The Montreal Canadiens picked up a hard fought (and much needed) win in New York on Friday night by knocking off the Rangers, 2-1, thanks to a late goal from Nate Thompson with a minute to play in regulation.
It was a painful win for captain Shea Weber.
He was once again a workhorse on the Canadiens’ blue line, playing a game-high 24 minutes, finishing as a plus-one, attempting five shots, and blocking five in the defensive zone. One of those blocks in the first period left him bloodied as he slid to the ice and was hit directly in the face by a shot from Rangers center Ryan Strome.
You can see the play in the video above. He somehow did not miss a shift after that play.
Weber has been one of the consistent bright spots for the Canadiens this season and is showing that he can still be a dominant, impactful player. His biggest problem the past few years has been staying healthy enough to remain in the lineup so he can make that impact. So far this season that has not been a problem. He already has 23 points (nine goals, 14 assists) in the Canadiens’ first 30 games this season while posting some of the best possession numbers of his career. His 0.76 points per game average would also be the highest mark of his career.
The Canadiens’ win on Friday was only their second in their past 11 games.
Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.
Surgery performed this week on Anaheim Ducks forward Nate Thompson has reportedly revealed further damage to his injured shoulder.
According to a report from Eric Stephens of the Orange County Register on Friday evening, the operation revealed two labral tears, with a recovery time of five to six months for the 30-year-old Thompson.
The Ducks stated that Thompson would undergo surgery on Thursday. The hard-hitting forward missed the first round of the playoffs because of injury, before returning to the Ducks lineup against the Calgary Flames.
In his first season with the Ducks, Thompson scored five goals and 18 points in 80 games, before scoring twice with six points in 12 playoff games.
Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf was very hard on himself in Game 6 of the Western Conference Final in what would ultimately be a 4-3 series loss to Chicago. As it turns out, he might not have been 100%.
The Ducks revealed that Getzlaf played through a sports hernia. It’s not clear when he sustained the injury and thus we don’t know how long he was dealing with the problem. He did record two goals and 20 points in 16 playoff contests, including an assist in Game 7 of Anaheim’s series against the Blackhawks.
The good news is that Getzlaf will not require surgery. Teammate Nate Thompson unfortunately can’t say the same.
Thompson, 30, is scheduled to have a shoulder operation today. He was hurt in a game against Arizona on April 11 and missed the first round of the playoffs as a result. However, he returned on April 30 and went on to record two goals and six points in 12 postseason contests.
It’s not yet known what the timetable is for Thompson’s recovery, per the Orange County Register’s Eric Stephens.
The Anaheim Ducks did a bit of line juggling during the team’s morning skate at the Honda Center on Saturday.
After sitting out Game 6, it appears Tomas Fleischmann will enter the Ducks’ lineup tonight in place of Emerson Etem. The 31-year-old practiced on the team’s fourth line with Kyle Palmieri and Rickard Rakell.
Ducks’ coach Bruce Boudreau has a history with Fleischmann, which dates back to when the two were with the Hershey Bears, the AHL affiliate of the Washington Capitals.
“There’s a real good chance that he’s in,” said Boudreau. “I just think an experienced guy, he’s been through these wars, he’s played in Game 7s, he’s been in championship games.
“When I was with Hershey, it was a while ago, but he was the MVP in the playoffs. So he knows what to do in these situations.”
Fleischmann played 10:19 in Game 5 after sitting out four games as a healthy scratch.
In five playoff games this spring, Fleischmann has one assist.
With Palmieri on the fourth line, Jiri Sekac moves up to the Ducks’ third line along side Nate Thompson and Andrew Cogliano. Sekac has a plus-1 rating and two penalty minutes while averaging 11:14 in ice time in six games this spring.
Puck drop tonight is at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.
Though he wouldn’t commit to anything, Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau is contemplaing mixing up his bottom-six forward group for tomorrow’s Game 7 of the Western Conference Final against Chicago.
Right winger Kyle Palmieri — who has spent most of this series on a line with Andrew Cogliano and Nate Thompson — was replaced by Jiri Sekac on the third line, moving Palmieri onto the fourth with Rickard Rakell and Tomas Fleischmann. Fleischmann had taken the place of Emerson Etem on the bottom line, which has happened on a few occasions this postseason (including Game 5 of this series).
The moves were a chemistry test, according to Boudreau, who suggested he might use these new units as Anaheim looks to advance to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in eight years.
“I wanted to see it in practice today,” Boudreau said, per NHL.com. “We tried that a little bit. I wanted to make sure that if that’s the route we’re going to go, then I wanted to see if they at least had sort of some good chemistry together. We talked about it and we’ll talk about it again [Saturday] morning.
“By no means are those set in stone, those lines today.”