Devils “not concerned” with Martin Brodeur’s ankle injury

Martin Brodeur and the New Jersey Devils took advantage of some nice breaks and great play to shut out the New York Rangers 1-0 last night. It wasn’t all good luck, though, as Rich Chere points out that Brodeur “twisted his ankle” on a play when Ryan Callahan landed on him.

Devils backup Johan Hedberg seems pretty confident that he’ll play against the St. Louis Blues on Thursday, pointing out that Brodeur “had some discomfort” during last night’s contest.

Head coach Peter DeBoer isn’t quite as convinced – or forthcoming – as he stated that the decision hasn’t been made yet. DeBoer told Chere that Brodeur will dress tomorrow whether he sees action or watches Hedberg, though.

Tomorrow’s match against the Blues stands as an interesting measuring stick game for the Devils, who are on a five-game winning streak. Hedberg has played like the real No. 1 guy at times in the past two seasons, so some might say that New Jersey will still be near full strength even if its future Hall of Famer is parked on the bench.

Nugent-Hopkins’ injury prompts return of size questions


Life seemed kinda cool for Edmonton Oilers fans for about 4-5 days, but it seems like the mood is shifting back to misery.

Dropping a sloppy 6-3 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs is bad enough, but their wunderkind forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins seemed to re-injure his left shoulder  after taking a hit from Mike Brown. RNH did not return to the game.

That’s a bummer, but some are taking this as more than just a nagging issue. The Denver Post’s Adrian Dater brings up a troubling thought: could his shoulder issues be the by-product of RNH simply being too small for the NHL?

People certainly weren’t asking those questions when the splendid playmaker was lighting up the league as a rookie earlier in the season, yet this might just open up the discussion again. Do you think that the Oilers should be worried, though?

On the bright side, Sam Gagner picked up an assist to push him to 12 points in his last three games.

Still, with RNH’s injury and Edmonton’s bigger picture headaches in mind, Gagner’s red-hot ways might not amount to much more than a shiny object to shake at Oilers fans who need a distraction. (I mean, unless the Oilers decide to strike while the trading iron is hot with Gagner, which is something Nick Kypreos suggests.)

Adam Larsson hurts knee in Devils’ comeback win

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The New Jersey Devils looked like they were primed to drop a bad loss to the Montreal Canadiens* but the good and bad news is that wasn’t what tonight’s game was all about.

Instead, the Devils stormed back from a 3-1 deficit to win 5-3 as Ilya Kovalchuk (three assists), Zach Parise (two goals) and even Alexei Ponikarovsky (two helpers) helped New Jersey storm back for a rousing comeback. You can check out the game highlights a little lower in this post, but the most important video of the night featured P.K. Subban catching Adam Larsson with this hit:

Tom Gulitti reports that Devils coach Peter DeBoer believes that Larsson is only dealing with a bruise, but admits that it’s unclear if the budding star will be available for New Jersey this weekend. The initial outlook seems promising, but obviously these situations can change with further evaluations. (Just about everyone believes that Subban’s hit was clean, although you’re welcome to argue otherwise in the comments if you’d like.)

What the Devils do know is that they produced two more standings points, placing them in seventh place in the Eastern Conference with 59 points in 50 games. Watch highlights of how they topped Montreal in the video below.

* – And maybe build to a trend of lowly teams with inexplicable strangleholds on superior ones as the Habs had previously handled the Devils much like the Carolina Hurricanes have taken it to the Boston Bruins.

Columbus activates Jeff Carter from IR

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Jeff Carter can finally take at least a brief rest from responding to trade rumors by actually playing hockey again. The Columbus Blue Jackets activated him from the injured reserve while placing defenseman Nikita Nikitin on the IR.

Carter missed the last 10 games with a shoulder injury and also sat out 10 other ones earlier this season with a broken foot. In the 30 contests he actually played, Carter scored 10 goals and 17 points. Those figures are disappointing, although his 10 goals place him second on the Blue Jackets behind leader Rick Nash (who has 17).

The oft-critiqued sniper will get a chance to get things back on track/bolster his trade value (depending on how you look at it) starting Friday against the Anaheim Ducks.

Injury will sideline Thomas Vanek for at least one week

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The Buffalo Sabres’ 3-1 win ties them with the team they beat (the Montreal Canadiens) and the New York Islanders for the second lowest points total in the Eastern Conference at 51, but that’s as close to good news as they’re getting tonight.

(I mean, unless you’re really excited about a rare Ville Leino goal.)

The Buffalo News’ John Vogl passes along word from Sabres head coach Lindy Ruff that Thomas Vanek will miss “at least a week” with an upper-body injury suffered in the first period. Ruff told reporters that the team’s $7.14 million-per-year winger will “require more evaluation” before the true severity of his ailments are revealed.

Jason Pominville was Buffalo’s All-Star this season, but for the most part, Vanek has been one of the only other bright spots for the Sabres with 41 points in 50 games. He’s been ice cold lately, though, with a seven-game scoring drought and just one goal and one assist since the New Year rolled around.

Even so, this is another brutal blow to a Buffalo team that was already reeling from letdowns and injuries.