James O'Brien

Oilers say Connor McDavid will be out ‘long-term’


Sometimes initial reports about hockey injuries encourage excessive pessimism. Sadly, those outlooks might have been accurate in Connor McDavid‘s case.

Edmonton Oilers coach Todd McLellan simply said that McDavid’s upper-body injury will keep McDavid out “long-term.”

That’s vague … but not very promising.

McDavid was seen with his left arm in a sling not that long after his scary crash (seen above), leading people to speculate about a broken collarbone or shoulder separation. It’s not too clear what the specific ailment is or what the window of recovery will be, but teams don’t often say “long-term” so early without cause.

For those who were jealous of the Oilers landing upon the McDavid pick, this is a window into how much of Edmonton’s progress comes from the super-hyped prospect.

For fans of the sport and the Oilers specifically, this is just terrible news.

The longer term Oilers response will say a lot, but let’s give Edmonton credit for digging deep and beating the Philadelphia Flyers 4-2 tonight after that injury.

TSN’s Bob McKenzie backs up the belief that he broke his collarbone:

As it turns out, Jordan Eberle may help to fill some of the void.

Kings mute Blues despite Allen’s strong work


Wait, the Los Angeles Kings were the team closing off a back-to-back set in this one, right?

You’d think the shoe was on the other foot on Tuesday, as the Kings often took it to the St. Louis Blues in an eventual 3-0 win.

The Kings managed to overcome an absolutely stellar performance by Blues netminder Jake Allen, who made eye-popping stops like these.

Jeff Carter eventually took advantage of a series of Kings power-play opportunities, Tanner Pearson scored a confidence-booster to make it 2-0 and the margin was inflated a bit by an empty-netter.

It seemed like both teams eased off a bit in third (maybe fatigue was setting in), but through two periods, the Kings flexed their muscles, seen most simply with a 29-16 shot advantage.

With that, Los Angeles now has victories in eight of nine games, only falling to the defending champion Chicago Blackhawks in that span.

Speaking of Chicago, the Blues will hope to parallel the Kings’ Tuesday turnaround, as St. Louis visits the Blackhawks on NBCSN tomorrow.

Scary crash ends Connor McDavid’s night; Oilers top Flyers


In a high-impact sport like hockey, even a sure-thing player’s praise must be couched in the “health permitting” caveat.

With that in mind, Edmonton Oilers fans – and plenty of fans of the sport at large – are holding their breath after an unsettling crash by Connor McDavid.

You can see video above while Sportsnet’s Faizal Khamisa shared a couple GIFs of the fall.

The Edmonton Oilers recently announced that McDavid won’t return to the game.

There aren’t many details beyond that, although the early word isn’t very promising.

Update: To the credit of the Oilers, they rallied after McDavid’s injury, managing a 4-2 win.

Maybe Tampa Bay’s offense didn’t wake up, after all

Nikita Kucherov
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The swag might still be on hold.

After showing some life on Sunday, the Tampa Bay Lightning once again had a very quiet offense night, this time falling to the Detroit Red Wings by a score of 2-1.

At the moment, a 4-3 win against the Carolina Hurricanes looks more like a blip on the radar than a breakthrough. Just look at their recent work:

Oct. 24: Lost to Chicago 1-0 in OT.
Oct. 27: Lost to St. Louis 2-0.
Oct. 29: 2-1 defeat to Colorado
Oct. 31: Fell 3-1 to Boston.
Nov. 1: 4-3 win vs. Carolina.
Tonight: 2-1 loss to Detroit.

Yeah, that’s not ideal, and they’re not scoring very often at even-strength.

Much has been made of Jon Cooper (at least previously?) not being concerned about Tampa Bay’s slow start. It’s at least worth wondering if maybe the Bolts should pick up the pace a little, isn’t it?

Whatever the case may be, few expected the Lightning to begin 2015-16 with a middling 6-6-2 record.

One way or another, Cooper & Co. need to start looking for answers.

Kopitar’s tough night ends with upper-body injury


Getting thwarted by Jake Allen on a golden opportunity isn’t the low point of Anze Kopitar‘s Tuesday night.

According to various sources including Los Angeles Kings Insider’s Jon Rosen, Kopitar won’t return to tonight’s contest against the St. Louis Blues because of an upper-body injury.

As you can see in the video above, it’s suspected that a hit from Ryan Reaves injured Kopitar.

It’s certainly a concern for the mostly red-hot Kings, though the bigger picture severity is yet unknown.