Zdeno Chara’s knee injury puts major strain on Bruins’ already thinned-out defense corps

Adam Proteau
Zdeno Chara (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

(NOTE – This post has been updated twice. See below.)

The Boston Bruins’ blueline took a salary cap-related hit prior to the season with the trading of veteran Johnny Boychuk – and it got another scare with potentially bigger ramifications Thursday when captain Zdeno Chara left the team’s game against the Islanders with an undisclosed injury. His final shift of the game ended with 8:12 remaining in the first period, and Bruins coach Claude Julien offered no update on his condition after Boston’s 3-2 loss to the Isles.

On his last shift Thursday, Chara laid into Isles captain John Tavares with a solid check, but didn’t give any indication he was injured on the play: Read more

Enraged Sudbury Wolves coach to reporter: “F— you!”

Matt Larkin
Sudbury Wolves coach Paul Fixter lost it on a reporter after his team's 10th straight loss.

If you’re a football fan, you know the best coach tirades don’t always come from the professional ranks. Ask Mike Gundy. And while the likes of John Tortorella get the headlines in the NHL, major junior can provide us with gems, too.

Tuesday night was a tough one for the Sudbury Wolves, who lost 7-2 to the Sault Ste. Marie Greyounds. The season has been nothing short of hellish for the Wolves, who are 1-10-0 and have lost 10 straight since winning their opener. They’ve been outscored 49-19.

Coach Paul Fixter decided he was simply fed up while answering post-game questions from reporters. The first interviewer, CTV’s Lincoln Louttit, grinds his way through few awkward silences, trying to get Fixter’s thoughts on the obvious: that he’s frustrated with his team’s play. But the real fireworks start around the 0:55 mark when off-camera interviewer Peter Ruicci of the Sault Star questions the team’s work ethic:

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AHL keeper misplays shot from center for outrageous goal

Jared Clinton
Binghamton Senators' goaltender Andrew Hammond misplays a bouncing puck from center that resulted in a St. John's IceCaps goal. (via YouTube)

One of the wonderful things about hockey is that the names of players can enter the lexicon of the hockey fan to signify things that are much more than just the players themselves.

Take, for instance, the Forsberg. The term evokes the image of his one-handed goal that led the Swedish men’s team to a gold medal in 1994’s Olympic games. And how about Gordie Howe Hat Trick? The ferocity of Howe’s play and his absurd amount of talent was enough for the term to be coined and the recognition given to any player who registers a goal, assist, and fight in a game.

For Maple Leafs fans, there are some terms that hit a bit closer to home. One of which, for all the wrong reasons, is The Toskala. Infamously, former Leafs goaltender Vesa Toskala once allowed a goal to Rob Davison. The catch? The “snipe” came from 197 feet away from Toskala’s goal.

It took a few funny hops and it’s happened to the best of keepers, but a goal of this ilk has become synonymous with Toskala in hockey circles. Vancouverites may argue otherwise, claiming it to be the mark of Dan Cloutier.

In any event, Andrew Hammond, an undrafted goaltender who is currently under contract with Ottawa, is going to be hoping that Binghamton Senators fans have shorter memories than most.

During the first period of Binghamton’s 6-5 loss to the St. John’s IceCaps, the 26-year-old keeper allowed a goal he’d surely like to have back:

The looping puck from center ice was Jets’ prospect Carl Klingberg’s first of the season, coming just over a minute into the contest. All told, Hammond would allow six goals in what was surely an off night for the goaltender.

Here’s hoping the young netminder can laugh it off.

Alex Pietrangelo’s tender tribute to his brave niece will warm your heart

Adam Proteau
Alex Pietrangelo (Photo by Juan Ocampo/NHLI via Getty Images)

For St. Louis Blues star defenseman Alex Pietrangelo, the decision to shave his head this week was easy: it was for his five-year-old niece, Ellie Kannel, who was battling a rare cancer.

In the off-season, Pietrangelo used his Twitter account to discuss Ellie’s diagnosis: she had a Wilms tumor, a kidney cancer that mainly affects children. And since she was undergoing chemotherapy, Pietrangelo cut his hair in a show of support:
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Nathan Horton’s potentially career-threatening injury a blow to Jackets’ playoff hopes

Adam Proteau
Nathan Horton (Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images)

After he signed a seven-year, $37.1-million contract with the Blue Jackets in the summer of 2013, right winger Nathan Horton appeared in only 36 games thanks to injuries to his shoulder and abdomen last season. And Tuesday night, there was even worse news coming out of Columbus: the 29-year-old is dealing with a degenerative back injury that might be career ending.

According to the Columbus Dispatch, Horton, who has experienced back issues for several years, felt the problem worsen this summer while training in Florida and has been diagnosed with a serious degeneration of the lower back area. He may be out of action for at least this season, if not for good. There is a surgery he can undergo to address it, but it’s viewed as a last resort and offers no guarantee of success.

“He’s in constant pain,” Horton’s agent Paul Krepelka told the Dispatch. “He’s in constant discomfort.”

The majority of Horton’s $5.3-million-per-season salary will be covered by insurance and he can be placed on long term injured reserve to free up cap space with which to replace him. But that’s easier said than done for Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen. Read more

Rockstar Rask: Bruins goalie lights up the stage

Jared Clinton
Tuukka Rask

There are a lot of things you may not know about Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask. For instance, he’s got a habit of taking shootout losses poorly. He also served in the Finnish military. Also, did you know Rask has beaten every single team in the NHL at least once?

If you didn’t – and hey, even if you did – now you can watch him beat something that’s not your favorite NHL team: a drum set alongside Buffalo band the Mustn’ts. Read more

Martin Brodeur appears during Devils’ home-opening 3D show

Jared Clinton
Martin Brodeur. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Martin Brodeur may still be a free agent, but on the New Jersey Devils’ opening night, the Devils’ legend covered the ice.

In a stunning 3D display on-ice display, some of the former Devils goaltender and legendary NHL keeper’s career highlights were included in an eye-popping opening video. For their home opener, the Devils revealed a state-of-the-art on-ice projection system that is the first of its kind in the NHL. Though you’ve seen on-ice projection in the Quebec League and even just across the border in Montreal, the Devils system is the first permanent fixture in the pros.

The light show, which highlighted the entire history of the team to the tune of Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana, was breathtaking. In just three short minutes, the video outlined the Devils first victory, three Stanley Cups, and other big moments in the franchise’s history. Read more

Paul Maurice lets profanity fly as Jets spiral downwards

Jared Clinton
(Photo by Marianne Helm/Getty Images)

I guess you could say Paul Maurice is a bit fed up.

Who could blame the Winnipeg Jets coach, really? After a decisive 6-2 defeat of the Arizona Coyotes on opening night, the Jets have been able to muster just two goals in their next four outings. That’s not a typo.

Following the Jets’ 4-1 loss at the hands of the Calgary Flames – a game in which the Flames were playing their final road game of a six-game road trip – Jets’ winger Blake Wheeler reportedly spoke to media about whether it was the players’ responsibility to hold each other accountable for their on-ice performance.

The question was then posed back to Paul Maurice in his press conference on Monday. While you can watch the whole press conference below, and there are certainly some great sound bites, you should fast-forward to the 8:30 mark for the goods. Read more