Michael Hutchinson will take the backup role for the Maple Leafs now that Jack Campbell will be out “weeks,” according to head coach Sheldon Keefe.
Campbell injured his leg during Sunday’s win over the Flames. It’s surprising that he wasn’t affected by Matthew Tkachuk falling on top of him after a scramble in front of the Toronto goal during the Maple Leafs’ 3-2 win.
Keefe called the incident a non-issue, but that didn’t stop the calls for Tkachuk to be punished given his style of play. The Flames forward denied any ill-intent.
“It was just a battle in front,” he said. “I actually thought my tip-in went in, 6-on-5 situation, just bang away at the puck and I live in that crease area throughout the games.
“I was just digging for the puck, I was battling with [T.J. Brodie] there, guys sort of coming in. I just got knocked over, I obviously didn’t [have] intention of falling into him or anything. It’s just a complete, a classic thing to try to accuse me of there, but just trying to battle for the puck, find the loose puck and try to pot home the game-tying [goal] and unfortunately that didn’t happen.”
Matthew Tkachuk ▶️▶️▶️ Jack Campbell#hfhits
You be the judge. pic.twitter.com/THJMop3AF5
— hockeyfights (@hockeyfights) January 25, 2021
Rangers lose Chytil for 4-6 weeks
A second-period collision with Evan Rodrigues Sunday will keep Rangers center Filip Chytil sidelined for 4-6 weeks with an upper-body injury. Rodrigues himself will be out an indefinite period of time with a lower-body injury, according to Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan.
OOOOOF.#LetsGoPens Evan Rodrigues hit on #NYR Filip Chytil pic.twitter.com/2xcvpWLQdL
— Here's Your Replay ⬇️ (@HeresYourReplay) January 25, 2021
The 21-year-old Chytil was having a strong start to the season with two goals and three points in five games. Centering the third line, he was gelling nicely with Kaapo Kakko, and auditioning well for an opportunity to bump up to the top-six, if needed.
Gostisbehere, Koivu, Staal return after COVID absences
Shayne Gostisbehere has missed the Flyers’ first six games after testing positive for COVID-19. On Monday he joined his teammates for practice for the first time since Jan. 8 and he’ll make his season debut Tuesday against the Devils.
“He skated three times last week, the last two times hard,” said Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault. “He’s got no remaining effects from COVID as far his health, so it’s just a matter of him feeling that his conditioning and his timing will permit him to play. I have not spoken to him post-practice, I will here once I’m done. But he did tell me prior to practice not to rule him out, that he considered himself a possibility depending on how he would feel today at practice.”
Gostisbehere is welcomed return to the Flyers’ blue line with Phil Myers out with a fractured rib.
Another player who has yet to play this season due to COVID-19 is Mikko Koivu. Now with the Blue Jackets, the forward will be on the ice with his new team when Columbus takes on the Panthers Tuesday.
“It’s been about a week now for myself that I’ve been able to skate and get kind of in the pace a little bit more,” Koivu said. “First on my own, then with the coaching staff a little bit, and then the optional skate [on Friday] and obviously today with the team skate. So kind of a step-by-step process the last week or so. I guess the next step now is just to get into the game and get a good feeling about the pacing and trying to get through this.”
John Tortorella is eager to get Koivu in the lineup now that he’s healthy. The Blue Jackets could use the help in the face-off circle (47.2% success rate) and their solid penalty kill will get a boost.
Jack Roslovic, acquired in the big Patrik Laine-for-Pierre-Luc Dubois trade, will not play against Florida, Tortorella said.
Hurricanes captain Jordan Staal is finally off the COVID-19 protocol list and hit the ice for Tuesday’s practice. He was one of six Carolina players to make the list, which caused four games to be postponed. Their game against Tampa on Thursday remains on.
Staal said he didn’t know how he caught the virus and he only experienced mild symptoms.
“This really makes it real, obviously,” he said. “No one wants to be ‘that guy’ and clearly that was me for the most part bringing it in the room. It was trying to be safe and it’s unfortunate. I feel bad for the guys that are sitting in hotel rooms right now. It’s not fun.
Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.