It’s unlikely that he’d top Zdeno Chara’s record-breaking blasts, but if the All-Star Game’s hardest shooting competition drew in the hardest shooters period (All-Star or not), Florida Panthers defenseman Jason Garrison probably would’ve been invited. The hard-shooting blueliner already has a playoff goal on 10 shots and scored 16 during the regular season, so he might be missed in Game 4 against the New Jersey Devils.
His absence wasn’t an expected thing, either. Garrison is reportedly dealing with a lower-body injury, but Panthers GM Dale Tallon told George Richards he was “surprised as ‘you’ were” about the unhealthy scratch.
Garrison isn’t a household name by any means, but great power play point depth is a big reason why the Panthers are in the playoffs. The hard-shooting 27-year-old had one of the man advantage tallies that made Florida a perfect 3-for-3 on Tuesday.
Assuming this is an injury and isn’t an internal matter, the Panthers have to hope they’ll have Garrison back on Saturday – whether they’re up 3-1 or tied 2-2 in the series.
Martin Hanzal’s overtime Game 1-winning tip might have been his introduction for many casual fans. More regular followers of the Phoenix Coyotes probably know that Hanzal is a big center who can be a big headache for opposing teams’ top forwards, so losing him for Game 3 against the Chicago Blackhawks could be a big – if subtle – loss.
Sarah McLellan reports that he’s an unhealthy scratch as the series shifts to the United Center tonight. (The game’s just about to start on CNBC, by the way.)
Hanzal is dealing with a lower-body injury. It’s unclear how severe it is (or in typical playoff fashion, what exactly it is), but it must be serious if the large pivot cannot play.
With both games ending in overtime out in Phoenix, every little edge is needed. Being without Hanzal might just prove costly for the Coyotes. Then again, Dave Tippett’s team is pretty good at facing steep odds, so this could just be nothing. (The Blackhawks will be without Andrew Shaw on their end, after all.)
Oh, and in case you were wondering … yes, Mike Smith is Phoenix’s starting goalie.
Twitter is abuzz with debate about whether or not the check was dirty – not to mention how late it was – but either way, Dustin Brown absolutely leveled Henrik Sedin tonight.
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Naturally, the Vancouver Canucks reacted with anger toward the Los Angeles Kings’ captain, yet it was Henrik’s reaction that was the most surprising. Just moments after needing help off the ice after that colossal blow, Henrik returned to the Canucks bench. He played around the midway point of the second period, yet it remains to be seen if his long-term outlook will be as positive.
In a strange twist, both Sedin twins could very well need some time in “The Quiet Room.”