Posted on: December 2, 2011 11:49 pm
Edited on: December 2, 2011 11:55 pm
By: Adam Gretz
Buffalo Sabres forward Nathan Gerbe is considered to be "day-to-day" after getting hit in the face by a skate on Friday night during his team's 4-1 loss to the Detroit Red Wings, an injury that required 25 stitches.
Following a faceoff at center ice midway through the third period, Sabres center Paul Gaustad lost his footing when his skate blade went up and caught Gerbe, the shortest player in the NHL, in the face.
It's hard to say a person is lucky when he's required to get 25 stitches in his face, but let's be honest, he's lucky this wasn't significantly worse than it was. In the cases of Richard Zednik and former Sabres goalie Clint Malarchuk, we've seen how scary and terrifying injuries caused by skate blades can be when they're in the head or neck area.
Posted on: November 28, 2011 1:23 pm
Edited on: November 28, 2011 1:27 pm
By: Adam Gretz
Chris Pronger hasn't appeared in a game for the Philadelphia Flyers since Nov. 19, having missed each of the team's past four games with what was originally described as an illness.
On Monday, general Paul Holmgren announced that Pronger will now be on the shelf for the next four weeks after undergoing surgery on his left knee on Tuesday afternoon to "clean out some loose particles that have given Chris some problems over the last month or so."
Said Holmgren, "We were hopeful that the time missed with a virus that Chris has been fighting would settle things down in his knee, but after an examination yesterday, it was decided that the surgery is the way to go at this time. We expect Chris will be back playing in four weeks.”
Injuries have been an issue for the veteran defenseman over the past two seasons. He appeared in just 50 games for the Flyers last season, and he's already missed time this season due to an eye injury that came after he was struck in the face by a stick. He's played in 13 games this season, scoring one goal to go with 11 assists while also logging over 22 minutes of ice-time per game.
Given his age (he's currently 37) and the mounting injury problems it's worth pointing out that he still has five years remaining on a seven-year contract that he signed prior to the 2010-11 season that carries an average annual salary of $4.9 million against the salary cap.
Posted on: November 27, 2011 12:47 pm
It seemed like it was just a matter of time before Kari Lehtonen went down with an injury. Turns out, it was.
The Dallas Stars goaltender who was a huge reason why the Stars jumped out to the best start in the NHL, had seen a bit of a regression to the mean in recent weeks, along with his team's return to earth. Unfortunately, he's also seen a return to old times ... going down to injury.
The Stars placed Lehtonen on injured reserve on Sunday, a day after he left the Stars' 3-0 loss to the Coyotes. The Associated Press reported it as a knee injury for Lehtonen, but Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News says it's Lehtonen's troublesome groin that's the problem. The team would only call it a lower-body injury.
Lehtonen's bug-a-boo with the injury bug has been his groin. In two different seasons (05-06 and 07-08) he missed at least 16 games with different groin issues. And probably the last thing that the Stars fans want to hear, Heika fears it could be a long-term injury. Ouch.
Lehtonen has been leaned on more heavily than most goaltenders across the league. When Andrew Raycroft is your backup, you sort of see why. So for the time being, Raycroft is going to get his shot and Dallas recalled Richard Bachman to be the backup.
The Stars were already slipping. They recently suffered through a five-game losing streak and have gone 3-6-1 in their last 10. Even with that, they are still in a three-way tie atop the Pacific Division. So the time without Lehtonen will be crucial to them.
The Finnish Lehtonen has been spectacular this season for the Stars, posting a 13-4-2 record with a 2.34 goals against average and .926 save percentage.
Photo: Getty Images
Posted on: November 21, 2011 5:09 pm
It's been an eventful week-plus for Tyler Myers. It began with him being a healthy scratch, he returned to score two goals and then delivered a hit that drew a warning from player safety chief Brendan Shanahan.
Now it ends with him suffering a broken wrist that will make him a scratch every game for the next 4-6 weeks. Or possibly longer, according to Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News. He notes that with Myers suffering a scaphoid fracture, 4-6 weeks is awfully optimistic. It could be closer to 8-12 weeks.
“It happened just on an awkward play,” coach Lindy Ruff said. “Nothing that you’d ever notice, just one of those freak-like incidents.”
Fellow defenseman Robyn Regehr talked about the void that Myers' absense will leave.
“It’s important that we each try and step up a little bit and fill that void. And there’s also a real good young call-up with T.J. [Brennan] here,” Regehr said. “I know he’s really looking forward to getting in the lineup and helping us out as well.”
It's a bad break for Myers and the Sabres as he was just beginning to turn the corner after the benching. This is the second straight season Myers has been slow out of the gate. He struggled for a good portion of last season -- his sophomore campaign after winning the Calder Trophy -- before turning it on late.
Now he'll have to wait a while before he can try and regain that form long-term once again.
Photo: Getty Images
Posted on: November 18, 2011 11:06 pm
Edited on: November 19, 2011 11:05 am
By: Adam Gretz
There doesn't appear to be a team in the NHL that goes through more goaltenders than the New York Islanders.
Once the team with too many this season, rotating Rick DiPietro, Evgeni Nabokov and Al Montoya in and out of the lineup, New York now finds itself in a situation where it doesn't have enough goalies for Saturday's game against Boston.
After it was announced on Friday that veteran Nabokov will be out indefinitely with a groin injury, the team later revealed that Montoya is day-to-day with a strained hamstring. And suddenly DiPietro, of all people, is the only healthy one on the roster.
Montoya has arguably been their best goaltender this season but has been limited in his playing time over the past month, appearing in just two games since Oct. 20. For the season he's recorded a .926 save percentage after posting a .921 mark in his 18 starts for the team last season.
Nabokov has appeared in eight games and has twice had to leave his starts early due to injury, including a game in Pittsburgh earlier this month that saw him exit after the overtime period and before the shootout. He played just seven minutes on Thursday night in what turned out to be a 4-3 Islanders win.
With Nabokov and Montoya currently sidelined, it's possible, if not likely, that Kevin Poulin will be called up from their AHL team in Bridgeport. Poulin appeared in 10 games last season.
Being forced to use multiple goalies isn't a new experience for the Islanders, as they went through six during the 2010-11 campaign: DiPietro, Montoya, Poulin, Nathan Lawson, Dwayne Roloson and Mikko Koskinen. Since the start of the 2008-09 season 11 different goalies have made an appearance for the team.
Posted on: November 18, 2011 2:43 pm
Edited on: December 14, 2011 7:07 pm
By: Adam Gretz
The St. Louis Blues received a bit of good news on Friday when it was announced by head coach Ken Hitchcock that forward David Perron has taken another step in his recovery from a concussion, and will now be cleared for contact drills in practice.
Being cleared for contact in practice and being able to return to the lineup for a game are clearly two very different things, but this is a big step for the 23-year-old forward as he continues his recovery. Perron hasn't appeared in a game for St. Louis in more than a year.
During a game against San Jose last Nov. 4, Perron was hit by Sharks forward Joe Thornton just as Thornton was exiting the penalty box, crushing him with an open-ice hit. The ensuing concussion has cost Perron 90 games and still counting. In 10 games last season he scored five goals (including one in the game against San Jose, after he was hit by Thornton) to go with two assists, after recording 50 and 47 points in the previous two seasons.