Tag: injury recovery

Tuukka Rask

Tuukka Rask might be ready for the playoffs


The Bruins come into the playoffs with a few injuries of note to Johnny Boychuk and Nathan Horton, but backup goalie Tuukka Rask is still out with a groin/abdomen injury that’s kept him out of action since early March.

Now with the playoffs about to start this week and things not looking good for Horton, attention has turned to Rask to see if he’ll be able to backup Tim Thomas as the Bruins look to defend the Stanley Cup. CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty hears it from Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli that Rask is right on schedule for when he’s due to return.

“I’d characterize Johnny [Boychuk] and Adam [McQuaid] as day-to-day in their respective injuries. I think Tuukka’s is maybe a little bit more than day-to-day. He’s been pretty aggressive with his rehab,” said Chiarelli. “I don’t have my calendar in front of me but I think he might be bang on [with a six-week rehab]. We’ll see how he goes the next couple of days, but we certainly have a capable backup in [Anton] Khudobin [if Rask can’t play].”

If you’re wondering about Marty Turco, he’s not eligible to play for the Bruins in the playoffs because he signed out of Switzerland after the trade deadline.

It’s just the backup goalie position but we’ve seen backups play more-than important roles in the past and the Bruins would like to be fully squared away in goal. Looks like they won’t be too far off from that after all.

Travis Zajac is just about ready to play again

Travis Zajac
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Travis Zajac’s recovery from a torn Achilles is nearly at an end.

According to Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice, Zajac skated on the third line in practice this morning and it’s looking like the Devils may just get their top center back in the lineup this weekend, perhaps as early as Friday against Dallas.

(Update 12:17 p.m. ET: Katie Strang of ESPN New York tweets that Zajac will be in the lineup on Friday night.)

Getting Zajac back in the lineup will be a huge lift for New Jersey and give them some surprising depth thanks to the surprising play of rookie Adam Henrique. With Zajac back as their eventual first line center and Henrique or Patrik Elias in place as the second line center, the Devils’ top six looks a lot more formidable than it looked before the season started.

Dealing with the Devils is tough enough as it is with how tough they play defensively, but with three solid play makers up the middle to go along with Zach Parise and Ilya Kovalchuk (even with his struggles) gives the Devils plenty to work with offensively.

Stan Bowman says Patrick Kane on schedule to start training camp

Patrick Kane

When Patrick Kane went in for surgery on his left wrist last month the plan for him was to rehab for 6-8 weeks and get back to action by the time training camp rolled around. Of course, training camp is now just a few weeks away and Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman had an update on what’s going on with Kane as time ticks away until camp begins in mid-September.

While Chicago’s season ended in the first round of the playoffs against Vancouver after nearly coming back from being down 3-0 in the series, a healthy and rejuvenated Blackhawks team shapes up to be one of the top teams in the Western Conference and a threat to get back to the Stanley Cup finals. Having Patrick Kane at 100% would go a long way towards getting off on the right foot to start the season.

CSNChicago.com’s Tracey Myers spoke with Bowman and got a very positive status check on Kane.

Patrick Kane is “doing great, right on schedule” after having left wrist surgery last month, Bowman said on Monday. Bowman said they’ll check on Kane as training camp nears, but so far so good.

“He’s feeling good and he’s still able to do a lot of the cardio-type stuff,” Bowman said. “He’s staying in shape; he’s excited.”

Kane’s been excited all summer about the upcoming season, especially with the added toughness the team brought on board in free agency. With guys like Steve Montador, Jamal Mayers, and Dan Carcillo they’re certainly going to have more of a nasty edge to their game. For guys like Kane, newly extended scorer Patrick Sharp, Marian Hossa, and Jonathan Toews having that extra snarl to the team’s game should bode well for them in the postseason.

While the Blackhawks needed a bit of good luck in making the playoffs last season, this season they’re already shaping up to be a critical favorite in the Western Conference. Kane’s importance to the Blackhawks can’t be understated. In 73 games last season, Kane had 73 points (27 goals, 46 assists) and finished second on the team in points behind Toews. Being a point per game player in the NHL is a big deal and making sure he can play every game will keep the Blackhawks atop people’s prediction lists for the upcoming season.

