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.
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.
Dmitry Orlov hits Matt Duchene
Author: via Sportsnet/YouTube
Dmitry Orlov flips Matt Duchene with absolutely must-see hip check
By: Jared Clinton
Oct 19, 2016
Forget all the saves, goals and perfect passing plays, because Dmitry Orlov has the greatest highlight of the early season after delivering a perfect hip check on Matt Duchene.
Washington Capitals defenseman Dmitry Orlov is known more for his offensive acumen than his ability to throw his weight around on the back end, but it’s going to be hard to forget Orlov’s physical play after he threw what will likely stand up as the greatest hit of the season.
Mere minutes into Washington’s meeting with the Colorado Avalanche Tuesday, Duchene broke into the Capitals zone while on the penalty kill. Having no room to break to the outside, the Avalanche winger decided his best play would be to try and work back to the inside on Orlov, but Duchene’s attempt at a using his speed to move around Orlov ended with the best clip of the early season.
As Duchene cut to the middle, Orlov dropped his shoulder, lowered his body and launched Duchene into the air, end-over-end. Duchene’s rotation was such that he literally came close to landing back on his skates. This is as must-see as hits get:
The timing from Orlov on the hit couldn’t have been more perfect, especially as he actually has to put on the breaks and swing his body around in order to send Duchene flying. It’s rare to see a player get that much air on any hit, let alone a near-perfect hip check.
Beyond the fact that Duchene did a full flip, the best thing about the check is that Duchene didn’t end up hurt on the play. Because for as great as Orlov’s timing was, a 200-pound man flipping through the air and crashing to the ice isn’t exactly a natural motion.
As one might expect, though, Duchene wasn’t exactly the hit’s biggest fan post-game. He said that he didn’t want to comment on the hit because he’d “say something that might get (him) in trouble,” according to NHL.com’s Tom Gulitti.
Capitals coach Barry Trotz said what we were all thinking, though.
Author: Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images
Blue Jackets’ oft-injured defenseman Ryan Murray suffers upper-body injury
By: Jared Clinton
Oct 21, 2016
Ryan Murray has missed more than 80 games over the past three seasons, and it looks like he could be sidelined once again after suffering an upper-body injury Friday.
The Blue Jackets had high hopes for defenseman Ryan Murray when he was selected second overall in the 2012 draft, and Columbus still believes he can be an integral part of the organization. That’s why the Blue Jackets inked Murray to a two-year, $5.65-million extension in February.
The thing is, it’s hard for Murray to prove his worth when he’s injured. He was forced to miss the second game of the season with a lower-body injury, and now the oft-injured 23-year-old rearguard looks like he may be back on the shelf once again.
Murray was forced to leave Friday’s game against the Chicago Blackhawks after he got tangled up with Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook behind the Chicago net. Murray headed to the Blue Jackets’ bench shortly after the collision, and he did not return to the contest with what the team was calling an upper-body injury.
Any injury that forces Murray to miss time — be it short-term or long-term — would be a seriously disappointing turn of events for the young blueliner, as he’s been forced to spend much of his short career on the shelf. The 2015-16 season saw Murray play all 82 games, but he wasn’t so lucky during the first two years of his career.
In 2014-15, Murray missed all but 12 games due to various lower-body injuries. It started with a knee injury in October, continued with an ankle injury in February and his season ended with yet another unspecified lower-body injury. And while the 2013-14 season wasn’t as bad, he still missed 16 games with lower-body ailments.
When Murray has been healthy, he has proven he can be every bit the offensive blueliner the team had hoped he would become when they selected him second overall. In 161 games, he has nine goals and 49 points and he posted a healthy four goals and 25 points while averaging nearly 23 minutes of ice time per game in 2015-16.
As for what Murray’s potential absence could do to the Blue Jackets, it could simply signal a bigger role for Zach Werenski earlier than coach John Tortorella had planned, and Cody Goloubef, who was sent down just recently, could already be heading back to the big club.
If there’s any positive spin, at least it isn’t another lower-body injury this time? Whichever way you slice it, though, the last thing the Blue Jackets wanted to deal with was another injury to a once promising prospect such as Murray.