Tag: injury updates

John Tortorella

Tortorella talks Presidents’ Trophy, but not fines; King Henrik returns


Tonight’s Washington Capitals-New York Rangers game is more significant for the Caps than the Blueshirts, but John Tortorella admits that it means something.

Not long after dismissing the power of the Presidents’ Trophy, Tortorella admitted to Katie Strang and others that “I want to win that trophy.”

Torts was finally forthcoming about a pursuit that he previously downplayed, but he wisely bit his tongue about the $20,000 fine he received for his candid remarks about the Pittsburgh Penguins’ “(blanking) superstars.”

When asked if there was anything he’d like to say regarding the fine, he responded:


When asked if there was anything he felt he COULD say regarding the fan, he said the same:


I think we should all take a moment and appreciate the fact that Tortorella can ham it up in a big market like New York. The rambunctious head coach just seems perfect for the Big Apple – at least when it comes to our collective entertainment.

In more hockey-centric and less drama-centric news, Strang reports that Henrik Lundqvist will be back in the Rangers lineup tonight. Lundqvist raised a few eyebrows (and heart rates) when he needed to sit out a while with a “stiff” arm but being able to play tonight is a good chance for him to get his rhythm back a bit for the playoffs.

(It’s also huge news if you have King Henrik in a fantasy league.)

Hunter on Neuvirth’s injury: “It’s not bad”

Michal Neuvirth

Whether they face the New York Rangers, Boston Bruins or even New Jersey Devils, it’s unlikely that the Washington Capitals will strike a ton of fear into their opponents. That’s especially true if they wade into that battle with third-string goalie Braden Holtby in net, but the latest Michal Neuvirth injury update leaves that forecast cloudy.

The Washington Post’s Katie Carrera caught up with head coach Dale Hunter, who was about as vague as you could be.

“He’s just day-to-day,” Hunter said. “It’s not bad.”

Anyone trying to make playoff predictions, trying to study tape of Capitals goalies or anything in between probably uttered a bitter sigh right now. If you’ve followed hockey injuries for a decent amount of time, you know that “day-to-day” could mean just about anything. Sure, the implication is that it isn’t bad, but the playoffs are only four days away, so a more exact window would be nice.

Then again, having to prepare more substantially for two goalies rather than one could give the Caps a subtle edge – which means something since many would argue that they don’t own a whole lot of those.

Blues haven’t been this healthy in two years

Andy McDonald

It might be a bit much to call the St. Louis Blues “100 percent” healthy. That’s very much a relative term at this point in a grueling 82-game regular season.

Still, relatively speaking, Jeremy Rutherford points out that this the first time the Blues will enjoy their full roster’s strength since March 3 … 2010. That’s a whopping 160-game span.

Of course, this is assuming that a bundle of Blues return on Saturday won’t have any setbacks. Andy McDonald, Roman Polak and Matt D’Agostini are the players expected to come back to the fold. (Polak has been sidelined especially long, but McDonald is likely the biggest impact player.)

Obviously, the Blues have managed just fine while piecing together that roster as they currently lead the league with 106 standings points. Still, T.J. Oshie marveled at an already-deep team’s staggering depth after watching everyone in action during practice.

“I was in the middle of one of the drills (at Friday’s practice) … we were doing 5 on 5 and it seemed like every line was battling with every line,” Oshie said. “It wasn’t one line dominating another. I looked over at (Carlo Colaiacovo) and I said, ‘We’ve got a really deep team when everybody is out here.'”

Want an idea of what the Blues might look like at “100 percent” strength? Here are Rutherford’s expected line combinations for Saturday:


Alex Steen-David Backes-T.J. Oshie
Andy McDonald-Patrik Berglund-David Perron
Vladimir Sobotka-Jason Arnott-Jamie Langenbrunner
Matt D’Agostini-Scott Nichol-Chris Stewart

Extras: B.J. Crombeen, Ryan Reaves, Jaden Schwartz, Chris Porter


Carlo Colaiacovo-Alex Pietrangelo
Barret Jackman-Kevin Shattenkirk
Kris Russell-Roman Polak

Extras: Kent Huskins, Ian Cole


Jaroslav Halak
Brian Elliott

Naturally, Ken Hitchcock faces his latest coaching challenge in mixing all these “new” ingredients properly, but that’s likely a good problem to have. It’s not a very familiar one for St. Louis, though.