James O'Brien

Rickard Rakell, Andrew Shaw
AP

Hits keep coming: Ducks lose Rakell to upper-body injury

When the Anaheim Ducks aren’t losing games, they’re losing players to injuries.

(Sometimes both.)

The team announced that Rickard Rakell will not return to Wednesday’s game against the Florida Panthers thanks to an upper-body injury.

It’s not yet clear how Rakell was injured – feel free to provide additional insight in the comments, if you have any – and it’s not obvious if this will be a short or long-term issue.

This is the closest thing we have to information on it so far:

The Ducks were already hurting down the middle with Ryan Getzlaf‘s surgery situation, and many were lauding Rakell’s work in his wake. Anaheim’s a little thin at center, as much will be expected of Ryan Kesler.

Jiri Sekac and Simon Despres are also out of the Ducks’ mix, so these are tough times even beyond the standings.

On that note, the Ducks have some work to do, as Florida currently holds a 2-1 lead in tonight’s game.

Ouch all around.

Just like that, Blues are hot and Blackhawks are not

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It’s not always pretty, but more often than not, the St. Louis Blues are finding ways to squeeze out wins. Even if the story isn’t always the same.

On Wednesday … it was all just kind of wacky, wasn’t it?

The first period was the wildest span of the game, as we saw goalie collisions, fake and real goalie changes, penalty shots and a staggering seven goals.

The Chicago Blackhawks came out of that first 20 minutes with a 5-2 lead, and when you consider the fact that the Blues were closing off a back-to-back, it would be reasonable to expect Chicago to chalk up a win.

Not much was reasonable about this one, however.

Instead, the Blues stormed back in the second period, scoring three unanswered goals to tie things up.

After a third period that inspired some cheesy “What, no goals?” jokes, the contest went deep into overtime, and it all ended in a fitting way.

Vladimir Tarasenko inspired jokes of his own for failing to score a point among the 10 goals scored, but he generated the most important one of the contest. It only makes sense that he missed the net earlier in that sequence before scoring the overtime game-winner.

Picking up the pieces

Looking past the dizzying game we saw, the Blues to improve to 9-3-1 on the season as they’ve won three of their last four games, including two victories in overtime.

The Blackhawks are stumbling a bit on their own account, as they’re now 7-5-1 and have dropped three of their last four games.

Both teams have their issues to work out, yet would anyone be that surprised if Wednesday proved to be a preview for another playoff series?

If so, it could stand as must-watch TV.

***

It was a costly game for the Blues injury-wise, as Steve Ott suffered an upper-body injury and Brian Elliott was shaken up by a collision with Jonathan Toews. Not much update-wise after the game on either front …

Video of Steve Ott’s injury, which ended his night early

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The St. Louis Blues announced that Steve Ott won’t return to Wednesday’s zany game against the Chicago Blackhawks after suffering an upper-body injury.

Upper-body injury is the official term, but it seems like it would be arm/wrist/hand related. Ott hurt himself while delivering a hit on Blackhawks blueliner Brent Seabrook.

You can see for yourself in the video above.

Hey, it looks like Jagr’s back for the Panthers

Jaromir Jagr
AP
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A night after fans of the sport lost young wunderkind Connor McDavid to injury, it looks like an old favorite is back to delight audiences.

Every indication is that Jaromir Jagr will return to the Florida Panthers’ lineup against the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday.

Jagr is expected to line up with Nick Bjugstad and Jonathan Huberdeau, according to Harvey Fialkov of the Florida Sun-Sentinel.

The Panthers were hit hard by injuries in a short span when Jagr and Aleskander Barkov went down with injuries, but now they have one of those two key forwards back tonight (barring a last-minute scratch).

Jagr apparently is feeling great:

… And his mullet is becoming increasingly robust, as well.

(If the unexpected happens and Jagr cannot play, this post will be updated.)

Wheeler, Burmistrov score pretty game-winner for Jets

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When he was in the penalty box late in the third period, Alexander Burmistrov was probably quite worried about being in the doghouse.

He had gone five games without a point, with a -3 rating against Montreal on Nov. 1. The penalty he took likely did him few favors, either.

A timely pass found him on his way out of the penalty box, however, and he made a great play to get the puck to Blake Wheeler, who returned the favor for a fabulous 2-on-1 goal that served as the game-winner.

In a way, it captured the feel for what Winnipeg does so well: scoring goals as a group.

Four different Jets scored goals. Multiple players, including Wheeler, added assists as well.

Depth is a big thing in a league where goals are tougher to come by, and Winnipeg seemingly boasts that.

One might even make that argument with more confidence if Burmistrov can get it going from here.