Anze Kopitar appears OK after Brenden Morrow hit

Los Angeles Kings fans held their collective breath last night as Anze Kopitar took a long time to leave the ice after this rough hit by Dallas Stars captain Brenden Morrow:

ESPN Dallas’ Mark Stepneski reports that the Kings didn’t take issue with the hit and gave a better guess than just the typically vague “upper-body injury” when describing Kopitar’s issues.

“As for Kopitar, the word from Los Angeles is he had a bloody nose and sore shoulder and neck.” passes along word from Kopitar that he’s feeling pretty good and probably would have practiced if the Kings had one on Friday.

“The bottom line is I feel good,” Kopitar said. “It could have been worse, for sure. It’s something I have to put behind me.”

There is no guarantee that Kopitar will be able to play against former Kings forward Michael Cammalleri and the Calgary Flames on Saturday, but his issues don’t seem major. Considering the fact that Kopitar’s 40 points leads anyone else on the team by 17 or more, Los Angeles is lucky that the damage seems minimal.

Even so, I must ask: does Morrow deserve a fine and/or suspension for the hit?

Mike Green will be sidelined until at least February


The Washington Capitals better not have been holding out until Mike Green could make a full return, because it looks like that day won’t come anytime soon.’s Chuck Gormley reports that the team placed him on the long-term injured reserve on Thursday. For that reason, Green won’t be eligible to return until Feb. 1 – at the earliest – meaning he’ll miss a minimum of eight more games.

Green was only in the middle of his second game back from a groin injury on Saturday when he re-injured that nagging ailment. The problem is so serious that the Capitals said he might not be the same for a “long time.”

This is devastating news for Green, but the bottom line is that the Caps are likely used to him being out of the lineup this season. From the looks of things, Washington might need Dennis Wideman to continue playing All-Star-caliber hockey because he could be their top offensive defenseman for quite some time.

Pavel Datsyuk back in action for Red Wings

After one unnerving 5-1 loss to the New York Islanders, the Detroit Red Wings are being treated to the welcome sight of Pavel Datsyuk being back in uniform tonight.

It’s not all good news because roving reclamation project Todd Bertuzzi took his place off the ice thanks to an undisclosed injury. Something tells me that the Red Wings will gladly take that trade, even if they’d ideally prefer to have both forwards in the lineup.

Datsyuk has 43 points in 41 games this season after starting off slowly – for him, at least. Injuries were a big issue for the dazzling Russian in 2010-11, as he played in just 56 games after appearing in 80+ regular season contests in each of the previous three seasons.

Orpik doesn’t think Crosby is “anywhere close to coming back”


Sidney Crosby watched as the Pittsburgh Penguins were shut out by the Washington Capitals tonight, but some might hope that the concussed star will come to the rescue since he’s at least exercising again. Rugged defenseman Brooks Orpik believes that might be a foolish hope, though.

“I don’t think he’s anywhere close to coming back,”  Orpik said. “You can’t really wait for him.”

That 1-0 loss marks the first time the Penguins failed to score this season, but things have been trending down quite a bit lately, with just six goals scored during an 0-6-0 streak.

Naturally, it doesn’t all boil down to Crosby as Kris Letang (concussion) and Jordan Staal (knee injury) are among the injured Penguins. It’s fair to say that the Penguins miss Letang quite a bit, too, as he’s an outstanding catalyst for the team’s offense from the blueline.

Perhaps Orpik’s statement was more about the Penguins needing to put all these issues out of their minds, but considering the state of things in Pittsburgh, his proclamation adds another ugly layer to all the doom and gloom.

Peter Mueller could play for Avalanche on Thursday

It’s been a tough couple seasons for Colorado Avalanche forward Peter Mueller, but there might be a little light at the end of the tunnel. The Denver Post’s Adrian Dater reports that Mueller has been activated from the injured reserve and might even play against the Nashville Predators on Thursday.

Mueller has been struggling with concussion issues ever since Rob Blake caught him with a brutal hit toward the end of the 2009-10 campaign. He missed all of the 2010-11 season and barely played in this one before those problems came crawling back.

There was (and let’s be honest, to some extent, still is) some concern that his career was in danger of being over altogether, so if he could play most or all of this season’s remaining games, it would be one of the feel-good stories in hockey.