The slumping Carolina Hurricanes put 30-year-old forward Chad LaRose on injured reserve with a concussion Wednesday.
LaRose hasn’t played since March 2 as a result of the injury. The Hurricanes also called up defenseman Brett Bellemore from the Charlotte Checkers of the AHL.
The call-up of Bellemore coincides with an injury to defenseman Justin Faulk, who suffered a second-degree sprain of his MCL Tuesday and is expected to be out of the lineup for two-to-four weeks.
The Hurricanes are still trying to digest a 4-1 loss to the Florida Panthers, who, with 22 points, sit at the bottom of the National Hockey League standings.
At the heart of the Hurricanes’ struggles is an uninspired power play, which, at 13.1 per cent, is ranked 29th in the league. Only the Buffalo Sabres, at 12 per cent, are worse on the man-advantage.
And their lack of success in that department has hindered a team now in a fight for the division.
“The biggest thing is when it’s not gaining momentum for your team, it’s hurting you. If our power play is not moving and getting momentum for our team, it makes it tough for everyone to keep going.”
It turns out Penguins superstar Evgeni Malkin’s injury from last night is going to require a little time off.
Coach Dan Bylsma announced last season’s league MVP would miss tonight’s game against the Islanders with an upper-body injury. He made it clear the injury was not a concussion and that he’d be evaluated further tonight.
Malkin already missed time this season with a concussion and tacking on another one would’ve been enough to send the city of Pittsburgh into a panic. As it is, the injury he suffered last night on his collision with James van Riemsdyk looked more like a shoulder issue than one with his head. For what it’s worth, the Penguins next game after tonight is Tuesday against Boston.
Yesterday, it was Chris Pronger talking of the “dark days” he’s experienced while recovering from a serious concussion.
Today, it was another NHL defenseman’s turn to open up — Chicago’s Steve Montador.
Montador suffered a concussion last February. He returned for one game in March, but only lasted four minutes before he was pulled from action and shut down for the year.
It’s been a “roller coaster” ever since.
“There’s a lot of uncertainty, a lot of fear, a lot of anxiety and depression that comes with that,” said Montador, per CSNChicago.com. “I’ve had a lot of help to work through that and I feel like I’ve taken the right steps.”
On the depression the 33-year-old has experienced: “The first time I ever heard the word depression… there’s some stigma around it. What I’ve learned from my condition (is that) actual neural transmitters are being prevented from connecting and being used in the brain, so it’s an actual physical issue.”
Fortunately, Montador is feeling much better these days and is getting closer to making his return to game action.
“Just every day is a brand new day and there’s a lot of enjoyment,” he said. “I love being around the guys, I’m glad to be on the road here. To feel myself get better out there, I’m just filled with a lot of gratitude.”
The undefeated-in-regulation Blackhawks are in Denver to take on the Avalanche tonight.
It definitely wasn’t a concussion.
That’s what Chicago forward Marian Hossa said today when asked about the “undisclosed upper-body injury” that kept him out of Wednesday’s 3-2 win over Colorado.
Hossa will play in tonight’s rematch with the Avalanche in Denver.
The 34-year-old that suffered a serious concussion in last year’s playoffs also expressed surprise when told that, whenever he sits out with an upper-body injury and there are no further details provided, there’s speculation he’s dealing with concussion issues.
“That’s what they’re saying?” said Hossa, per the Chicago Sun-Times. “I never thought about it. That’s news to me.”
Related: Tortorella says players, fans ‘don’t need to know’ about players’ injuries
The Colorado blueline will get a boost this evening in trying to stop the Blackhawks as Erik Johnson will suit up for the first time in 11 games, according to Adrian Dater of the Denver Post.
The former No. 1 overall pick hasn’t played since a 3-2 OT loss to Phoenix on Feb. 11, during which he was concussed on a hit by Coyotes forward Martin Hanzal.
Johnson, 24, received medical clearance earlier this week and was activated from injured reserve yesterday.
His return will be a welcome one for Colorado.
Johnson led all Avs defensemen in scoring a year ago, with 26 points, and was averaging over 21 minutes per game prior to getting hurt.
The 6-foot-4, 230 pound rearguard will reportedly replace Tyson Barrie in the lineup.