Colorado Avalanche v Ottawa Senators

Sarich opens up about scary cycling accident, aftermath


When Cory Sarich decided to go biking as part of his training regime on July 22, the unrestricted free agent was focused on getting in shape for the start of the 2014-15 campaign. His priorities have changed now, but he feels he has a lot to be thankful for even after what happened.

Sarich was riding on Windermere Loop Road when he got into an accident with a Ford F-350 truck that threatened his life.

“We’re going opposite directions and, no signal, he turns left,” Sarich told the Denver Post. “I’ve only got 15-20 meters (50-60 feet) and he’s right there in front of me, and taking up the whole road and going super slow and I’m breaking as hard as I can. Someone said I left about a 15-20 foot skid mark — I haven’t been back there to see — and I was going to impact the side of his truck, and I ended up going off to the side and over my handlebars, landing on the left side of my body.”

Sarich fell between the truck’s front and rear tires as the elderly driver continued forward, running him over with a rear tire. He broke five vertebra and sustained a deep head wound, road rash, and a burnt wrist. As the truck impacted him, he thought he would die and although he miraculously he managed to stand after being run over, he knew that his injuries were serious.

“I was really having trouble breathing, feeling woozy and feeling like I was going to go down,” Sarich recalled. “That was the most pain I have ever experienced.”

He was airlifted to the hospital and while he’s recovering, he still has a long road ahead of him. He’s not sure if his hockey career is over, but he doesn’t hold a grudge against the man that hit him. He also appreciates what he has despite what he’s been through.

“It’s amazing how an accident like this puts things in perspective,” Sarich said.

Goalie nods: Niemi expected for Stars against Penguins

Antti Niemi, Jonathan Toews
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Talk about getting thrown into the fire.

Antti Niemi is expected to be the starting goalie tonight in Dallas when his Stars host Sidney Crosby, Phil Kessel, Evgeni Malkin and the rest of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Niemi has, not surprisingly, been given the assignment over Kari Lehtonen, the latter of whom struggled badly during the preseason, allowing 15 goals on 84 shots.

Not that Niemi was razor sharp himself. He allowed eight goals on 65 shots, for a save percentage of .877.

Considering the Stars have a combined $10.4 million in cap space tied up in those two veteran netminders, it’s no wonder the number-one question facing the club is whether the goaltending has indeed been fixed.

We’ll start to find out tonight.

Marc-Andre Fleury will undoubtedly be in goal for Pittsburgh, though that hasn’t been confirmed.


Craig Anderson, the goalie the Senators decided to keep, versus Robin Lehner, the one they traded to the Sabres.

Cam Ward will start for Carolina when the Hurricanes visit the Predators, who will obviously go with Pekka Rinne. The consensus is that Eddie Lack will eventually supplant Ward as Carolina’s starter, but that apparently hasn’t happened yet.

Brian Elliott goes for the Blues versus Cam Talbot for the Oilers. Elliott was excellent in the preseason, stopping all but two of the 57 shots he faced, while Jake Allen allowed six goals on 60 shots.

Steve Mason for the Flyers versus Ben Bishop for the Lightning.

Ondrej Pavelec for Winnipeg versus Tuukka Rask for Boston.

Devan Dubnyk likely for the Wild versus Semyon Varlamov for the Avs.

Flyers want to prove doubters wrong

Jakub Voracek, Claude Giroux
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Jakub Voracek totally understands why nobody’s expecting much from the Philadelphia Flyers. When a team finishes 14 points out of the playoffs the year before, that’s typically going to be the case.

“We weren’t good enough last year, let’s face it,” Voracek told CSN Philly. 

So, no, it doesn’t upset him that the Flyers aren’t considered among the Stanley Cup favorites.

That being said, “it makes you feel you want to prove them wrong.”

The Flyers get going tonight with a tough game against the Lightning in Tampa Bay. They also play Saturday in Florida against the Panthers, before a rematch with the Panthers Monday in Philadelphia.

“My biggest concern would be getting off to a good start,” GM Ron Hextall said. “That’s one thing that we need to do.”

That’s something they didn’t do last year. In fact, they won just once in their first six games. By the end of November, they were 8-12-3 and in a big hole — one that proved too deep to climb out of.

Related: Flyers to start season with seven defensemen