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Sens begin preliminary extension talks with Condon

Mike Condon has all but saved Ottawa’s season, so there’s little surprise to learn the two sides have started discussing a new deal.

From the Ottawa Sun:

[Condon] told Postmedia before he returned to the club’s net Thursday night against the Dallas Stars that despite being an unrestricted free agent on July 1 he’d be happy to stay with Ottawa.

Though the Senators have had very preliminary contract discussions with his Buffalo-based agent Michael Wulkan, Condon isn’t going to spend any time worrying about what the future might hold.

The duo had dinner when the Senators were in Buffalo last Friday and Condon made it clear he doesn’t want a play-by-play of discussions. He trusts if there are serious talks between Wulkan and Ottawa GM Pierre Dorion that Condon will get involved when there’s something he needs to accept or reject if the opportunity presents itself.

As mentioned above, Condon has been a real find. After losing the services of No. 1 Craig Anderson — he hasn’t played since Dec. 5, taking a leave to be with his wife while she undergoes cancer treatment — the Sens proceeded to give Condon a lion’s share of the No. 1 duties.

He’s responded by going 16-9-5 with a .912 save percentage and 2.56 GAA. The numbers don’t exactly jump off the page, but they’re fairly impressive given the circumstances (and in light of the fatigue factor, as Condon at one point appeared in 27 straight games.)

Looking ahead, the Sens have Anderson and Andrew Hammond under contract through 2018, at $4.2 million and $1.35 million respectively. But Hammond has clearly fallen out of favor. The club put him on waivers back in November and, as evident by Condon’s workload, they don’t have a ton of faith in the Hamburglar.

Hammond is 0-2-0 this season, with a 4.08 GAA and .837 save percentage. On Tuesday, in one of his rare starts, he allowed six goals on 30 shots in a blowout loss to St. Louis.

Condon’s in the last of a two-year, $1.15 million deal with a $575,000 cap hit. One would assume he’s in line for a raise, but it sounds like he enjoys playing in Ottawa and might opt to stick around, rather than test free agency.

“I love everybody,” he told the Sun. “The management and the coaches are very transparent here. They communicate very well which as a player is very valuable.”

Logan Couture can at least speak and eat following horrifying mouth injury

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As much as many of us suffer during a trip to the dentist, few can fathom the horrors hockey players often go through when a puck, stick or fist finds their teeth/mouths. Consult this vintage PHT post from 2010 if you want to cringe, a lot.

Much like Eddie Lack “only” dealing with a neck sprain, it’s strange to be heartened to hear that Logan Couture can speak and eat after his own painful ordeal, but that’s the positive update from the Mercury News on Tuesday.

Couture, Wilson said, did not need to have his jaw wired shut after a deflected puck caught him in the mouth on Saturday when the Sharks played the Nashville Predators.

“Hey, he can speak and eat … and his jaw isn’t wired shut!” Yeesh.

To little surprise, Couture isn’t playing on Tuesday. As far as the Sharks next three games (Thursday, Friday and Sunday), that remains to be seen.

As an aside, consider this: on the same day Jonathan Drouin‘s celebrating his birthday after helping the Lightning win, Couture is lucky if he can force down some birthday cake. Life: it isn’t always fair.

PHT discussed his trip to the dentist on Monday.

More mouth pain: When David Backes felt like his face was falling off.

Athanasiou got hurt during that Lack collision, too (and he blames Rask’s hit)

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The Carolina Hurricanes and Detroit Red Wings both exchanged signs of respect after Eddie Lack left last night’s game on a stretcher, but there’s a little controversy surrounding that situation … from the Red Wings’ perspective.

You see, Andreas Athanasiou may not have collided with Lack if not for a shove/cross-check by Hurricanes forward Victor Rask.

Athanasiou is out for the Red Wings tonight, and as the Detroit Free Press’ Helene St. James reports, he blames the Rask hit.

Here’s a screen grab of that moment via NBCSN/the Fox Sports broadcast:

Now, check it out in full motion:

It’s unfortunate that two injuries came of that overtime-clincher, though one may at least mildly defend Rask in noting that Athanasiou was really displaying his blazing speed on that play.

The Red Wings could very well be eliminated tonight, or soon, but Athanasiou has been a bright spot during a sometimes-glum season for Detroit. Hopefully, like Lack, this is merely a minor issue from an unfortunate collision.

More promising Eddie Lack news: Hurricanes label his injury a neck strain

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Yes, it feels a little weird to “cheer” a neck strain, but such injury news feels pretty fantastic for Eddie Lack.

The Carolina Hurricanes announced that he’s dealing with exactly that on Tuesday morning, not that long after Lack’s scare after being stretchered off the ice following a collision with Detroit Red Wings Andreas Athanasiou.

Lack ended up being hospitalized, but as it turns out, that was a pretty short-term situation.

With the positive news in mind, it’s already appropriate to wonder when Lack might be back, particularly since he’s been on quite a tear during Carolina’s unlikely push for a possible playoff spot. The Hurricanes didn’t provide a window of time for his recovery, and Lack himself was vague-if-positive:

In the mean time, the Hurricanes recalled Alex Nedeljkovic, who one would assume would primarily back up Cam Ward.

So, long story short: things seem very positive for Lack, though his rehab process remains cloudy.

Bruins recall McIntyre from AHL on emergency basis

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Update: As it turns out, Anton Khudobin might be the goalie dealing with an injury, according to the Boston Herald’s Steve Conroy. So, tonight’s starter boils down to Tuukka Rask or Zane McIntyre.

(Rask it is.)

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Tuukka Rask was supposed to be back in goal for the Boston Bruins tonight.

But then, just a couple of hours before their game with the Nashville Predators, the B’s announced they’d recalled goalie Zane McIntyre from the AHL on an emergency basis.

It’s not yet clear why McIntyre was recalled. Rask missed Saturday’s game in Brooklyn with a lower-body injury, but coach Bruce Cassidy said earlier today that Rask was healthy and ready to go.

“Tuukka is healthy,” said Cassidy. “That’s what he indicated to me and that’s all I needed to hear. He’ll be our starter tonight.”

If Rask is unable to play, expect Anton Khudobin to get the nod.

Khudobin backstopped the B’s to a 2-1 victory over the Isles on Saturday.