Author: James O'Brien

smithtrevor

Video: Zdeno Chara bloodies Trevor Smith

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Sometimes an innocuous hit can draw blood. That’s especially true when Boston Bruins behemoth Zdeno Chara is delivering the check.

That was evident on Saturday, as a fairly typical-looking hit left Toronto Maple Leafs forward Trevor Smith bloody:

Eye injury makes Wild’s Koivu a late scratch

MikkoKoivuC
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The Minnesota Wild made captain Mikko Koivu a late scratch against the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday, as he’s sidelined with an eye injury.

Koivu, 32, is considered day-to-day with this ailment.

While Koivu failed to score in Minnesota’s most recent game, he had been heating up lately with three goals and two assists for five points in a three-game span from March 24-28.

At the moment, Minnesota’s place in the playoffs looks comfortable, yet there’s enough competition in the West that they can’t just coast. Considering what Detroit has on the line as well, this game could be that much tougher without Koivu.

Johnson’s in for Lightning, but now Killorn is hurt

Alex Killorn
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The good news is that Tyler Johnson is headed back into the Tampa Bay Lightning’s lineup, and Victor Hedman might not be that far behind him. As usual for the Lightning lately, there’s bad injury news too, however.

Winger Alex Killorn is the latest to hit some bad injury luck, though there aren’t many specifics. He’s not playing in tonight’s game against the Florida Panthers because of an undisclosed injury, as the Tampa Tribune’s Erik Erlendsson reports.

The 25-year-old is considered day-to-day with … whatever it is that is bothering him.

It has to be frustrating for the Lightning to deal with injury after injury, yet there’s still time for them to get healthier once the playoffs roll around. Tampa Bay also already has its spot clinched and could make things a little bit better during this final week:

Huh? HHOF adds Rob Ford to Board of Directors

Toronto Councillor Rob Ford
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One could argue that a Hall of Fame courts controversy by nature, to some extent, as “snubs” become an annual topic. By that logic, perhaps it makes sense that the Hockey Hall of Fame is adding controversial Toronto politician Rob Ford to its Board of Directors.

Here’s a quick rundown from The Canadian Press:

Museum spokesman Kelly Masse says that Ford was elected to the board for the first time at a member’s meeting on March 25.

Masse says Ford won’t be on the committee that selects inductees to the Hall of Fame.

Ford, 45, notes that he’s obsessed with hockey and has season tickets for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

This is a pretty strange choice, but at least it provides (disapproving) hockey fans with a go-to joke.

“Even [insert player you believe shouldn’t be in the Hall of Fame] thinks that Rob Ford shouldn’t be anywhere near the Hockey Hall of Fame.”

Sportsnet’s Damien Cox went on a mini-rant about this decision. Here are a few choice tweets from that tirade:

Also:

Does anyone have a decidedly positive take on this choice? Feel free to share it.

Jets zoom by Canucks for important win

New York Rangers v Winnipeg Jets
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For all the understandable comments that have been made about teams wanting to avoid the Los Angeles Kings in the playoffs, the Winnipeg Jets showed why they’re a different kind of threat if they can get it done.

Winnipeg flat-out overwhelmed the Vancouver Canucks at times (at least until they stepped off the gas a bit) on Saturday, eventually winning a 5-4 thriller. With this win, the Jets knock the Kings out of the West’s second wild card spot … although Los Angeles and Calgary could bump Winnipeg right back out depending upon how tonight’s games go.

A different kind of danger

Where the defending champions can smother opponents with their boa constrictor defense, the Jets show that they can create a track-meet atmosphere, particularly in front of boisterous home crowds.

Lee Stempniak and Mathieu Perreault were the offensive heroes for Winnipeg, at least this time around. Stempniak scored two goals, including the game-winner, while Perreault piled up three assists. There was also this goal exchange within eight seconds, to really cement the breathtaking pace of some Jets games:

Things were tense at times for the Jets – especially after Alex Burrows brought the margin to within one – but Winnipeg won its 40th game of the season on Saturday.

Challenging final week ahead

This was a big win in many ways, as this allows the Jets to salvage a four-game homestand with a 2-2-0 record. Their remaining schedule is pretty challenging, with their season-closer possibly having huge playoff implications:

Monday: at Minnesota
Tuesday: at St. Louis
Thursday: at Colorado
Next Saturday: vs. Calgary

Yep, Winnipeg really needed this one.