I am a contributing editor/writer/troublemaker for NBC's Pro Hockey Talk blog.
Barring a major comeback, the Pittsburgh Penguins look like they’re going to lose to the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday. Their injury losses might be just as big.
On the bright side, it seems like Brian Dumoulin was able to shake off an elbow from Wayne Simmonds. You can watch the hit, which didn’t draw a penalty, in the video above.
Meanwhile, Conor Sheary has been missing since the first period with what might be a lower-body injury.
The Penguins’ list of injuries is already pretty ridiculous, so if one or both of these players miss significant time, tonight will sting deeper than a setback on the scoreboard.
Update after the Penguins’ loss: Seemingly good news, if very early and vague:
Octagon Hockey agent Allan Walsh announced that there’s “word circulating” that potential members of the men’s U.S. hockey team might join the women’s national team in a boycott of the world championships with USA Hockey.
HNIC’s Cassie Campbell reports that she discussed as much with men’s players during the last few weeks about this subject, backing up Walsh.
This update comes on the heels of reports that USA Hockey has been struggling to find players to replace those who are boycotting the world championships. (Puck Daddy provides deep background on that subject.)
The NHLPA has already spoken out in support of the boycott earlier this week. The U.S. women’s national hockey team also released the following statement:
Breaking: the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers don’t like each other.
The stakes might be higher for the Penguins than the Flyers – aside from those who still believe Philly has a shot at a playoff run – their rivalry rarely subsides.
With that in mind, it’s no surprise that Sunday featured at least one fight, with Cameron Gaunce squaring off against Brandon Manning in a pretty spirited bout.
Manning isn’t shy about fighting, by the way; this was his seventh bout of the season, according to Hockey Fights.
Higher on the radar for the Penguins is the situation for Conor Sheary, who has been absent from the ice since about midway through the first period. PHT will keep an eye out for updates on what could be yet another injury for the health-challenged Pens.
Life is difficult, complex and confusing. Good thing we have dog videos.
Forgive this video being one night late, but for those of us who watch cute animal clips, time is a furry circle. Or something like that.
Anyway, this golden retriever got a little “ice time” before the Washington Capitals’ game against the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday in what would end up being a 4-1 win for the Caps. It’s an excellent video featuring a top-notch, hilarious pooch.
Alternate joke: Now that is some puck retrieval.
Patrik Laine and Auston Matthews are locked with identical goals (34), assists (27) and points (61) on Sunday, which is remarkable since Laine has played in 67 games versus 75 for Matthews. He won’t get a chance to beef up his numbers on Sunday, either.
It looks like the high-scoring rookie is missing the Winnipeg Jets’ contest against the Vancouver Canucks because of an illness, according to TSN’s Sara Orlesky.
The Jets are almost assured to miss the playoffs, so seeing Laine lose a chance to bolster his Calder argument adds a little extra sadness to the night.