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Saturday, November 28, 2009

Friday Power Rankings...Saturday Edition

You can also see our rankings at:
The Blackhawks seize the top spot. The Predators rocket to a top ranking. The ruins and Sens move up and the Red Wings plummet. Last week's ranking in parenthesis.

1. (2) Chicago Blackhawks
The Hawks have won eight in a row going in to Friday’s game. They have not given up more than two goals in any game this past week, including a shutout in Vancouver. Hossa played his first game in a Chicago sweater and scored twice. A surging Chicago team just got 30 goals better.

2. (1) San Jose Sharks
The Sharks were 2-1-0 last week, but were the victims of a 2-7 drubbing by the top ranked Blackhawks.

3. (8) Pittsburgh Penguins
The Pens won three straight to surge past New Jersey for the division lead. Crosby looks absolutely inspired… when not scoring he is battling, back checking and leading by example.

4. (14) Nashville Predators
Nashville is officially white hot winning seven in a row. Shootout or regulation, home or on the road, they have done whatever is necessary to get the “W”.

5. (11) Calgary Flames
Have won two of three including a win at LA. Iginla continues his torrid streak moving the Flames past the Kings in the standings.

6. (4) Washington Capitals
The Caps lost three of their last four. An embarrassing loss to the Leafs doesn’t look good. Washington’s defense has not been the culprit. They haven’t scored more than two goals in any game this week, aside from the game in Ottawa, when they scored three… but gave up four.

7. (3) New Jersey Devils
Had lost three in a row until getting a win at home against Ottawa and fell behind Pittsburgh in the division.

8. (5) Colorado Avalanche
Colorado lost two of three and have lost six of their last eight. The Avs got Liles and Galairdi back from IR, maybe they can help stop the slide.

9. (6) Buffalo Sabres
The Sabres had lost four straight going in to Friday’s action. The team has struggled to score goals and have had a few uncharacteristically poor defensive lapses along the way. Miller will have to shut down their next opponent to right the ship.

10. (10) Los Angeles Kings

LA has not scored many goals this week and lost ground to Calgary. Frolov has stepped up is game in Smyth’s absence but Kopitar and the rest of the team went awol this week.

11. (13) Dallas Stars
The Stars move back up the charts led by a fired up Stephane Robidas who filled in the goal void left by James Neal’s suspension.

12. (19) Ottawa Senators
The Sens have won five of their last six, handing losses to some top teams. Fisher continues to lead the way. Dany who?

13. (21) Boston Bruins
Lucic scored in his return to the lineup and the Bruins, winners of four straight going in to Friday have much more confidence and poise. When they get Savard back…watch out for the killer B’s!

14. (7) Philadelphia Flyers
The Flyers took it on the chin this week losing three straight before shutting down the Islanders. Philly has been giving up a ton of goals lately. Will this defensive lapse push Emery to implode?

15. (20) New York Rangers
Gaborik got wind of the other Marian’s return and cranked it up a notch. He is not getting enough credit for the season he is having. The Blueshirts are still inconsistent, but have the ability to bury their opponent on any given night.

16. (12) Columbus Blue Jackets
C’bus has lost four straight subjecting Mason to “sophomore slump” talk. The Jackets have not exactly lit up the scoreboard for him lately however.

17. (17) New York Islanders
The Isles continue to battle every night. Roloson defies Father Time… uh, time and time again. His 58 saves Monday night were proof enough that he is not slowing down.

18. (16) Phoenix Coyotes
Phoenix wants to keep the score low. The Coyotes season has been astonishing considering all of the turmoil surrounding this tight knit group.

19. (9) Detroit Red Wings
Suddenly the Wings cannot score goals. Detroit has been unusually streaky thus far. Has this veteran team hit a wall?

20. (22) Vancouver Canucks
Henrik Sedin has been playing for his injured brother as well as himself and the team. The Canucks are getting healthy again and are making their move.

21. (15) Tampa Bay Lightning
Tampa lost to both Carolina and Toronto. They move down as a result. Has that happened to any other team this year? Stamkos and Malone are still the story. When they don’t get help, the Lightning don’t win.

22. (18) Atlanta Thrashers
The Thrashers lost three extremely tight games before shutting out Detroit this week. Atlanta never gives up, but need to stop digging holes for themselves early.

23. (23) Florida Panthers
The Panthers took care of Detroit and the Rangers, but then blew a late lead at home to Pittsburgh and were avenged by the same Rangers a few days later. Vokoun would do it all by himself if he could score regularly from the net.

