Oilers coach on Bryzgalov: ‘It might be two days, might be two years’


The Edmonton Oilers aren’t even sure if Ilya Bryzgalov is suffering from a concussion or whiplash thanks to Sunday’s collision, so head coach Dallas Eakins gave the Edmonton Sun a vague possible window for his return:

“It might be two days, it might be two years, take your pick,” Eakins said. “He took a wicked blow when (Ryan) Garbutt was driving the net. It’s something that unfortunately happens when guys are trying to score goals.”

As PHT noted, the Oilers recalled Jason LaBarbera on Monday in case this issue exceeds the “two days” portion of the estimate.

The Oilers face the Phoenix Coyotes on Tuesday and then the Colorado Avalanche two days from now on Thursday. There’s no telling if Bryzgalov will suit up.

It’s already been a dramatic beginning for the 33-year-old. He stopped 12 out of 13 shots in relief of Devan Dubnyk on Nov. 25, shut out the Nashville Predators in his first start, was pulled the next day after allowing four goals in two periods against Columbus and then experienced highs (keeping Edmonton in the game against Dallas) and lows (the Garbutt collision) versus the Stars on Sunday.

Also of interest: Dubnyk still believes he’s the No. 1 guy, too.

Sabres place Lehner on IR; Recall Lieuwen

Connor Brown, Robin Lehner
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They’re just one game into their regular season, but the Buffalo Sabres have already had to shift things around in their crease.

The Sabres announced that they have placed starting goaltender Robin Lehner on injured reserve after he was knocked out of Thursday’s game with a lower-body injury.

In a corresponding move, the club has recalled Nathan Lieuwen from their AHL affiliate in Rochester.

The 24-year-old didn’t play in the NHL last season, but he did have a 1-4-0 record with a 2.98 goals-against-average and a .906 save percentage in seven games during the 2013-14 season.

Lieuwen was Buffalo’s sixth round pick, 167th overall, in the 2011 draft.

The Sabres also announced that they have loaned defenseman Jake McCabe and goaltender Linus Ullmark to the Rochester Americans (AHL).

McCabe was a healthy scratch in Thursday’s game against Ottawa, while Ullmark is being activated off I.R. after having double hip surgery during the off-season.



Chara ‘doubtful’ for game against rival Canadiens

Brad Marchand, Zdeno Chara
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It looks like the Boston Bruins will be without their captain again on Saturday night.

Head coach Claude Julien told members of the media that Zdeno Chara is considered doubtful for tonight’s game against the Montreal Canadiens.

Chara suffered an upper-body injury during the preseason and he’s already been forced to miss Boston’s season opening loss to the Jets.

Per CSN, Chara says he’s improving but he won’t return to the lineup until he’s as close to 100 percent as possible.

“Every area of the injury is improving,” said Chara. “Hopefully it’s not long before I’m free of any kind of discomfort. That’s what we’re doing right now…we’re being patient. For sure you don’t want to come back, and be half of what you are…and basically hurting yourself and the team. And you’re putting yourself in a position where you could be missing more time. At this time of the season, I think it’s important to be as close as you can be to 100 percent.”

Based on the number of defensive mistakes they committed on Thursday, the Bruins need Chara back as soon as possible: