With the Bruins virtually guaranteed of making the playoffs and being a top-three seed in the Eastern Conference, keeping Tim Thomas fresh for the postseason is important for Boston. That’ll be a bit tougher to do with Tuukka Rask injured.
Rask left this afternoon’s game against the Islanders in the second period after awkwardly going into the splits to make a save. After making the stop, Rask fell to his back tossing off his gear to get a whistle. Rask was helped off the ice by his teammates while not putting any pressure on his left leg. Rask had his left knee scoped over the summer. Thomas had today off as he was slated to get the start tomorrow afternoon against the Rangers on NBC (12:30 p.m. ET).
If Rask is hurt long-term, the Bruins have some health worries with their goalies in the AHL. The guy who would be first up, Anton Khudobin, is out with an upper-body injury and his backup, Michael Hutchinson, is out sick. That leaves ECHL call-ups Adam Courchaine and Karel St. Laurent as the healthy goalies in the minors.
With four more sets of back-to-back games, the Bruins will need a backup goalie they can count on to give Thomas the rest he’ll need to carry the Bruins in the playoffs. In other words,Thomas had better be ready for a little extra work should Rask be toast.
We’ll get an update on Rask’s status as soon as it’s available out of Boston.
Update: The Bruins are calling up Hutchinson to be Thomas’ backup for the time being. The Bruins will update Rask’s condition tomorrow. Rask will not be joining the Bruins on their two-game road trip.
Avoiding being traded has been about the only “break” that Philadelphia Flyers winger James van Riemsdyk received so far this season – at least in a figurative sense.
Injuries have been one of the 22-year-old forward’s biggest issues already, but now he has another hurdle to clear. Van Riemsdyk broke his left foot while blocking a shot in tonight’s game against the New York Islanders and (obviously) won’t return to action.
Update: Frank Seravalli passes along a report that the initial timetable is six to eight weeks, but that’s not official.
JVR’s production has been disappointing so far in 2011-12, but the Flyers might miss him if he cannot get healthy by the playoffs in April. That’s the time when he made his money last year, after all.
It’s not all bad news for the Flyers franchise tonight, however, as Jaromir Jagr collected a goal and assist already to stand alone in eighth place all-time among NHL points scorers. More on that once it’s determined how far he’ll finish the night ahead of now-ninth place legend Joe Sakic.
There was already an instinct to stick a fork in the Minnesota Wild’s playoff hopes upon hearing that Mikko Koivu will miss at least two more weeks, but now their other big-money cornerstone might be on the shelf.
Pricey No. 1 starter Niklas Backstrom needed help getting off the ice after injuring himself while making a save in tonight’s game against the Montreal Canadiens. Obviously it’s early in the process, but various testimonies seemed rather negative.
Ultimately it’s really only good news for one person: backup goalie Josh Harding. The pending unrestricted free agent has a lot to gain if he plays well – especially if this ailment sidelines Backstrom for a lengthy amount of time.
As if things weren’t already tricky for the Detroit Red Wings being without Jonathan Ericsson for up to a month, tonight they’ll also be without their captain Nicklas Lidstrom.
Lidstrom did not participate in today’s morning skate and he’ll be out of action against the Blue Jackets tonight with an ankle injury as Ansar Khan of Mlive.com reports. Lidstrom hurt his ankle Saturday night after getting hit by a puck. The last time Lidstrom missed a game was just before the All-Star break when the Red Wings were thrashed by the Canadiens in Montreal 7-2.
Detroit recalled Doug Janik from the AHL to take Lidstrom’s spot. Janik joins Brendan Smith in tonight’s lineup as Smith suits up in place of Kyle Quincey who is out with an groin injury. The Red Wings will roll with Smith, Janik, Jakub Kindl, Brad Stuart, Ian White, and Niklas Kronwall along the blue line.
Maybe the Wings would like a do-over on sending Mike Commodore to Tampa Bay after all.
The Ottawa Senators will be without Craig Anderson for an undetermined length of time after the goalie injured his hand, according to the Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch and TSN’s Brent Wallace.
The extent of the injury is unknown at present time, though it’s being reported Anderson cut his hand in a home accident. Sportsnet claims Anderson is expected to miss at least the next 10 days, but depending on how bad the cut is, he could be out longer.
Anderson, who is in the midst of a four-game winning streak, was treated at a local hospital and is expected to make a full recovery, according to NHL.com. This isn’t the first random injury for Anderson as he also had a bizarre setback during warm-ups when he was a member of the Colorado Avalanche last season.
How this plays into GM Bryan Murray’s trade deadline plans remains to be seen. The good news is that he might get just enough time to determine the extent of the injury by Monday. One could argue that the Senators should have the same short-term focus in the goalie trade market as the hated Toronto Maple Leafs, but that viewpoint could shift substantially in the next few days.