24. (25) Montreal Canadiens
The Canadiens shipped problem child Latendresse to Minnesota and started playing better, losing only to the Stanley Cup Finalists. The Habs continue to push through despite recent injuries. They still are in dire need of getting Markov back.

25. (26) St. Louis Blues
Finally starting to score some goals. Mason and Conklin have been there for the Blues all season. If St. Louis is now ready to support them offensively they can do some damage in the West.

26. (28) Anaheim Ducks
The Duck have shown some life! Giguere won his first of the season. Anaheim is finally giving their fans hope that this season may not be lost after all.

27. (24) Edmonton Oilers
Edmonton’s scattered play keeps them struggling. A shutout one night, and then allowing 5 goals the next. They have lost Hemsky for the res of the season, so it will not get any easier.

28. (27) Minnesota Wild
The Wild have placed Martin Havlat on IR. If it were not for Carolina and Toronto having such horrible seasons, Minnesota would be the focus considering their fall. With so many changes both on and off the ice, it was expected for them to take time to adjust, but this is getting bad.

29. (29) Carolina Hurricanes
It’s a toss up as to what team is the worst, but the Canes have found their way to the basement missing Staal and Ward. What is Toronto’s excuse?

30. (30) Toronto Maple Leafs
The Leafs had won twice this week going into Friday’s action…and were still at the bottom of the league. This season can still be salvaged to some degree. The team is relatively healthy and has plenty of depth…will they do it?

Monday, November 23, 2009

NHL Believes a Knee Is More Important Than a Head

The NHL levied a five-game suspension on Montreal Canadiens forward Georges Laraque for his knee-on-knee hit on Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall.

Laraque, who earlier made headlines by appearing in a "sexist" alcohol related internet ad, is known for his pugilistic play on the ice, and his soft-hearted community contributions off the ice.  Although Laraque insisted that his collision with Kronwall was not malicious and that it "was a pure accident," at best it was a careless, and dangerous move. 

Whenever a player uses poor judgement that results in injuring an opponent, whether in anger or simple desperation, it is deserving of suspension.

Here is a look at the play:

However, regardless of all the hoopla made over head shots this season... little gems like this Mike Richards hit on David Booth go unpunished.

By comparison, Knonwall will miss some time with a severe knee sprain.  Booth, who was hit on the 24th of October is still out of the lineup as a result of his non-suspension run-in with Richards. The League has drawn a line in the sand ice. No shots to the... knee; Who needs a head anyway?

Friday, November 20, 2009

Friday Power Rankings

That's right, it's a regular feature! You can also see our rankings at:

The Blackhawks, Flyers, Blue Jackets and Predators climb, as the Penguins, Rangers and Leafs fall. Last week's ranking in parenthesis.

1. (2) San Jose Sharks
San Jose just keeps looking better overall each week. They are the regular season Sharks we are used to seeing. Free of the Captaincy, Patrick Marleau keeps filling the net and leading by example.

2. (9) Chicago Blackhawks
Making headlines with contract talks with Kane, Toews and Keith AND by winning five straight. The Hawks dominated Calgary last night.

3. (1) New Jersey Devils
The Devils choked on the pages of the record books, losing in OT and regulation in their last two road games. However they are still 8-1-1 in their last ten.

4. (4) Washington Capitals
Alex the Gr8 is back, and scored in his return. The Caps continue to lead the league in goals scored despite Ovechkin’s absence.

5. (3) Colorado Avalanche
Colorado loses a little steam now 4-5-1 in their last ten games. Milan Hejduk looks rejuvenated this season playing with talented youngsters.

6. (6) Buffalo Sabres
The Sabres snapped Philly’s win streak last weekend, but had an off game against the surging Panthers. Miller continues to impress regardless.

7. (10) Philadelphia Flyers
Everyone on the Flyers is contributing. After losing to Buffalo, Philadelphia had impressive back to back wins against New Jersey and LA.

8. (5) Pittsburgh Penguins
The injuries just keep on coming on the blueline. Gonchar in. McKee out. The Penguins have had injuries to all six defenseman. Mark Eaton had to play through it to avoid starting four AHL d-men last night.

9. (11) Detroit Red Wings
Zetterberg is back to being Zetterberg. The Wings have only lost twice in November.

