Pittsburgh Penguins

Report: Maatta out for remainder of season with shoulder injury


From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

Penguins defenseman Olli Maatta is expected to sit out the rest of this season because of a shoulder injury.

Although the decision on that might not be finalized for a few days, a source familiar with his situation said the injury that has prevented Maatta from playing since Dec. 6 has not responded satisfactorily to rehabilitation efforts.

No word yet from the Penguins, but we can probably expect an official comment soon.

Obviously, if the report is accurate, it’s a significant loss for Pittsburgh. Maatta is a talented young defenseman who can play upwards of 20 minutes a night and contribute at both ends of the ice.

The Pens announced late last month that Maatta would be back within a month.

Pens send Pouliot back to AHL

Derrick Pouliot’s first taste of the NHL is over.

On Monday, Pittsburgh announced it sent Pouliot — its first-round pick (eighth overall) at the 2012 NHL Entry Draft — back to AHL Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. The demotion comes just weeks after Pouliot made his NHL debut against Florida and proceeded to acquit himself quite well, scoring a goal and three points in seven games while averaging 17:10 TOI per.

One has to wonder how long Pouliot will stay on the farm, however.

The 20-year-old has starred at the American League level this year, leading all Baby Pens in assists (13) and points (20). He was also named to his first-ever AHL All-Star Game, and is probably GM Jim Rutherford’s speed dial given the rash of injuries Pittsburgh’s suffered on defense this season.




Did you know? Caps’ Backstrom has never played in an All-Star Game


Any All-Star roster is going to have some noteworthy snubs on it, that’s just an inevitability given how much talent there is to choose from. But if there’s one guy that stands out on the list of absentees, it’s Washington Capitals forward Nicklas Backstrom.

That’s not just because he got held off of this year’s roster, although that’s obviously part of it. With 13 goals and 41 points in 41 contests, there’s no question that he’s deserving of a spot. However, what sets him apart is the fact that he’s been consistently snubbed. In fact, the 27-year-old has never played in an All-Star Game.

This is despite the fact that since Backstrom entered the league in 2007-08, he’s tied with Daniel Sedin for ninth in scoring with 535 points in 536 contests. Only Alex Ovechkin, Evgeni Malkin, Sidney Crosby, Martin St. Louis, Henrik Sedin, Joe Thornton, Ryan Getzlaf, and Patrick Kane have done better than him since he made his debut.

“It’s kind of sad, actually,” Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby told CSN Washington. “He’s one of the best players in the world, so it’s unfortunate.

“He’s exactly what you want in a leader. He’s not flashy, he doesn’t self-promote. That’s what you want in a guy that’s going to lead our team. We see it every day. He’s one of the very few who can play every single part of the game very well. He’s the heartbeat of our team.”

Capitals coach Barry Trotz was even more passionate on the subject.

“I was shocked he’s never played in an All-Star Game,” Capitals coach Barry Trotz said. “It’s a crime that he hasn’t, watching how good he is.

“Backy has been our best forward. Not taking anything away from Ovi or anybody else, but he’s been our most consistent guy night in and night out.”

As far as Backstrom is concerned, it’s not that big a deal. He’ll take the opportunity to rest minor injuries and go on a vacation with his girlfriend. At the same time, he admits it would have been an honor to finally get the chance to represent the Capitals.

Sabres’ McCormick in hospital with a blood clot


The Buffalo Sabres announced Sunday that Cody McCormick will be out a while with a blood clot in his leg.

According to Bill Hoppe of the Olean Times Herald, the blood clot is in McCormick’s calf muscle.

“I’m quite sure it’s somewhat serious if he’s still in the hospital,” said Ted Nolan. “I know he took a puck in the foot, he was limping around for a couple days, maybe it happened from there. I’m not 100 percent sure.”

McCormick, 31, has appeared in 33 games for the Sabres this season registering a goal and three assists to go along with 40 penalty minutes.

He is just the latest NHLer to be sidelined due to blood clots.

Flyers’ defenseman Kimmo Timonen has missed the entire season due to blood clots in his right leg and lungs.

Goaltender Tomas Vokoun missed the entire 2013-14 season due to blood clots and has since retired.

Penguins winger Pascal Dupuis is expected to miss six months after being diagnosed with a blood clot in his lungs in November.

Related: Flyers’ Timonen to get blood test results in 10 days

(Video) Saves of the night: Price, Ward and Quick with stops worth another look


The Montreal Canadiens lost 2-1 to the Pittsburgh Penguins in overtime Saturday night, but it could’ve easily been 3-1 if it wasn’t for the play of Carey Price. Price made 35 saves including this big glove save on Sidney Crosby:

Hurricanes’ starter Cam Ward made 31 saves in Carolina’s 5-4 in a shootout to the St. Louis Blues Saturday. One of his bigger saves came late in the second period. With Carolina hanging on to a 4-3 lead, Ward made a huge pad save on Blues’ forward Paul Stastny.

Winnipeg edged the L.A. Kings 5-4 in a shootout Saturday night; however, Jets’ forward Mathieu Perreault maybe having nightmares of this robbery from Jonathan Quick: