indeed, Kane was greeted with some jeers during his first road appearance of the 2015-16 season, though he didn’t sound surprised.

(There were other controversial chants, apparently.)

Speaking of the crowd, it may not have been the greatest turnout:

ESPN goes way, way in depth on how the change of locale was received, by the way.

It wasn’t a perfect night inside the rink, either, as there weren’t exactly rave reviews about ice quality. New York Newsday’s Arthur Staple compared the ice to a “slushy” and “soup,” with an anonymous Islander (or Islanders) describing the conditions as “awful.”

Kane was pretty diplomatic about it, for what it’s worth.


So, no, it was not a perfect night for the Islanders.

They probably envisioned a teeming, perfectly mannered crowd. Management likely expected Jaroslav Halak to be in net, too.

Sometimes breaking ground is often about overcoming those early stumbles, though, and maybe the best review is to parallel the on-ice results: the Isles at least got a point out of it.

Let’s not forget that there are some cool perks that come with this situation, even if the specifics may vary.

If you want even more information/photos/etc., you’d probably do well to check out #IslesOpeningNight.

Columbus collapse: Rangers spoil Blue Jackets’ opener

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For a little more than a minute, Brandon Saad was going to be the story of the Columbus Blue Jackets’ opener. Instead, his power-play goal merely got the ball rolling on a flabbergasting finish.

The New York Rangers scored three goals in 1:17 of game time to manage a 4-2 win.

They’ve now spoiled home openers for the Chicago Blackhawks and Columbus Blue Jackets to begin their 2015-16 season.

It might be easiest just to show you when the goals were scored, noting that the third period began with a 1-1 tie.

Brandon Saad power-play goal: 16:10 into third period (2-1 Columbus)
Oscar Lindberg: 17:24 (2-2 tie)
Kevin Hayes: 17:41 (3-2 Rangers)
Mats Zuccarello: 18:41 (4-2 Rangers)

Yikes. Zuccarello scored two of the Rangers’ goals, while a beauty by Cam Atkinson is likely long forgotten.