Author: Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images
Good news, bad news for Flyers with Schenn set to make return as Raffl falls injured
By: Jared Clinton
Oct 20, 2016
The Flyers will be disappointed with the loss of versatile middle-six winger Michael Raffl, but they’ll be glad to welcome Brayden Schenn back to the lineup after he completed his three-game suspension.
Michael Raffl may not be Philadelphia’s top scorer or take a regular spot on the top line, but the 27-year-old has been a very consistent contributor for the Flyers over his three seasons in the NHL. That’s what will make his absence due to an abdominal pull a tough one for the club to deal with.
Flyers GM Ron Hextall announced that Raffl will be sidelined for anywhere from 10-14 days with an upper-body injury, which was reported by CSN’s Tim Panaccio to be an abdominal pull. The injury came midway thorugh the Flyers’ 7-4 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday, as Raffl took his final shift — a brief, 14-second twirl — with 11:26 left in the second frame and did not return for the remainder of the outing. He played a mere 9:36 in the game.
Raffl had bounced around the lineup during the first two games of the campaign, skating 15 minutes to start the campaign and dropping down to bottom-six minutes in the second outing, but he was set to be utilized as a versatile middle-six player for much of the season. He had already scored his first of the season in the Flyers’ second game of the campaign, but he won’t have a chance to get back into action and contribute until the end of October, at the earliest.
Raffl’s ailment likely means he’ll be sidelined anywhere from seven to nine games, and a realistic return date for the Austrian winger could be Nov. 3 against the Islanders or Nov. 5 against the Canadiens.
It’s not all bad news, though, as Brayden Schenn is set to make his season debut Thursday against the Anaheim Ducks. Unlike most players who’ve been forced to miss action early this season, though, Schenn isn’t recovering from an off-season injury or a pre-season knock. Rather, the 25-year-old winger has completed a three-game suspension that was carried over from the end of the post-season in 2015-16.
Schenn was hit with the suspension after an incident in Game 6 of the Flyers’ first-round series against the Washington Capitals. During the second period, Schenn charged T.J. Oshie and launched into his head. Days after the Game 6, which was the Flyers’ final game of the post-season, Schenn was handed the three-game ban.
Getting Schenn back into the lineup is huge for the Flyers as he had his breakout season in 2015-16. Schenn set career-highs with 26 goals, 33 assists and 59 points, and he was one of the most effective players in the back half of the campaign. From Jan. 1 to the end of the season, he posted 44 points in 46 games and was the sixth-highest scorer in the entire league.
Capitals winger Daniel Winnik went into Thursday’s game with two ears but didn’t leave with both intact. A shot block in the third period “chewed up” a piece of Winnik’s right ear.
If blocking shots is an art, Washington Capitals winger Daniel Winnik put his body on the line to deliver the van Gogh of shot blocks in the Capitals’ 4-2 win over the Florida Panthers on Thursday.
Midway through the third period, with the Panthers on the power play and Winnik out on the penalty kill, the puck found Florida winger Reilly Smith’s tape. Smith worked his way to the middle of the ice to unleash a shot as Winnik dropped to the ice to block the attempt.
Smith’s shot stayed low and went right at Winnik’s head, and though the veteran winger was able to turn in time to avoid any serious damage to his face, the side of his head took the impact. After blocking the shot, Winnik stayed down for a short while before climbing to his feet and leaving the ice, but he was able to return before the end of the contest. Only problem was that when he returned he was missing part of his ear.
Yes, you read that right: Winnik went into the game with two whole ears, and left the contest with one and a bit. To hear Barry Trotz tell the story, one would be led to believe this is a completely normal occurrence.
Given that things could have ended much worse for Winnik had he not turned his head in time, he’ll probably be thankful that a small piece of his ear was the only casualty of the shot block. And no one can ever say he’s not willing to pay a physical price to win a game.
Stars’ Sharp sidelined after suffering ‘concussion-like symptoms’ following huge hit
By: Jared Clinton
Oct 21, 2016
The Stars don't know exactly when they can expect Sharp’s return, which means yet another player has been added to Dallas’ growing injury list.
The Dallas Stars are going to be without Patrick Sharp, but they don’t know just how long the veteran winger will be on the shelf.
Sharp, 34, was forced to leave Thursday’s game against the Kings during the second period after being walloped along the boards by Los Angeles blueliner Brayden McNabb. Early in the frame, with Dallas on a power play, Sharp took a pass from Devin Shore and stepped over the blueline with Jeff Carter giving chase. In order to sidestep Carter, Sharp moved along the right wing boards where he was met with a solid jolt from McNabb.
No penalty was called on the play, and the replay shows that McNabb caught Sharp about as square on the shoulder as possible.
Regardless of how clean the hit may have been, though, Sharp immediately grabbed his head and was slow to get to his feet. He remained out on the power play for another 20 seconds before leaving the ice, but after heading to the bench, Sharp left the game. The Stars later announced he wouldn’t return due to “concussion-like symptoms,” and Stars coach Lindy Ruff said Sharp’s absence will go beyond Thursday’s game.
“Sharp will be out,” Ruff said, according to Mark Stepneski. “He missed the rest of the game on the hit but I don’t know what the time frame is.”
And even if Sharp is diagnosed with a concussion, that won’t make his timeframe for return any more clear. Unlike other injuries where it’s easier to gauge recovery times, a concussion can sideline a player for a few games or for months at a time.
The good news for Sharp, though, is that he doesn’t have a long history of serious head injures. In October 2010, Sharp, then with the Chicago Blackhawks, was forced out of the lineup with what was at the time called a “slight concussion,” but he returned after missing just one game and hasn’t missed any time with head injuries since.
The timing of the injury is brutal for Dallas, especially after an off-season in which seemingly none of their key top-six players could stay healthy. Already, the Stars are without Jiri Hudler (flu), Ales Hemsky (groin), Cody Eakin (knee), Mattias Janmark (knee) and Jason Dickinson (hip), so losing Sharp — and possibly Patrick Eaves, who also left the contest Thursday after a blocked shot — would be another serious blow to the dynamic Dallas offense.
Through four games this season, Sharp had mustered just one assist but had put 10 shots on goal.
The news that MacArthur won’t be hanging up his skates comes little more than a week after Senators GM Pierre Dorion announced that MacArthur would be meeting with a concussion specialist to talk about his future.
The hit that concussed MacArthur came during a Senators scrimmage during training camp when defenseman Patrick Sieloff crunched MacArthur into the boards from behind. MacArthur needed to be helped off the ice after the hit and was sent home by the team. After the scrimmage, Dorion announced MacArthur, who had missed all but four games of the 2015-16 campaign due to a concussion, was again dealing with a concussion and that the team was “heartbroken” about the situation.
That MacArthur is continuing his career is a relief, and comes a day after the veteran winger got back on the ice for what appeared to be the first time since he suffered the concussion. Coach Guy Boucher was hesitant to talk about MacArthur’s progress, but admitted that MacArthur has been back on the ice.
And it sounds as though MacArthur is actually feeling well enough that he could be hitting the road with the Senators when they make the trip to Western Canada for a three-game set against the Vancouver Canucks, Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers.
Boucher wouldn’t confirm that MacArthur would indeed make the trip — the Senators bench boss said it wasn’t “100 percent decided” — but it would be a way to keep him with the team and around the game during his latest concussion battle. Boucher did say for certain that MacArthur would not be suiting up on the trip, though.
MacArthur is currently in the second season of a five-year, $23.25-million contract that he signed with the Senators in August 2014. The four games he played to start the 2015-16 season are the only games he has played under his current deal, but he has registered 40 goals and 91 points in 145 games with the Senators.