<span class="vcard">James O'Brien</span>

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Hand sanitizer and motherly advice: Things that would supposedly stump the mumps


You know what this weirdly widespread mumps phenomenon really needed? People providing armchair medical advice.

Thankfully, Chicago Blackhawks forward Kris Versteeg and Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk stepped to the plate in that regard, and the results may or may not leave team doctors gritting their teeth.

The Blackhawks provided the standard denial regarding Duncan Keith’s “illness” on Tuesday, but at least it prompted Versteeg to share this gem with the Chicago Tribune’s Chris Kuc:

“It’s weird that it’s happening, but hand sanitizer I guess … that’s what it’s for,” Versteeg said.

Hey, let’s give Versteeg some credit, as it applies to one of the CDC’s ways of avoiding spreading the disease, at least if the hand sanitizer works:

Some things people can do to help prevent the spread of mumps and other infections include

  • Washing hands well and often with soap, and teaching children to wash their hands too
  • Not sharing eating or drinking utensils
  • Cleaning surfaces that are frequently touched (such as toys, doorknobs, tables, and counters) regularly with soap and water or with cleaning wipes
  • Minimize close contact with other people if you are sick
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and put your used tissue in the trash can.  If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow, not your hands

Noted forensics enthusiast and Senators owner Eugene Melynk is even less scientific with his advice to the Ottawa Sun’s Don Brennan.

“It doesn’t take a genius to figure out somebody’s got mumps,” Melnyk said. “Go to your grandmother or mother, and they’ll tell you you’ve got mumps.”

One can imagine dozens of NHL teams saying, “Of course, if only we would have thought about the worried parent method sooner.”

/Cuts to the Pittsburgh Penguins making someone’s grandmother their new team doctor

Anyway, it’s tough to tell how much these incidents could have been prevented, yet one good measure may have been to “keep everyone away from the fellow with the enormously swollen face.”


That said, this isn’t Professional Doctors’ Hockey Talk, so take that with a grain of salt (and maybe a vitamin C tablet).

PHT Morning Skate: Another Jack Adams for Ted Nolan?

Ted Nolan

PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Epix’s edition of The Road to the Winter Classic aired episode 1 recently. Here are a couple recaps/reviews of the footage. (Puck Daddy and NHL.com)

Check out a bunch of clips from the show to whet your appetite. (Monumental Network)

Ted Nolan won the Jack Adams in 1996-97. What would it take for him to do it again in 2014-15? (The Hockey News)

Arizona Coyotes head coach Dave Tippett describes last night’s dramatic OT win against the Edmonton Oilers “a relief.” (Sarah McLellan on Twitter)

Editor’s Note: Pro Hockey Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $18,000 Fantasy Hockey league for Wednesday’s NHL games. It’s just $2 to join and first prize is $2,000. Starts Wednesday at 7pm ET. Here’s the FanDuel link.

Social media hasn’t been kind to the Los Angeles Kings’ outdoor duds. (Sportsnet)

Greatest Hockey Legends names the best players of the 1990’s, with Mario Lemieux coming in first. (Greatest Hockey Legends)

You can almost feel the Columbus Blue Jackets’ excitement (and again, relief) in this tweet.

Jagr: Devils would make huge mistake if they fire DeBoer

Jaromir Jagr, Peter DeBoer

As poorly as things have gone for the New Jersey Devils, Jaromir Jagr told the Bergen Record that the team’s struggles shouldn’t prompt the franchise to fire head coach Pete DeBoer.

“That would be one of the biggest mistakes they could make,”Jagr said. “To be honest with you, without our coaches and the system we play, it would be a lot worse.”

Cory Schneider backs up Jagr’s assessment that the players are being placed in the right situations.

“It would be a shame if it fell on the coaches because they’re giving us the X’s and O’s and it’s up to us to execute,” Schneider said. “So, I’m not really sure what’s going to be done or what needs to be done, to be honest.”

Indeed, some of the Devils’ problems fall on players, injuries and management saddling DeBoer with an aging roster.