10. (7) Los Angeles Kings
The Kings were hammered in Atlanta last Friday, but redeemed themselves with defensive gems in Tampa and Miami. Ryan Smyth was having a great season on Kopitar’s wing, but he will be out for a month. Time for Frolov to pick up the slack.

11. (8) Calgary Flames
Calgary slides after losing three of four; beating only lowly Toronto. Jarome Iginla continues scoring, but it hasn’t been quite enough.

12. (14) Columbus Blue Jackets
After getting whipped by Detroit last week, Columbus has won three in a row and did not give up more than two goals in any of those games. Filatov was sent back to Russia, but Nash, Huselius and Torres make sure that he will not be missed too much.

13. (12) Dallas Stars
Brad Richards and James Neal do all the heavy lifting, but the Stars keep trading one-goal wins and loses. Neal will sit the next two games for a hit from behind against Columbus.

14. (22) Nashville Predators
The Preds have won four in a row. Victories over top ranked New Jersey and San Jose make the streak even more worthy of a raised eyebrow.

15. (15) Tampa Bay Lightning
Up and down mini-West Coast swing keeps Tampa at fifteen. Strong performance at Phoenix followed by a let down in Anaheim. Stamkos and Malone have a chemistry that is giving opponents fits.

16. (16) Phoenix Coyotes
The ‘Yotes are 2-2 since last Friday. They win when giving up two goals or less; and lose when they don’t. Radim Vrbata is brick red hot.

17. (21) New York Islanders
The Islanders? Yes, the Islanders. Those youngsters can score and are 6-2-2 in their last ten. Maybe Garth Snow DOES KNOW what he is doing?

18. (17) Atlanta Thrashers
The Bruins halted a Thrasher’s four game win streak last night, but needed a shootout to do it. Kovalchuk’s long-term extension seems more and more likely as the season progresses. “Blueland” is a happy place as of late.

19. (20) Ottawa Senators
Ottawa is playing a more consistent game. Mr. Underwood, errrrr, Mike Fisher is doing his best to make Senator fans forget about Heatley. They pounced on Pittsburgh on the road last night, whipping them 6-2.

20. (13) New York Rangers
A slow week and much hotter teams push the Rangers down the list. Like the Coyotes, the Rangers can’t win when they give up more than two goals.

21. (18) Boston Bruins
The Bruins a treading water while waiting for Savard and Lucic to come back and save them. They have been giving up an abnormal amount of goals: 13 in their last three games in fact.

22. (19) Vancouver Canucks
Vancouver’s played only one game since last Friday. An 8-2 crushing of Colorado, but they had lost 3 straight before that, scoring only once in each loss.

23. (28) Florida Panthers
Florida is 6-3-1 in their last ten. Every win a different hero, but Vokoun has been a rock for them all season long.

24. (24) Edmonton Oilers
The Oilers had lost four in a row before beating the Avs on Wednesday; and have on two wins this month. Oilers fans never know what they are going to get on any given night.

25. (25) Montreal Canadiens
Montreal is now finding ways to lose in low scoring contests too. With the Caps (twice), Wings, Pens and Blue Jackets on the horizon, the Canadiens better start using the sticks with the goals in them soon.

26. (23) St. Louis Blues
Same story: St. Louis is getting the goaltending. Just not goals. The Blues have four games in November in which they scored only once.

27. (26) Minnesota Wild
The Wild have lost three in a row. Marian Gaborik seems like a much bigger loss than expected, no?

28. (27) Anaheim Ducks
Anaheim is having an awful season. Hiller and Giggy looked like Swiss cheese against Detroit and Pittsburgh. How long before heads begin to roll?

29. (30) Carolina Hurricanes
The Canes are AWESOME! Two wins this week, losing only in a shootout in Montreal. Carolina is on a one game win streak heading into Saturday’s contest versus Tampa!

30. (29) Toronto Maple Leafs
OK. Back to the dungeon Toronto. The Leafs have lost five straight including last nights loss to (of all teams) Carolina. You know it’s bad when Burke starts receiving SIGNED death threats!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Columbus and Filatov: Creating Zherdev Part II?

On Tuesday the Columbus Dispatch reported that "Blue Jackets rookie forward Nikita Filatov, who has struggled to remain in coach Ken Hitchcock's lineup, might be headed back to Russia, perhaps as soon as this week..."

On Wednesday the Blue Jackets agreed to loan him to CSKA Moscow of the KHL for the remainder of the season.

This situation is much more dicey than the team has let on. 

The Dispatch reported that coach Ken Hitchcock repeatedly has said Filatov has not been competitive enough, especially fighting for the puck and that Hitchcock had discussions with Filatov, telling him he did not want him to become another Nikolai Zherdev.

Hitchcock had similar issues with Zherdev's game before he was traded to the Rangers. 

The real problem with this agreement is that it was orchestrated by Filatov.  Last season he was sent to the Jackets' AHL affiliate in Syracuse.  Filatov was very effective at the AHL level and made it very clear to the team that he would not accept another assignment in the minors. Therefore, the team moved to accommodate him by striking the deal with his former KHL club.

Filatov clearly believes that he is ready to play in the NHL.  Skill wise, it is hard to disagree.  He played in 8 games last season in Columbus and scored a hat trick in one of them.  Yet his coach doesn't appreciate his work ethic...

"With another year of maturity and strength, and a really good offseason, Nikita should be ready to expand his horizons in the NHL," Hitchcock said.

Will bending over backwards to appease a players demands encourage him to mature? Make him work harder? Teach him to battle and help him get stronger playing in a league that is much less physically demanding than the NHL?

If Hitch does not want to see him become another Nik Zherdev, why would the Jackets send him to play with him?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Shanny Retires. Hall of Fame Beckons

Brendan Shanahan announced today what we all knew would happen after he "reconsidered" playing this season with New Jersey. He is retiring after twenty-one NHL seasons. (AP)

“I would like to thank my family and all of the friends who have helped me achieve and maintain my childhood dream of playing in the National Hockey League,” Shanahan said in a statement released by the NHL. “While I always dreamed of playing in the NHL, I can’t honestly say that I would have ever imagined that I’d be this fortunate and blessed. I would like to sincerely thank everyone who has helped me fulfill this dream.”

When eligible, Shanahan will be a Hall of Famer. How many 656 goal scorers aren't?
Shanahan won three Cups while playing with the Red Wings, and is the only player with 600 goals and 2,000 penalty minutes. Shanny was beloved by fans everywhere he played, particularly in Detroit where, as indicated by the aforementioned goals/penalty minutes, he could put up a Gordie Howe hat trick on any given night.

Shanahan was a leader by example, a clutch scorer, a nasty fighter, and a class act... everything one could hope for in a hockey player.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Penguins Blueline Suffers Further Damage

Already missing Sergei Gonchar, Brooks Orpik and Kris Letang, the Pittsburgh Penguins will now play without the services of Alex Goligoski.

"Go-go" will be out two to three weeks due to a "lower-body" injury.

The Penguins received a boost last Saturday when mega-star Evgeni Malkin returned to the lineup; but they lost Goligoski who still played in excess of twenty-eight minutes in that game necessitated by their already depleted blueline situation.

We cannot recall any time when a team has had to replace their top four defenseman before.

What will the Penguins do? Call up Pittsburgh native Nate Guenin of course!  The rate at which Pittsburgh is losing their defensemen may spark call ups Deryk Engelland, Ben Lovejoy and Guenin to advise their pals with the Baby Pens to keep their bags packed and ready for a trip to Pittsburgh.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Detroit's November: No Cinderella Story

The Red Wings started the season by dropping their first two games to St. Louis in Sweden.  They finished October having lost seven games.  Although a slight exaggeration, this is a team that doesn't normally lose it's seventh game until December!

Maybe their slow start was a result of this veteran squad not getting much time off after two straight runs to the finals.  Maybe this missed Marian Hossa, Mikael Samuelsson, Jiri Hudler and Tomas Kopecky more than anyone expected.

Whatever the reason, happy days are here again for Detroit. 
Tonight, Henrik Zetterberg put on a show. Hank had three goals and two assists in the Red Wings' 7-4 victory over the Anaheim Ducks.

November has been kind to the Wings. Former captain SteveYzerman was inducted into the Hall of Fame.  Future Hall of Famer, and current captain, Nicklas Lidstrom was honored by the NHL in a pre-game ceremony for reaching 1,000 points... and The team has now won three straight and five of their six games this month.

Cinderella's coach turned back into a pumpkin. She was not pleased. Yet the Wings could not have had a better time since pumpkins started to appear on neighborhood porches.  Detroit is back in a big way and has no wicked step mother to fear!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Friday NHL Power Rankings

In honor of our esteemed comrades at Frozen War Room, Hockey Plumber is proud to present the first in a new weekly feature: The Friday NHL Power Rankings. Parenthesis indicate last weeks ranking courtesy of the War Room.

