News out of South Beach is that Florida Panthers starting goaltender is out for two weeks with a knee injury he suffered on New Year’s Eve against the Montreal Canadiens. Renaud Lavoie from RDS broke the news and added the disclaimer: “could be longer.” We’ll just let the “could be longer” part settle in for the Panthers fans out there.
Theodore has been a solid No. 1 netminder for the surprising Panthers this season. He’s given his new team a chance to win just about every start; it’s all Dale Tallon and Co. could have hoped for when they watched Tomas Vokoun walk away and signed Theodore on July 1. Don’t look now, but Theodore as a better goals against average and save percentage through the first three months of the season.
Head coach Kevin Dineen has already announced that Jacob Markstrom will get the start in Florida’s next game against the Islanders. The team plays back-to-back games against the Islanders and Devils, so they will probably need both the rookie Markstrom and inconsistent back-up Scott Clemmensen to step up their games as the Panthers continue to fight for the Southeast Division lead.
The Panthers doctors and coaches are remaining optimistic that Theodore’s injury won’t turn into a long-term problem. “We got our fingers crossed it’s nothing too serious,’’ head coach Kevin Dineen told the Sun-Sentinel. “Our doctors feel good that he’ll be back in the swing of things fairly soon.’’
Until then, hotshot prospect Markstrom will get another opportunity to impress at the NHL level.
The Buffalo Sabres 3-1 loss in Washington was more costly than the average midseason loss to a conference foe. After the game, Sabres head coach Lindy Ruff cryptically said that talented defenseman Christian Ehrhoff will “miss some time… probably weeks.” Ruff did not give any details on the type of injury Ehrhoff sustained, nor did he elaborate on the play that caused the injury. All we know is that it’s an “upper body” injury and he’ll be out awhile.
Even though the Sabres haven’t confirmed, there’s been speculation that the injury occurred in the middle of a scrap with Troy Brouwer at the end of the first period. He seemed to have no problem skating to the bench after the short-lived fisticuffs and headed to the locker room for the intermission. Unfortunately for the Sabres, the 7:23 of first period ice time would be all action Ehrhoff would see against the Caps when he was unable to return to the ice for the rest of the game.
Ehrhoff and the Sabres made plenty of news this offseason when the organization signed him to a heavily front-loaded contract worth $40 million over the next 10 years (including $10 million this season). Through 37 games, he’s scored three goals while posting an ugly minus 11 plus/minus rating.
The German blueliner is only the latest in a long line of Sabres to be bitten by the injury bug lately. Fellow defenseman Tyler Myers has been out for over a month with a wrist injury and still has no timetable for a return. Up front, the Sabres have watched the likes of Nathan Gerbe, Tyler Ennis, and Ville Leino all drop like flies as the team freefalls down the Eastern Conference standings. They’ve only won six of their last 20 games and haven’t won consecutive games since November 11.
This probably isn’t what Terry Pegula had in mind when he opened the vault this offseason.
We finally have an update on the knee injury that caused Matt Duchene to leave last night’s game against Phoenix in the first period. After undergoing an MRI today, the Avalanche have announced that the young star will miss at least a month with an injury to his right knee. All the sudden, last night’s 3-2 victory against the Coyotes seems like a cheap parting gift in comparison to the long-term implications of Duchene’s injury.
The news comes at a critical time for the Avalanche. Despite winning six of their last seven games, the Avalanche are still sitting in the 10th spot in the Western Conference with a couple of teams breathing down their neck. They obviously need to keep their foot on the pedal to stay in the mix for one of the last playoff spots in the West. A month-long dry spell in the win column would doom any team competing for the playoffs.
Unfortunately for Colorado, Duchene is one of the players they can least afford to lose. The 20-year-old center is leading the Avalanche in goals (12) and he’s second on the team in scoring. Losing one of their best scorers has to be one of the worst things for the team that is 24th in the league in scoring.
Now it’s time for guys like Paul Stastny and Milan Hejduk to pick up the slack as the Avs try to keep their head above water to start the New Year.
After taking a puck off the side of his head, rookie Sean Couturier has been taken to Pennsylvania Hospital for further evaluation. Couturier took the a Kimmo Timonen shot off his head at the end of the second period and was kept out of the rest of the game by the Flyers medical staff. Despite falling to the ice and being evaluated by the training staff while on the ice, the eighth overall pick was able to pass the initial baseline testing in the Flyers locker room.
Now that he’s at the hospital, doctors are checking to make sure Couturier is not suffering from any other complications after taking the frozen rubber to the head. “I think what they are checking for now is damage to his skull,” Flyers GM Paul Holmgren said. “And taking a look to see if there is any internal damage.”
The Flyers GM continued as he explained how bad it could have been. “We still don’t know [full details]. Thank God he turned his head in time where it didn’t hit him in [the face].”
No one ever wants to see a player suffer a head injury, but it’s especially hard to watch a player that has been such a good story through the early part of the season. Head coach Peter Laviolette talked about what the 19-year-old rookie has meant to the team in his first professional season. “He’s such a good kid and good hockey player,” Laviolette confided to the media. “He’s really earned the respect of his teammates. When you see something like that happen to anybody, your heart stops for the second and you feel that pit in your stomach. For it to happen to a young player like that who has done all the right things for us this year is tough. We hope he’s OK and it’s nothing too serious.”
Sooner or later, the Flyers luck has to change, right? At this rate, CapGeek is going to have to add a new column to include “hazard pay” for anyone who wears the orange and black.
Just when the Flyers thought things couldn’t get any worse on the injury front, the hits just keep on coming. This time, offensive catalyst and early Hart Trophy contender Claude Giroux took an accidental knee to the side of the head by teammate Wayne Simmonds. Obviously, friendly fire isn’t all that friendly.
The play occurred near the end of the second period of Saturday night’s game in Philadelphia between the Flyers and Lightning. Giroux headed straight to the bench after the accidental collision and promptly received medical attention from the training staff. He eventually was forced to the locker room before the period came to a conclusion.
As if Giroux leaving the bench wasn’t bad enough, Flyers fans really had reason to worry when the superstar wasn’t able to return to the bench for the third period. If he had gone to the “quiet room” for 10 minutes and everything went well, he would have been able to return by the start of the final frame. Since he wasn’t able to answer the bell, well…
Fans in the Wells Fargo Center took note as well when they saw their team return to the ice for the third period. All eyes were on the bench looking for No. 28 to exit the tunnel and return to the bench. When he didn’t, reality started to settle in that Giroux, Chris Pronger, and Brayden Schenn could all be sidelined at the same time with concussions.
Obviously the organization will be cautious with the recent concussion problems on the roster. Something to remember when a player takes a rough shot to the head is that even if he returns, it’s something that could linger for days before it’s properly diagnosed. Remember, this wouldn’t be the first time Giroux suffered a concussion– he’s already gone through the ordeal back in 2009.
As if losing Giroux wasn’t enough, Ilya Bryzgalov headed to the bench in the middle of the third period. If the Flyers didn’t have bad luck, they wouldn’t have any luck at all.