Kings’ Nolan insists hit on Coyotes’ Klesla was clean


To little surprise, the Los Angeles Kings and Phoenix Coyotes are divided regarding the legality of Jordan Nolan’s check on Rostislav Klesla. (‘Yotes head coach Dave Tippett confirmed to AZ Central’s Sarah McLellan that Klesla’s been admitted to the hospital.)

Nolan, 24, pleaded his case to LA Kings Insider’s Jon Rosen.

“I felt like it was clean,” Nolan said. “He was skating through the middle of his ice, and I was just focusing on his chest and I feel like I hit him square in the chest.”

Kings head coach Darryl Sutter backed Nolan up, describing it as a “good hit.”

Tippett was diplomatic while arguing that it wasn’t such a clean, good hit.

“It seemed to me like a guy got hit in the head, and a player left his feet,” Tippett said. “But that’s not for me to diagnose.”

Coyotes captain Shane Doan was a little more emphatic to Fox Sports Arizona’s Craig Morgan.

“Obviously, we think there’s a finish high; a finish off the ice,” Doan said. “As we’ve been witness to, that’s usually not very good.”

(Is that a Raffi Torres reference? It sounds like a Torres reference … )

Anyway, the two teams can’t seem to see eye-to-eye on many things other than their mutual distaste. We’ll see how the league feels about this situation soon enough.

As far as updates on Klesla, 31, Tippett noted that more probably won’t be known until Monday morning.


Klesla leaves on stretcher

Paul Bissonnette might receive a 10-game suspension for possibly leaving the bench

Video: Dylan Larkin adds to his rookie goals lead

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So far, the 2015-16 crop of rookies is living up to the hype, if not exceeding it. Connor McDavid‘s unfortunate injury hasn’t even derailed this year’s crop.

The Detroit Red Wings are watching their own blue chip blossom, as Dylan Larkin is making an instant impact.

No. 71 scored his 10th goal of the season against the Florida Panthers on Sunday, fattening his rookie goals lead.

He still needs five points to match rookie points leader Artemi Panarin, though.

Latest report leaves Carey Price’s injury timeline fuzzy

Carey Price
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There’s one thing we seem to know about Carey Price‘s injury situation: he first got hurt stepping on a puck on Oct. 29, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.

Contrary to earlier reports about him missing about a month, it sounds like his window of recovery is still up in the air (which, to be fair, could mean that he’ll still miss about a month when it’s all said and done).

ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun reports that Price underwent testing with Montreal’s team doctor on Saturday and is expected to go through more; we may not know more about his expected injury timeline until early this coming week.

So, basically, Price’s situation is fuzzier than his mustache right now.

Leg injuries can be tricky anyway, so we shouldn’t be too surprised that there are mixed signals regarding Price, and this may remain a fluid situation for some time.

(But we’ll hopefully know more soon enough.)

Lightning lament life as a .500 team

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The Tampa Bay Lightning have plenty of time to rise above mediocrity, yet it still must be deserving to finish at .500 for two straight months.

After last night’s 3-2 loss to the New York Islanders, that’s exactly where they find themselves:

Record at the end of October: 5-5-2

Record at the end of November: 11-11-3

As of this writing, the Lightning found themselves on the outside looking in at the playoff picture. It all stands as a pretty tough thing for the reigning Eastern Conference champs to swallow.

The uncomfortable-yet-vital question is: can the Lightning break out of this funk?

Looking at their schedule, it won’t be easy, at least not right away.

They crawl through California during a three-game road trip to start December, and they also face six of eight on the road from Dec. 2 – 18.

The Lightning soak up home dates to finish 2015 after that, but what damage will be done by then?

Frankly, the Bolts will need to dig deep to break this pattern. If nothing else, they’ve fought with their backs against the wall before.

Dubinsky won’t change, and he won’t go easy on Crosby


Sometimes a suspension will shame a player, or at least inspire him to change the way he plays.

That apparently won’t happen regarding Brandon Dubinsky‘s one-game timeout session for cross-checking Sidney Crosby.

Dubinsky told Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch that he won’t alter his style, whether it’s against Crosby or someone else.

“Nope,” Dubinsky said. “You know, I’ve played the same way my whole career and I’m not going to change. The next time I have an opportunity to play (Crosby), I’m going to play him hard.”

In case you’re wondering, that next opportunity comes on Dec. 21 in Pittsburgh, assuming that both players are healthy and not suspended.

One can understand Dubinsky’s perspective, although such honesty would be that much more interesting if there’s another incident with Crosby. His initial reaction to the hit was interestingly candid, admitting that his “stick rode up” on his adversary.

Would that stance – which, from a harsher view, might seem flippant to Dubinsky’s critics – open the door for a bigger future bit of a discipline?

Maybe, maybe not … but at least his comments aren’t as inflammatory as what John Tortorella said (at least on the record).