Author: Mike Halford

Haydn Fleury, Jakub Vrana

Washington ’14 first-rounder Vrana (wrist surgery) out 3-4 months

Unfortunate news for one of the Caps’ best prospects on Wednesday, as the club announced Jakub Vrana would miss the next 12-16 weeks after undergoing wrist surgery.

Though he’s not currently up with the big club, the injury is still a pretty significant blow.

Vrana, 19, is pretty high on promise and potential. He was Washington’s first-round pick (13th overall) at the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, taken two spots ahead of Detroit rookie phenom Dylan Larkin.

A Czech forward that played professionally in Sweden prior to getting drafted, Vrana was off to a terrific start with AHL Hershey this year, scoring six points in his first six games.

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    Goalless through 11 games, Pominville says ‘it can’t get any worse’


    A six-time 20-goal scorer, Jason Pominville‘s always had success finding the back of the net.

    Until this season, that is.

    Pominville is goalless through the first 11 games of the ’15-16 campaign, one of the longest droughts of his 12-year career.

    While there were signs last season of the 32-year-old slowing down in the goalscoring department — he had just 18 in 82 games, his lowest-ever full season GPG rate — there was no foreshadowing a slump of this magnitude.

    Especially considering not much has changed for Pominville this season.

    He’s still getting pretty solid ice time — 18:20 per night — and the same opportunities with linemates Zach Parise and Mikael Granlund. The trio carried over its success from last season into this year’s exhibition campaign, and Pominville is averaging 2.5 shots per game, not far off the three-per-game he fired on net a year ago.

    Of course, that shot total puts Pominville in a weird club.

    He, along with L.A.’s Dustin Brown, Pittsburgh’s David Perron, Philly’s Jakub Voracek and Michael Raffl are the only forwards in the NHL to have fired at least 28 shots on goal this season without scoring.

    Pominville will look to notch his first of the season when the Wild host the Preds on Thursday at Xcel.

    Blues recall Paajarvi, who’ll make season debut versus ‘Hawks

    Magnus Paajarvi

    St. Louis is looking for a little spark heading into tonight’s Rivalry Night game in Chicago.

    Having lost three of their last six — including last night’s shutout defeat to L.A. — and scoring just nine goals over that span, the Blues have recalled Magnus Paajarvi from their AHL affiliate, and will play him tonight at the United Center.

    From the Post-Dispatch:

    The Blues already had 13 healthy forwards on the roster, with Scott Gomez sitting out as the healthy scratch in Tuesday’s game.

    There are no injuries, so Paajarvi’s call-up is strictly tied to wanting his speed element in the lineup.

    It’s not yet known which forwards will be out tonight.

    Paajarvi played in 10 games for the Blues last year and has been stellar for AHL Chicago this season, with four goals and seven points in seven games.

    So he could provide a some juice up front, which is what the Blues need right now.

    As mentioned above, the club is struggling offensively — though that’s hardly a shock. Forwards Paul Stastny, Jaden Schwartz and Patrik Berglund are all out long-term with injuries, while talented offensive d-man Kevin Shattenkirk remains out of the lineup.

    Reaves fined for ‘roughing’ Kopitar (Video)


    Ryan Reaves has been punished for the hit that forced Anze Kopitar from Los Angeles’ 3-0 win over the Blues on Tuesday night.

    The NHL’s Department of Player Safety has fined Reaves $3,024.19 — the maximum allowable under the collective bargaining agreement — for “roughing” Kopitar midway through the first period.

    Reaves wasn’t penalized on the play. Following the game, head coach Darryl Sutter told LA Kings Insider Kopitar was “feeling better,” adding that he’d been to the “quiet room” as part of potential concussion protocol.

    There was no further update on Kopitar’s status. L.A. next plays on Thursday at home against Columbus.

    St. Louis, meanwhile, is back in action tonight against Chicago (which you can catch on NBCSN).

    Getzlaf (appendectomy) to miss fourth straight amid hernia concerns


    Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf, who had his appendix removed last week, won’t return to the lineup tonight when Anaheim hosts Florida at the Honda Center.

    It’s not even clear when he’ll resume practicing with his teammates.

    Getzalf has yet to be greenlit for taking contact, which is why he had to rule himself out for a fourth straight contest.

    What’s interesting, though, is that despite a 4-12 day recovery window, Getzlaf still isn’t totally sure when he’ll be back in the mix, because of potential complications from a sports hernia he played with during last year’s playoffs.

    “The main thing isn’t the actual surgery,” Getzlaf explained, per the L.A. Daily News. “It’s the way they go in and the recovery. It’s all around the abs and stuff.

    “From there, we have to be cautious because of (past) hernia problems and those things.”

    Getzlaf didn’t undergo surgery to repair the sports hernia, opting for rehab instead.

    Looking ahead, both Getzlaf and the Ducks appear to be circling one of this weekend’s games for his potential return. Anaheim hosts Columbus on Friday, then makes a quick trip to San Jose for the second of a back-to-back on Saturday night.

    If he’s unable to go for either of those, Getzlaf could return Monday when Arizona visits the Honda Center.

    Assuming, of course, there aren’t any complications.