The Devils, Sharks, Flyers and Wings make moves to the top, while the Penguins, Canadiens and Canes go South.

1. (11) New Jersey Devils

The Devils cannot be beaten on the road. Their 9-0-0 away mark closes in on a NHL record. They are also performing well at home and move to the top spot.

2. (6) San Jose Sharks

Heatley and the Sharks are on a tear. They have more points than New Jersey, but have played three more games.

3. (2) Colorado Avalanche

The Avs keep on winning. 6-3-1 in their last ten. Everyone outside of Denver is just waiting for the bubble to burst… doesn’t look like that is going to happen any time soon!

4. (4) Washington Capitals

Ovechkin is out. Washington can’t keep it up, right? Wrong. The undeterred Caps have won 3 straight.

5. (1) Pittsburgh Penguins

The defending Champs have everyone injured. They have lost 4 in a row, but get Malkin back on Saturday.

6. (3) Buffalo Sabres

Ryan Miller continues his outstanding play. His 1.82 GAA through 13 games is all you need to know to understand why the Sabres stay high on the list. Too bad he can’t start every night as Lalime has been shaky to say the least.

7. (5) Los Angeles Kings

Anze Kopitar stays tied with Ovechkin for the league lead in goals. The Kings are getting goals from all their forwards and solid play from the blueline and goaltender Jonathan Quick.

8. (8) Calgary Flames

The Flames stay with the Kings and Avs by winning their last four games. Jarome Iginla is starting to look like his old self again. Calgary fans have to be optimistic now that Rene Bourque is getting some help.

9. (7) Chicago Blackhawks

The Hawks have suffered through some injury issues. That Marian Hossa guy has yet to play for them… We’ve heard he’s pretty good! Watch out for Chicago when they finally get healthy.

10. (14) Philadelphia Flyers

Philly has ripped off 5 straight and is starting to look like the team all the experts predicted they would be. Simon Gagne’s annual injury has materialized. Scott Hartnell has decided to stop chewing on opponents and start scoring goals instead.

11. (22) Detroit Red Wings

After a dismal start, the Wings start to get it together. They are 6-2-2 in their last ten thanks to Tomas Holmstrom and Niklas Kronwall. Do they continue to climb? Ask the goaltenders.

12. (13) Dallas Stars

The Stars would be higher on this list if they were better after the third period. Six OT losses means they keep it close but don’t finish teams.

13. (9) New York Rangers

The Rangers rollercoaster continues. Gaborik and crew have filled the net, but they also have given up too many. 3-6-1 in their last ten.

14. (16) Columbus Blue Jackets

The 9-1 drubbing by Detroit had to hurt. Mason is sophomore slumping? No matter, Rick Nash can handle things all on his own most nights… or he will need to with injuries to Huselius and the surprising Raffi Torres.

15. (21) Tampa Bay Lightning

Stamkos and Malone keep the goals coming. If they could get goals from ANYONE else, their 5 OT losses would not be there and Tampa would actually be scary. “Backup” netminder Antero Niittymaki has been terrific.

16. (10) Phoenix Coyotes

Phoenix continues their stellar defensive play, but they can’t seem to score enough. They are 4-6-0 in their last ten moving them down the list a bit.

17. (23) Atlanta Thrashers

No Ilya Kovalchuk. No Problem. The Thrashers didn’t panic when their superstar captain went down. Rich Peverley and Zach Bogosian have made sure there is just enough to get by without #17. If they can start winning at home, Atlanta keeps climbing the list.

18. (18) Boston Bruins

The Bruins continue to flirt with mediocrity. Without Marc Savard and Milan Lucic out, Boston stays near .500. Tim Thomas has continued his stingy ways in the net, but can’t seem to find the wins.

19. (12) Vancouver Canucks

Vancouver’s 10-10-0 record illustrates that it is difficult to be consistent when injuries strike key players. Daniel Sedin, Luongo and Demitra’s time out of the lineup makes it difficult on the Canucks to stay on top of things.

20. (20) Ottawa Senators

Jason Spezza has 1 goal through 14 games. Do you think he misses Dany Heatley? Sens have been erratic thus far. Make a comeback one night, blow a two goal lead in the next. Leclaire and Elliott need to be better.

