Outside the hockey world, puck talk rarely gets any further than the water cooler. But for fellow fantasy hockey leaguers Jonathan Micieli and Ike Ahmed, passion met profession after Marc Staal suffered a retinal tear and orbital fracture last season when he was struck by a slapshot.
Micieli is an ophthalmology resident and Ahmed an assistant professor of ophthalmology at the University of Toronto. When Staal’s injuries reignited the visor debate, Micieli and Ahmed realized there was a dearth of detailed research into the risk of eye injuries in the NHL. So the duo teamed up with David Zurakowski from Harvard Medical School for their recent study, “Do Visors Have an Impact on Eye Injuries? A 10-year Review of the National Hockey League.”
Using media reports and videos, the three identified 149 eye injuries over the past 10 seasons, which resulted in more than $33 million of salary in missed games, and found the risk is more than four times higher for players who don’t wear a visor.
With 2013 now a thing of the past, we look back at the year’s 10 “best” vanishing feats.
Forgive the fire puns, but they are apropos when it comes to Sean Monahan. The start of his NHL career with the Calgary Flames was like a match put to a tank of gasoline. Since the 10-game mark, however, he’s burned about as brightly as a wet log.
Compare this: six goals and nine points in eight games followed by four goals and seven points in 20. You’d think such a slide would have a rookie rattled. Not Monahan. He didn’t get caught up in the hype of his start and doesn’t beat himself up now that he’s cooled off.
“Your first season in the NHL you’re learning new things every day and seeing things you’ve never seen before,” he said. “You can never be too comfortable.”
Jack Adams was talking to another player on the Detroit Red Wings bench when an eager Pete Kelly jumped over the boards to replace a tired Larry Aurie, at the end of a shift.
Kelly, a checking-line right winger, wasn’t supposed to be on the ice when he took a pass from Herbie Lewis and scored the Stanley Cup-winning goal in a 3-2 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game 4 of the 1936 final. It was Detroit’s first Stanley Cup, but coach-GM ‘Jolly’ Jack Adams didn’t send Kelly onto the ice and he wasn’t pleased he went out.
“He still gave him hell when he got back to the bench,” said hockey historian Bob Duff.
Luongo and Lack. It could have a nice ring to it.
Roberto Luongo is back to his old form of a few years ago when he led Canada to gold at the 2010 Winter Olympics and then brought the Canucks to within one game of Vancouver’s first Stanley Cup.
Meanwhile, Eddie Lack is proving he’s a legitimate NHL goaltender who can perform under pressure situations, as evidenced by the Canucks’ 3-2 shootout win over the Blackhawks, in Chicago, for Lack’s first shootout victory of his career.
At 5-foot-11 and 200 pounds, Sidney Crosby is far from the biggest guy on the ice. He’s fast but not the fastest, strong but not the strongest, tough but not the toughest.
But he’s arguably the best.
Off the ice and in the gym, there are plenty of other NHLers who can press more, pump more, lift more, lug more. But what sets Crosby apart, according to his trainer, Andy O’Brien, is he can combine multiple movements in training and translating them into game situations.
The Vancouver Canucks continued their perfect December with a 4-0 win over the Edmonton Oilers. That’s back-to-back shutouts for them as Roberto Luongo got the goose egg this time after Eddie Lack allowed the Carolina Hurricanes nothing in a 2-0 win Tuesday.
Vancouver is now 6-0-0 since its 5-2 loss to the New York Rangers Nov. 30 in coach John Tortorella’s return to Madison Square Garden. The Canucks have outscored their opponents 18-6 over that span. Read more
The suspension or fine likely awaiting David Clarkson is just the latest hiccup in his brief but much ballyhooed tenure with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Clarkson will have a hearing with the NHL’s department of player safety Saturday morning for his hit on Vladimir Sobotka Thursday in a game against the St. Louis Blues, which the Maple Leafs lost 6-3. He received a minor penalty for an illegal check to the head.
Clarkson has already been suspended once this season. He received a 10-game suspension for leaving the bench to join a line brawl in a pre-season game against the Buffalo Sabres.
So it wasn’t until Game 11 of 2013-14 that Leafs fans finally got to see their team’s prized free agent signing from the summer.
The results thus far, however, have been wildly underwhelming.