Still, Puck Daddy pointed out a few issues with DeBoer while weighing the pros and cons of parting with the head coach back in late November:

Some of it can be laid at his feet, with odd line combination decisions and personnel management, contributing to the team’s anemic offensive (58 goals in 24 games, the 23rd best offense in the NHL); and his mistrust of the team’s backup netminders, leading to Cory Schneider getting a preposterous 23 starts, which is already more than half his total from last season.

As you’ve likely heard dozens of times, “it’s easier to fire the coach than trade all of the players,” so one wonders how hot DeBoer’s seat must be right now.

Fair or not.

NHL on NBCSN: East’s elite meet as Penguins host Lightning

Evgeni Malkin, Steven Stamkos
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NBCSN will continue its coverage of the 2014-15 campaign when the Pittsburgh Penguins host the Tampa Bay Lightning at the Consol Energy Center at 7:00 p.m. ET tonight. In addition to NBCSN, you can also watch the game and pre-show online.

Even with Sidney Crosby swollen and sidelined, hockey fans should be in for a treat when the Tampa Bay Lightning visit the Pittsburgh Penguins on Monday.

Plenty of star power, plenty of players fans should get to know better

Including Crosby, there are 13 players in the NHL with at least 30 points, and four of them play for these two teams: Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Steven Stamkos and Tyler Johnson.

Some casual fans probably look at the Lightning as Stamkos, maybe Victor Hedman and quite a few anonymous players, but the truth is that Tampa Bay is one of the deepest team in the East (if not the NHL).

Johnson quietly has 30 points in 31 contests as he has enjoyed great chemistry on a fantastic line with Nikita Kucherov and Ondrej Palat. The Lightning might have to go without Palat today, however, so both teams will be missing a noteworthy forward.

In other words, there should be no shortage of star wattage tonight, even with key injuries in mind.

Editor’s Note: Pro Hockey Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $15,000 Fantasy Hockey league for Monday’s NHL games. It’s just $2 to join and first prize is $1,400. Starts Monday at 7pm ET. Here’s the FanDuel link.

Cream of the conference crop

Each team currently stands on top of its respective division; the Penguins are 19-6-4 for 42 standings points while the Bolts are 19-9-3 for 41.

The Lightning have been stumbling a bit lately, as they’ve dropped four of six games, including a 4-2 loss to the Washington Capitals on Saturday. This represents thes second contest of a five-game road trip.

The Penguins have been trading wins and losses lately, most recently dropping a 4-3 shootout decision in a thriller against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

There’s a solid chance we’ll see a showdown between Marc-Andre Fleury and Ben Bishop, two clear No. 1 goalies who have enjoyed strong starts to their 2014-15 campaigns. Whatever the case may be, the men in net are likely to be tested often tonight.

Last season, the Penguins went 3-0-0 against the Lightning. Will Tampa Bay make something of a statement by beating one of the East’s best? We’ll see on NBCSN.

Chara says he needs to improve ‘every part’ of his game

Zdeno Chara

The Boston Bruins haven’t been able to win in the two games since Zdeno Chara returned from injury, and the big captain told CSNNE.com that he isn’t happy with his own play.

“The first guy, I’m looking at myself. I’ve got to be better and I have to work to be at the top of my game. When you’re not scoring, that means defensively you just have to be better to defend games like this,” Chara said. “Every part of my game [needs improvement]. There are no excuses. Like I said after my first game, I missed whatever time, but I have to work very hard to get where I want to be and I will get there.”

While the 37-year-old’s possession stats look fine from those two losses, he’s shown rust in certain areas, as CSNNE.com discusses:

Chara has had a few good moments where he looks like the prime defensive stopper that he is, but the four penalties over two games against Chicago and Ottawa clearly also reveal a player that’s behind the speed of the play right now. He’s cheating rather than moving his feet and anticipating the play, and that’s pretty indicative of a player that’s waiting for things to slow down around.

This week presents an interesting test for Chara and the Bruins, who’ve lost two in a row and seven of their last nine games. They face three road games: Tuesday at Nashville, Wednesday at Minnesota and Friday at Winnipeg.

If that run goes poorly, it might be time to get a little concerned.