21. (26) New York Islanders

The Isles have competed every night. Like Dallas and Tampa, their 6 OT losses keep them from being higher in the standings. However, the Islanders were not expected to play as well as they have to date. Is their 6-6-6 overall record a bad omen? Are the Devils happy about it?

22. (24) Nashville Predators
The Predators continue to be the Predators. Better than everyone else expects. Not as good as their fans hope them to be. The team’s best goal scorer is a defenseman. Need we say more?

23. (17) St. Louis Blues

St. Louis is getting the goaltending. Just not the goals.

24. (19) Edmonton Oilers

The Oilers are 2-7-1 in their last ten. Dustin Penner is now the guy GM Kevin Lowe paid for, but this one man show can’t play on the road.

25. (15) Montreal Canadiens

Carey Price is great in shootouts… but sub-par in regulation. The Canadiens cannot be counted out…nor in.

26. (28) Minnesota Wild

Martin Havlat has two goals. Let that sink in… they were scored 11 games apart. Not good.

27. (25) Anaheim Ducks

Corey Perry cannot be stopped. Ryan Getzlaf cannot score. J-S. Giguere says he’d rather retire than be a backup. His .895 save percentage and 3.64 GAA say he should retire!

28. (29) Florida Panthers

David Booth survived an attempted decapitation by Mike Richards. The Panthers just try to survive. Tomas Vokoun has faced 459 in 13 games. That is more than 35 shots per night! He’s nearly impregnable most nights. Nearly.

29. (30) Toronto Maple Leafs

Good news Maple Leaf fans: Your team is better than Carolina!

30. (27) Carolina Hurricanes

The Canes are abysmal. 0-8-2 in their last ten, winless in 13 straight. Eric Staal is suffering his brother’s Stanley Cup hangover and Cam Ward is gone after a fluke leg laceration.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Two Long Seasons Too Much on Pens?

The injuries continue to pile up for the defending champion Penguins.  After suffering their third consecutive defeat at the hands of the Boston Bruins on Tuesday, Pittsburgh found out that they will be without hit machine Brooks Orpik for the next few weeks.

Orpik's injury only compounds the Penguins' woes. Already playing without top defensemen Sergei Gonchar and Kris Letang, they are missing three of their top four blueliners. Additionally, they are without the services of All-World center Evgeni Malkin, winger Tyler Kennedy, who was off to a hot start, and Stanley Cup hero forward Max Talbot.

The Penguins started the season out to prove that there would be no Cup hangover. They stormed out of the gates with team record 10 wins in October.  Yet, even the Champions are not immune to  the injury bug, and the wear and tear is beginning to show.

Gonchar, Malkin and Kennedy will be back on the ice soon which will help their ailing powerplay.  Having played so deep into the post-season two consecutive years may be catching up to them. It is interesting to see this young team suffer so many boo boos.  The only other team that can truly understand the toll that the prior two Cups runs have exacted on Pittsburgh is the Red Wings.  They have had injury concerns and have suffered an unusually slow start of their own.

Could it be that playing more than 100+ games per season is just too much to ask of a team?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Alex Ovechkin ‘week-to-week’... How did this happen?

Look at Hockey Plumbers last post.  Are we now the "Hockey Prophet"? Although he reads our blog everyday, this isn't an elaborate hoax put together by The Plumber and Ovi.

(AP)—"The Washington Capitals say Alex Ovechkin(notes) is 'week-to-week' with an upper-body injury.

The Capitals said Monday that the two-time league MVP suffered an 'upper-body strain' in Sunday’s overtime loss to Columbus.

Ovechkin had an MRI and will travel with the team while receiving treatment.

Ovechkin has missed only four games—and just two because of injury—since coming to the NHL in 2005. He sat out once during his rookie season with a groin injury and couldn’t suit up for one game last season because of a bruised heel. He also missed two games last season to be with his ailing grandfather in Russia.

Ovechkin appeared to hurt his left shoulder or left arm during a second-period scrum that started when he was bumped by Jason Chimera(notes). Ovechkin responded with a shove, and players from both teams quickly joined in.

Ovechkin stayed in the game, but later in the period became tangled with Raffi Torres(notes) and fell to the ice. He got up grimacing and gingerly skated directly to the locker room."

When we mentioned that it may be only a matter of time until Ovechkin gets injured, it was not contemplated that it would be less than a week after.  Visit Hockey Plumber EVERYDAY or we will write a story about how YOU will be injured soon!