James O'Brien

New York Islanders' Kyle Okposo leaves the ice after Game 3 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup first-round playoff series against the Pittsburgh Penguins, Sunday, May 5, 2013, in Uniondale, N.Y. The Penguins defeated the Islanders in overtime 5-4. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Isles will be without Okposo for next two games

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The New York Islanders announced that forward Kyle Okposo will miss the next two games because of a “nagging lower-body injury.”

The Isles face the Coyotes tonight and the Ducks on Monday. Okposo could get a really nice rest this way, as they’ll be a break from Monday until next Sunday (when they host the Toronto Maple Leafs).

That’s not to say that Okposo is guaranteed to return by that match. Either way, it seems like a reasonable time to strategically sit him and allow that gnawing issue to subside with limited damage to the team.

Okposo has been productive so far in this contract year, generating eight goals and 26 points in 33 games. Perhaps he’s been slowed just a touch most recently, as he’s been without a point in his past two games (though that may be a coincidence).

Stamkos says he wants to stay in Tampa Bay (and denies issues with coach)


Maybe he isn’t always liking the right tweets, but Steven Stamkos is saying all the right things about his future with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Nervous Lightning fans will find a lot to like in Stamkos’ comments to the Tampa Bay Times on Saturday.

“Like I’ve always said, I envision myself winning a championship here and want to do that,” Stamkos said. “Obviously we got close last year, and I’m the captain of this team and I want to be that leader.”

Beyond that, Stamkos shot down a lot of speculation, including murmurs that he doesn’t get along with Lightning head coach Jon Cooper (especially relevant since Cooper recently signed a contract extension).

This quote probably summarizes his response to various reports:

“I think obviously the people who know me and are close to the situation know what’s true and what’s not true.”

Of course, Stamkos also admits that a lot of things can happen between now and then – then being when he signs a new contract – so all that really matters is when his name is finally on the dotted line.

In other words, the speculation isn’t likely to stop, but at least Lightning fans can regain a little hope following another distracting Stamkos circus.

Three ring Stamkos circus

Could Tampa Bay lose him for nothing?

Sign Stamkos signs in Toronto

Others stole the show from Stamkos

Blues douse Flames’ winning streak at seven games


The Calgary Flames played like a team on a hot streak, but they were ultimately scorched by two St. Louis Blues.

Vladimir Tarasenko generated points on all three Blues goals and Brian Elliott made 36 saves in a 3-2 victory for the Blues, ending Calgary’s impressive winning streak at seven games.

The Blues generated a 2-0 lead in the first period and a 3-0 edge through two periods. Calgary nearly came back in the third period, and generated quite a shot edge (30-15) during the final 40 minutes of the contest.

Under many circumstances, that would be enough to help the Flames reel off yet another win.

Tarasenko is just THAT good, though, and you can’t help but wonder if Elliott is back to being the Blues’ best option in net once again.

(All of a sudden, the Blues are starting to creep up on the Stars for the Central Division lead …)

Hall-of-Famer Richard ‘Dickie’ Moore passes away at 84

via Montreal Canadiens

Hall-of-Famer Richard “Dickie” Moore passed away at the age of 84 on Saturday.

He won six Stanley Cups and played 654 of his 719 NHL regular season games with the Montreal Canadiens, who discussed his life and career here.

The Canadiens discussed some of his highlights:

Moore’s NHL career really took off in 1954-55 after he first etched his name on the coveted Stanley Cup in 1953. The skilled left winger would quickly become one of the league’s most prolific point getter. After successively recording 36, 50 and 58 points from 1954 to 1957, Dickie Moore rose to the top in 1957-58, notching 36 goals and a total of 86 points to earn the Art Ross trophy for the first time. Considering that he had played the last three months of the regular schedule with a cast on his left forearm, his achievement was nothing short of remarkable. The following year, Moore was even more dominant tallying 41 goals and a league-leading 96 points, shattering the season point record of 95 set by the legendary Gordie Howe and earning his second Art Ross trophy.


NHL commissioner Gary Bettman also released a statement following Moore’s passing:

“Dickie Moore was a player of great skill and even-greater heart, someone admired on the ice for his will to win and adored in the community for his commitment to good deeds. A six-time Stanley Cup winner and two-time scoring champion, Dickie Moore refused to let injuries stop him from reaching remarkable heights of success. As we mourn his passing, the National Hockey League family sends our deepest condolences to his family and his many friends inside and outside of the game.”

Burrows regrets child abuse chirps at O’Sullivan, insists he’s changed

Alex Burrows, Kris Letang

It’s far from uncommon for a “pest” to get under an opponent’s skin by saying vile, personal things.

It’s quite uncommon to find out many details about those vile, personal comments.

Many in the hockey world were shaken by former player Patrick O’Sullivan’s account of his experiences with child abuse in The Players’ Tribune. Things got downright controversial when O’Sullivan revealed the one player who actually chirped him about those genuinely harrowing experiences: Alex Burrows.

Mere hours later, Burrows was confronted with his comments, which he claims happened about 8-10 years ago.

His response, paraphrased by Sportsnet’s Dan Murphy, may be summarized as “I regret the things I said back then, but my trash talk is more appropriate now.”

Murphy notes that Burrows said he’d do or say anything to get an edge/stay in the NHL at that time, but Burrows insisted that what he said to Jordin Tootoo this season wasn’t over the line.

Burrows reiterated his thoughts regarding this season’s Tootoo incident, so you can reference this video for more on that:

Plenty of people criticized Burrows:

Though some at least shared a partial defense for the pesky forward’s ways:

Let’s face it, you can probably narrow Burrows’ array of responses to this situation to four broader choices:

1. The “No Comment” Route

2. Shrugging his shoulders and throwing out some sort of “Nature of the beast” type explanation.

3. Burrows’ choice: a strange mix of an apology and a non-apology for his current tactics.

4. Pulling a Raffi Torres and essentially saying he’s a bad person, at least on the ice.

Really, are any of those options all that satisfying? Unless he decides to change his ways and seek a Lady Byng, chances are we were going to be stuck with this awkward apology or no apology at all.

In all honesty, it might be best to move on … you know, unless a bunch of other players come forward with Burrows trash talk horror stories.