James O'Brien

Roberto Luongo

Luongo leaves game, Panthers in bind with Montoya also hurt


The Florida Panthers are still keyed into a hopeful playoff run – their moves mainly cleared out guys with no future in Sunrise – so seeing Roberto Luongo take a puck to the head/neck one night after the trade deadline is especially distressing.

While he finished up the first period, Luongo’s night eventually ended earlier thanks to this moment against the Toronto Maple Leafs:

Yeah, not ideal.

Update: On the bright side, the Miami Herald’s George Richards provides an optimistic early outlook –

More interesting update: Al Montoya was banged up during the game, and for some time, it seemed like Florida would have to scramble to either dress a skater or improvise in some other way to get a third goalie in there. Montoya returned, however, but not before onlookers were entertained.

Video: Plenty of violence between Caps, Blue Jackets


The Columbus Blue Jackets and Washington Capitals might not seem to scream “rivals,” but they’re exchanging enough pleasantries on Tuesday that there should be plenty of distaste between the two teams going forward.

Through two periods of play, the two teams have combined for 60 penalty minutes. There have been three fights, at least one injured player (Michael Latta), one player receiving a 10-minute misconduct (David Clarkson), some blood being scraped off the ice and someone even got … butt-hammered.

Latta was injured thanks to a hit by Jared Boll, which prompted Tom Wilson to drop his gloves:

Latta had a busy evening, as he fought new Blue Jackets player Justin Falk earlier in the game:

Troy Brouwer and Cody Goloubef fought, which was the latter’s first NHL fight according to Hockey Fights:

The box score tells another story of violence:


We’ll see if there are any extra fireworks in the third, but it’s clear that both teams will be a little bruised after this one.

Update: After the game (which Washington won 5-3), Blue Jackets defenseman Jack Johnson provided these thoughts on the physical play:

Kennedy (upper body) won’t debut for Islanders

Tyler Kennedy
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The New York Islanders acquired Tyler Kennedy from the San Jose Sharks on Monday, but apparently he’s not going to be able to provide depth scoring for his new team just yet.

Kennedy is dealing with an upper-body injury that will keep him out of tonight’s contest against the Dallas Stars, the Islanders announced. It was not revealed when, exactly, he was injured.

It hasn’t been that uncommon for teams to grab injured players lately, anyway. The Buffalo Sabres won’t see Evander Kane play until next season, for one example. That said, it’s unclear if the Isles knew he was injured when the trade was made (assuming he didn’t get hurt afterward, of course).

The early word is that the Islanders aren’t going to make a fuss about the situation, according to New York Newsday’s Arthur Staple:

Kassian sits out Tuesday’s Canucks game with flu

Zack Kassian

The Vancouver Canucks will have to face the San Jose Sharks without winger Zack Kassian on Tuesday, as the team announced that he’s suffering from the flu.

The 24-year-old has been on a nice run riding shotgun with the Sedin twins. Seven of his nine goals from 2014-15 came in the month of February alone.

This is a fairly significant game for the Canucks, too, as the Sharks aren’t that far behind them in the West’s run for playoff spots. Vancouver looks relatively safe with 75 points (good for second in the Pacific at the moment), yet 10th-ranked San Jose is only five points behind them.

(The Canucks have two games in hand, so the gap is still notable, but still.)

It’ll be interesting to see if Vancouver puts Radim Vrbata back with the Sedins in Kassian’s absence or if they go with a different option tonight.

Elias says Devils never approached him about a trade

Patrik Elias

If the New Jersey Devils were shopping Patrik Elias during the 2015 trade deadline, he didn’t hear about it.

The 38-year-old told the Newark Star-Ledger that he was never asked to waive his no-trade clause.

“No. I was never asked, so I don’t know if anybody called,” Elias said. “He (GM Lou Lamoriello) never talked to me about it.”

It’s not a shocker that New Jersey held onto Elias, a longtime figure on a team stretching back to much better days. He’s already produced some offense tonight, too, as he assisted on one of New Jersey’s two early goals against the Nashville Predators.

Elias backs up the notion that his fellow teammate and countryman Martin Havlat would have liked to be moved, but it didn’t work out.

Some players might want to move to a contender, yet when you’re comfortable on a team with past success, it’s reasonable to want to stay put. It’s interesting to wonder if Elias would have at least considered caving to a request, though.