Let’s rummage through news and notes from around the NHL during day nine of formal training camps.
Flyers’ Carter Hart leaves practice on a goalie-heavy day of news from NHL training camps
Tuesday presented a fairly goalie-heavy slate of news and notes from around NHL training camps.
[NBC and NBCSN TV schedule for the 2020 Stanley Cup Qualifiers]
Carter Hart hurt, Flyers teammates indicate it might not be serious
If you’ve followed coverage of NHL training camp news at PHT, you realize that teams aren’t being forthcoming with injury updates. Chalk that up to the culture of the league, and even NHL mandates, but it leads to “COVID-19, injury, or restroom run?” debates. None of this is fun.
So we can only speculate about Hart. According to NBC Sports Philly’s Jordan Hall, Hart left quietly during the first period of a Flyers scrimmage. Hall notes that it was unlikely to be an equipment issue, being that Hart did not return.
For fans hoping for optimism, Kevin Hayes‘ comments bring a mixed bag. He seems upbeat about it … but Hayes also didn’t notice that Hart left. Maybe he’s not totally clued-in, yet any insight is welcome as NHL teams prefer the “keep everyone in the fog” approach.
“I think it’s nothing too serious,” Hayes said, via Hall. “Obviously it’s important to get into shape and get game-ready, but if you have something that’s minor that you don’t want to push, it’s not a big deal to get off the ice like that. We’d rather have him be 100 percent than pushing hard at like 85, 90 percent. Probably a smart decision by him. I don’t think it’s anything major.”
Flyers such as Sean Couturier said all the right things about Brian Elliott being capable if Hart is unavailable, but if we’re being honest, it’s tough to be too confident in Elliott at this point in his career.
(Then again, goalies are unpredictable, and the 2020 Stanley Cup Qualifiers may end up even more difficult to forecast.)
Latest round of Bruins updates, including troubling Tuukka news
Being that the Bruins boast plenty of veterans, it’s not that surprising that they’ve been a team to watch for training camp news. Even so, it might be getting a little exhausting for fans, players, and staff alike to try to parse details as David Pastrnak, Charlie McAvoy and others miss training camp activities.
Apparently there was even a Brad Marchand scare on Tuesday.
Brad Marchand took an inadvertent stick in the eye at #NHLBruins practice. He stayed on the ice and screened for a Zdeno Chara snipe!! Phew!! pic.twitter.com/sk6zCXUlLs
— The Camera Guys (@NBCSCameraGuys) July 21, 2020
Marchand and others seem to shake off worries about Pastrnak missing opportunities to shake off rust. Similarly, Tuukka Rask didn’t seem too concerned despite admitting that he suffered a fractured finger while training.
.@tuukkarask speaks with the media about his finger injury and prepping for the NHL's return: "It's getting better. I'm not worried about it. It will be all set once we start playing." pic.twitter.com/bmRdKXOFyq
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) July 21, 2020
Hmm, none of this seems ideal. At least the Bruins are merely fighting for seeding during the Round Robin portion of the 2020 Stanley Cup Qualifiers, eh? Also … at least Jaroslav Halak puts up starter-quality numbers too, right?
(Insert cringe emojis where applicable.)
Blackhawks optimistic about Crawford, Toews still missing time
After trading away Robin Lehner, the defense-optional Blackhawks’ ability to upset the Oilers may hinge on whether Corey Crawford can play. That remains unknown, as Crawford hasn’t been involved in Phase 3 yet. When speaking to the media, Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman seemed hopeful about Crawford being available.
“We are hopeful on that,” Bowman said, via NBC Sports Chicago. “We’ll be able to give you a better idea toward the weekend. Something we’re still shooting for, but I don’t have any definitive comment. Still hoping that’s the case.”
Jonathan Toews recently joined Crawford in the mystery training camp absence zone. After Toews left team activities early on Monday, Blackhawks coach Jeremy Colliton insisted that the team is merely trying to keep Toews fresh. Toews missed Tuesday’s training camp action too, though, and this time Colliton defaulted to “unfit to play.”
Other NHL training camp news and notes from day nine
- Here’s one for the “Thank Goodness” files: Jay Bouwmeester is in Canada, but won’t join the Blues. Considering what Bouwmeester went through, and what he’s accomplished during his lengthy NHL career, it’s probably wisest to hang them up altogether. For now, we’ll settle for cooler heads prevailing in at least this case.
- Zach Hyman returned to action for the Maple Leafs, who deployed him with Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner. Toronto is rolling with a lot of interesting looks during this stretch of NHL training camps. Selfishly, I’d love to see mad scientist combinations like Matthews, Marner, and John Tavares more often.
- Speaking of mad science, the Stars continue to flirt with the good (Tyler Seguin with Denis Gurianov and Roope Hintz) and the bad (Corey Perry on the second line, while Joe Pavelski and Alexander Radulov languish on the fourth). Maybe it will be more situational, and thus more logical, than those designations look on paper? Either way, I wouldn’t be thrilled if I was Jamie Benn possibly being saddled with a dramatically declining Corey Perry.
- Agent Dan Milstein notes that Ilya Sorokin (Islanders) and Alexander Romanov (Canadiens) are both Toronto-bound. Nice news, even if they can’t help their teams until 2020-21 at the earliest.
Ilya Sorokin and Alexander Romanov NHL bound! #WeAreGoldStar! pic.twitter.com/AXJtO6CLlR
— Dan Milstein-Hockey (@HockeyAgent1) July 21, 2020
More on NHL return to play, CBA extension, COVID-19:
- NHL training camp news and notes from day eight
- Two players test positive for COVID-19 during first five days of NHL training camps
- Hockey is back: NHL, NHLPA ratify CBA, return to play agreement
- Salary cap to stay flat at $81.5 million
- Power rankings: training camp storylines
- Several players opt out of NHL return to play
James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.