Another dire Sidney Crosby recovery report, another denial by his agent, and why everyone should relax

Sidney Crosby

Another week, another report on how Sidney Crosby’s recovery from a January concussion is being hampered and will cause him to miss the start of the season.

Last week we had a report coming from XM Radio’s Josh Rimer saying that Crosby would miss the start of the season as he’s suffering setbacks in recovering from a concussion. Penguins GM Ray Shero quickly denied that report saying that everything is progressing as they wanted for Crosby. Penguins coach Dan Bylsma hasn’t even asked Crosby for updates on how he’s doing as part of the treatment for concussions is to keep the stress level down. Having the coach getting in Crosby’s ear would be putting undue pressure on Crosby to rush back to the ice and put himself in danger.

Today, it’s CTV Atlantic out of Halifax, Nova Scotia (Crosby’s home area) reporting essentially the same thing Rimer did last week saying that Crosby is dealing with setbacks in his concussion recovery and will miss the start of the season as he tries to get back to 100% health.

Sources say Crosby’s concussion symptoms returned last week and he cancelled all of his scheduled on-ice workouts at a Halifax-area rink.

Penguins players are expected to appear at training camp in mid-September and it appears Crosby will not be one of them.

As we saw last week, these stories can start a wildfire of speculation and this time it is Crosby’s agent, Pat Brisson, who is sounding the call to refute the latest report and give his own update on what’s going on with Sid The Kid.

Crosby’s agent Pat Brisson says the center “hasn’t been shut down by anyone” and instead has adjusted his summer program to address the different needs for his recovery.

We could try to read between the lines on what it means that Crosby’s program has been “adjusted” and assume that means Crosby is still dealing with issues, but that kind of assumption is what causes everyone to get bent out of shape. While we’re all anxious and curious about what’s going on with Crosby as we haven’t seen him suited up with the Penguins since early January, this is the sort of situation where we’re just going to have to be happy with whatever news we do get and hope that it’s for the best.

With the new season approaching and Crosby being, perhaps, the best player in the game asking for patience is the hardest thing to do from fans and appreciators alike. In the past when concussions weren’t as apparent and easy to diagnose as they are now, post-concussion symptoms like headaches and dizziness would be played through and leave those players to be more susceptible to further injury and shortening their careers. The last thing anyone wants to see is to have Sidney Crosby deal with the issues that Eric Lindros had in seeing his career ended unceremoniously too soon.

Now that the Penguins and NHL are being more active in treating and diagnosing these problems, waiting for Crosby to be as well as he can be is the right thing, but also the most difficult thing to do. Until there’s anything more definitive from the Penguins, Crosby’s doctors, or from Sid himself we’re going to be left waiting to see when (or if) Crosby can come back to the ice.

Bruins star Marc Savard showing improvement

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Injured Bruins star Marc Savard continues to show improvement in recovering from post-concussion syndrome. He’s been informally skating of late and Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli updated everyone on Savard’s progress and things are looking up according to Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe.

”Savvy had a real good skate–a lot harder than anything so far,” said an upbeat Chiarelli. ”He was moving. He is starting to ramp it up.”

With Savard eventually returning to the Bruins lineup, salary cap worries will be the next thing on Chiarelli’s plate, and he says that should it come down to it, stashing a high-salaried player in the AHL will be an option open to them.

”If we have to warehouse someone in the minors, we’ll do that,” said Chiarelli. ”I don’t want to do it, but I will do it, if it becomes necessary.”

It’s just the way the NHL works in the salary cap world, but I know that if I was either Michael Ryder or even Blake Wheeler, I’d start wondering if I’ll be playing in Boston by the time December rolls around when it seems that Savard and Marco Sturm will be ready to come back to the Bruins lineup. While the B’s could still trade guys away to free up space, the chances of dealing off a guy like Ryder with a $4 million cap hit seems unlikely.