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Isles GM Snow furious over Tavares injury; calls IOC, IIHF ‘a joke’

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Not long after Isles captain John Tavares was ruled out for the year with a knee injury suffered at the Olympics, his GM went on the offensive.

“Are the IIHF or IOC going to reimburse our season ticket holders now?” Snow asked, per Newsday. “It’s a joke. They want all the benefits from NHL players in Olympics and don’t want to pay when our best player gets hurt.”

Tavares, 23, tore his MCL and meniscus during Canada’s 2-1 win over Latvia on Wednesday, thanks to a hit from ex-Winnipeg defenseman Arturs Kulda in the second period. It’s the first major injury of Tavares’ career — a Hart Trophy nominee in ’13, he’s only missed three games (concussion) since breaking in during the 2009-10 campaign.

He’s the fifth NHL player to go down to injury during the Sochi Games. Detroit’s Henrik Zetterberg (back), Rangers forward Mats Zuccarello (hand) and Florida’s Tomas Kopecky (head) and Aleksander Barkov (knee) were also hurt while in Russia, and their outlooks for return are murky.

Fear of injury is one of the reason NHL owners have been leery about sending players to the Olympics. Commissioner Gary Bettman is always quick to point out NHLers are “invited guests” of the IOC when it comes to the Winter Games, and that players are treated the same as any other participating athletes.

That isn’t doing much to appease Snow, however.

“It wouldn’t matter if we were 10 points up on a playoff spot or 10 points out,” he fumed. “We lost our best player and he wasn’t playing for us.”

Update: According to the New York Daily News, the Isles will receive something in the way of compensation…

According to a spokesman from the NHL players association, nothing changes for an injured Olympic player from a salary front. For the team, his salary is covered by the insurance coverage that was paid for by IOC.

If players need surgery – like Tavares most certainly will – the spokesman said he’d imagine that it would fall under insurance as well, which the IOC would cover.

Despite tough fight, Stars hand Wild their sixth straight loss

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The Minnesota Wild put together the kind of effort that would beat a lot of NHL teams on Tuesday. Unfortunately for that beleaguered group, it wasn’t enough to edge the Dallas Stars.

Despite generating 40 shots on goal and generating 1-0 and 2-1 leads, the Wild lost to the Stars 4-3 in overtime. With that, they’ve lost six straight games.

(The view doesn’t get much prettier if you pull away a little further, either, as Minnesota’s only won once in the last month, going 1-9-2 in their last 12.)

Ultimately, the Stars’ big guns were too powerful. Tyler Seguin generated two assists and so did Jamie Benn, who set up John Klingberg‘s overtime game-winning goal.

Again, the effort sure seemed to be there for the Wild, even if they’re far beyond the point of accepting moral victories.

As frustrating as this must be, Minnesota’s not that far from a playoff spot. Still, it has to sting to see “Close, but not good enough” as a prevailing theme as of late.

Royal beating: Lucic, Kings crush Bruins 9-2

As Boston Bruins' Patrice Bergeron (37) looks on Los Angeles Kings' Milan Lucic waves to the crowd after a tribute to him was played on the screen during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Boston Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)
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The Boston Bruins welcomed Milan Lucic back on Tuesday. Maybe they shouldn’t have extended such a warm welcome to the Los Angeles Kings overall, however.

You won’t see many games as lopsided as this one, at least in 2015-16, as the Kings walloped the Bruins by a humbling score of 9-2.

Lucic wasn’t just there, either, as he scored a goal and an assist in his quite triumphant return to Boston.

Tuukka Rask had a short night in Boston’s net, yet it wasn’t as if Jonas Gustavsson enjoyed his time. It was a pretty sound beating by all accounts.

This dominant win is a heck of a way for the Kings to begin an imposing seven-game road trip, which continues against the New York Islanders on Thursday. The Bruins probably want to burn the tape on this one themselves, as they’re about to head on a six-game road trip.

Video: Evander Kane believes he won his fights vs. Alex Petrovic

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The Florida Panthers are beating up the Buffalo Sabres where it counts – on the scoreboard – but Evander Kane was happy to highlight his perceived victories in a couple bouts.

Buffalo’s power forward fought Alex Petrovic twice on Tuesday, and Kane wasn’t shy about holding up a “2-0.”

You can watch the second fight above, and the first one below, via Hockey Fights by way of MSG:

This GIF might just say it all, really:

Update: Apparently they fought again moments after this post went up.

Probably safe to call it a rivalry between the two, right?

The Panthers ultimately won 7-4.

Fight video: Yes, a visor-breaking punch

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Some hockey players resist the urge to wear a visor, at least if they’re given that choice.

Perhaps a few will say “Hey, Nathan Beaulieu will just punch it off anyway.”

Maybe not, but Beaulieu provided a rather unique moment in his fight with Cedric Paquette during the Montreal Canadiens – Tampa Bay Lightning game. You can watch that bout in the video above, and see a cut on the Lightning pest’s face from that blow.

Want it in GIF form? OK then: