Tue Mar 11 12:55pm EDT
Kimmo Timonen’s in an interesting career crossroads, ahead of what assumes is the end of the road for his NHL career.
The nearly 39-year-old defenseman seems to have discovered a fountain of youth amidst the stray dogs of Sochi: He has seven points in four games since the Olympic break, including two goals in the Philadelphia Flyers’ overtime loss at Toronto on Saturday. He’s playing well as the Flyers push for the playoffs and potentially achieve Timonen’s dream of winning the Stanley Cup.
It’s that dream that brought him back to the Flyers for one season at $6 million.
“That’s why I’m still here,” he told CSN Philly. “It keeps you motivated every night, thinking about that I still have a chance to get it. Hopefully it’s this year.”
But is it a dream that’ll bring him back to the NHL again next season?
Timonen told Sarah Baicker of CSN that he’s undecided about next season. It all depends on how his body reacts to this season and if he believes he can rev up the engine for another 82 games in 2014-15.
It’s a familiar refrain for those who followed players like Nicklas Lidstrom near the end: Players that still had something left in the tank, had family considerations and didn’t want to leave the NHL as a parody of themselves.
If he returns, it won’t be for $6 million, that’s certain. Will it be with the Flyers?
Philly has four defenseman under contract next season including Mark Streit, who plays a similar game to Timonen. One assumes they’ll re-up Andrew MacDonald, their deadline acquisition from the Islanders. Then there’s the Shea Weber ghost haunting the blue line; could they reinvestigate that angle with a rebuilding Nashville?
But Philly or otherwise, one of the most underrated defensemen of his era has a decision to make if the Flyers fall short of the Cup this season.
Sometimes it gets to the point where you have to say, OK, that’s enough, and move on and do some other stuff in your life and focus on your family, because this job takes a lot of time away from your family,” he told CSN. “But winning the Stanley Cup is the ultimate goal, and hopefully we can do it this year and move on.”
Tue Mar 11 10:36am EDT
It was chaos.
Rich Peverley had come off the ice on a line change Monday night against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Roughly 30 seconds later, he was keeled over on the Dallas Stars bench.
“I instantly stood on the bench and started screaming up in the crowd for a doctor,” said Coach Lindy Ruff. “And actually there was I think one lady put her hand up. I think she had a Stars jersey on, said she was a doctor. I was just screaming to let the doctors know we needed somebody ASAP and they were there ASAP.”
Ruff knew Peverley’s health history: He had an ‘a-fib’ condition that was treated in the preseason, as doctors shocked his heart to get it back into the proper rhythm. He missed the preseason but felt fine through much of the regular season. Then, last week, Peverley missed a game with Dallas because he “felt strange” but returned to the lineup for games against Vancouver and Minnesota, in which he had three points.
But on Monday, something was very, very wrong.
“I was scared,” said Ruff. “My first emotion was we need somebody here real quick. When he dropped, it was red alert.”
The Dallas Stars medical staff answered the alarm.
Head athletic trainer Dave Zeis and team physician William Robertson carried Peverley by his feet and hands to the back. That’s where a team of medical staff and physicians sprung to action to deal with his “cardiac event.”
“That team is made up of internal medicine doctors, orthopedic surgeons, trauma surgeons, trauma doctors, airway specialists, they’re all here to respond to incidents like this along with the Dallas Fire and Rescue paramedic staff,” said Dr. Bill Robertson, head team physician for the Stars.
How was Peverley treated on-site?
According to Gil Salazar of UT Southwestern Medical Center: “We provided oxygen for him. We started an IV. We did chest compressions on him and defibrillated him, provided some electricity to bring a rhythm back to his heart, and that was successful with one attempt, which is very reassuring.”
It was the standard procedure for a case like this, and Peverley soon regained consciousness. He was transported in an ambulance to St. Paul Hospital, UT-Southwestern St. Paul with his wife at his side, lucid enough to tell Salazar that he wanted to get back in the game. (Hey, he was on a point streak…)
The fast response was indicative of the way medical staffing has changed during NHL games over the years. As former goalie Marty Biron noted last night:
“I was there firsthand,” said Ruff, “and if it wasn’t for our doctors and all the members reacting so quickly and so efficiently, I could be standing here with a different story. But they did an absolutely fabulous job.”
Tue Mar 11 09:05am EDT
After Finland’s women’s team was eliminated in the quarterfinals by Sweden at last month’s Olympic tournament in Sochi, goaltender Noora Raty announced that she was retiring from the national team. The 24-year old also noted she was retiring from club play, but only if she couldn’t find a competitive league to participate in.
With the lack of professional women’s hockey leagues around the world, Raty will be taking her skills and facing off against men. The netminder will join Kiekko Vantaa of the Mestis League, Finland’s second highest division, next season after signing a one-year deal.
She has been an outspoken critic of the way Finland’s ice hockey association treats women players, demanding improved facilities and training conditions. She says that she will not be a big star for Kiekko Vantaa, but is likely to play a few minutes here and there to allow the number one goalie to take a breather.
”Even though the contract has been signed, that doesn’t guarantee anything,” said Räty. “The challenge will be big. Now I need to work hard and change words into deeds.”
Last week, gold medal-winning Canadian goaltender Shannon Szabados signed a contract for the rest of the season with the SPHL's Columbus Cottonmouths, days after practicing with the Edmonton Oilers.
Raty will become the second female to play in the Mestis league, joining Canadian hockey icon Hayley Wickenheiser, who played with HC Salamat for 22 games over two seasons.
Stick-tap Lauri S.
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Tue Mar 11 09:03am EDT
Next Monday is Saint Patrick's Day, the day where my people celebrate the patron saint who brought Christianity to Ireland. The rest of you celebrate by wearing green, drinking Guinness and asking random people to kiss you because you're Irish for the day. (OK, I do all that stuff as well.)
Patrick Sharp recently got in the spirit of things and while teaming up with the Illinois Lottery, had a creepy leprechaun lure Blackhawks fans to the team store to meet the Olympic gold medalist.
If you saw a leprechaun in your city dancing a jig and holding a sign telling you to follow him "to the gold," chances are you'd probably find a nearby police officer or, at the very least, Chris Hansen.
This isn't the first time Sharp has surprised Blackhawks fans. For Valentine's Day, he dressed up as a dog and delivered a gift basket to an unsuspecting fan. We're disappointed he wasn't in the leprechaun suit. Maybe he needs work on his Irish jig?
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Tue Mar 11 02:59am EDT
Let’s begin with an obvious nod to the Dallas Stars and Columbus Blue Jackets medical staffs for their proactive and immediate reaction to Rich Peverley’s health scare that postponed the teams’ game on Monday night.
No. 1 Star: Phil Kessel, Toronto Maple Leafs
The Maple Leafs star had a goal and two assists in their 3-1 win over the Anaheim Ducks in Randy Carlyle’s return to Anaheim. He had a secondary helper on Tyler Bozak’s goal and scored his 34th in the first; he then assisted on Paul Ranger’s second-period goal. Jonathan Bernier had 43 saves in the win.
No. 2 Star: Matt Duchene, Colorado Avalanche
Duchene scored at 2:33 of overtime to give the Avs a 3-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets. He schooled Dustin Byfuglien with a spin move in the corner, fired the puck off Tobias Enstrom and then collected the rebound for his 21st of the season.
No. 3 Star: Chris Kunitz, Pittsburgh Penguins
Kunitz opened and closed the scoring for the Penguins in their 3-2 win at the Washington Capitals. He caught Mike Green flat-footed just 46 seconds into the game, and then tallied his 31st goal of the year at 12:40 of the second. Sidney Crosby had a goal and two assists in the win.
Honorable mention: The New York Islanders scored seven third-period goals, including four in 5:08, to rally and beat the Vancouver Canucks, 7-4. Kyle Okposo had three assists. … The Los Angeles Kings scored the first three goals of the game and then held off a Calgary Flames’ rally for a 3-2 victory. Anze Kopitar had the game-winner. … Seth Jones collected a rebound of a Ryan Ellis breakaway shot at 3:49 of overtime in the Nashville Predators’ 4-3 win over the Ottawa Senators. Jason Spezza and Ales Hemsky had three point games in the loss. … Radim Vrbata scored the lone goal of the shootout as the Phoenix Coyotes topped the Tampa Bay Lightning, 4-3. Ondrej Palat had two goals and an assist. …
Did You Know? The Islanders tied an NHL record for road goals in a period with 7.
Dishonorable mention: Shea Weber and Roman Josi were a minus-3. … Craig Anderson was pulled after stopping 26 of 29 shots, following a collision with Milan Michalek. … The Canucks took three minor penalties in the third and gave up three power-play goals on seven times shorthanded.
Tue Mar 11 01:39am EDT
Every time the Vancouver Canucks hit rock bottom this season, there’s seemingly another rock bottom to hit. Their 7-4 loss to the New York Islanders on Monday night – in which the Islanders scored all seven goals in the third period – might actually have the Canucks nearing the Earth’s core.
“This is a kick in the teeth,” said Coach John Tortorella after the game.
There was no classic Torts explosion in the postgame. Every question asked received at least a dozen-word answer. He seemed as flabbergasted as the rest of us over a team that’s now lost 12 of its last 14 games; a coach desperately trying to remain positive for a team just four points out of a playoff spot, but feeling as though they’re 40 away.
“I have to try to show them the good things that we did,” he said.
One of the few players Tortorella mentioned by name was goalie Eddie Lack, who stopped just 21 of 27 shots. The Islanders’ fourth goal, by Frans Nielsen, was a stoppable shots that beat Lack to complete a 5 minute, 9 second sprint to the lead.
“Eddie makes a mistake there. Don’t put this all on Eddie, but he makes a mistake there,” said Tortorella.
“I just don’t think [Jacob] Markstrom’s ready and Eddie has fought back in situations like this before.”
But again, the Canucks are four points out of the final wild card spot, although the Dallas Stars have three games in-hand.
“It’s going to be a tough one to move by. But somehow we gotta figure out how to get by it,” said Tortorella.
Mon Mar 10 09:15pm EDT
Rich Peverley of the Dallas Stars collapsed on their bench during the first period of Monday night's game against the Columbus Blue Jackets, and was immediately tended to by medical personnel before being taken to the hospital.
After a lengthy delay, and with the players on both teams stunned, the NHL elected to postpone the rest of the game.
The NHL's statement:
Dallas player Rich Peverley is doing well and is in stable condition. He has has been transported to the hospital. As a result of the emotional state of the players on both teams caused by the medical emergency, the game is being postponed. We apologize for any inconvenience and we thank the fans.
With 13:37 left in the first period, Dallas players started pouring over the boards to get the officials’ attention to stop the action. The Blue Jackets’ players stood up and craned their necks to the left toward the Dallas bench, where personnel were frantically surrounding Peverley.
Trainers quickly carried him to the back without a stretcher by his hands and legs. The players stood around for several minutes, some players on one knee on the ice, before both teams returned to their locker rooms.
Here's the scene as it unfolded in the game:
And a longer look (no sound):
Peverely was conscious upon being transferred to a local hospital for further evaluation, according to the Stars.
"First thing Rich asked me when I spoke to him was, 'How much time left in the period?' You know, typical athlete," said Coach Lindy Ruff. "When he dropped. It was red alert. Don't worry about the game. It was about getting the doctors."
Here's Stars doctor Gil Salazar:
Peverely had a procedure before the season to correct an irregular heartbeat. From the Dallas News, Stars GM Jim Nill said:
“It turns out he had an `a-fib’ condition,” Nill said. “He’ll be out three weeks and should be available close to the start of the season. He might miss one or two games.”
Nill said the procedure entailed shocking the heart and getting it back into rhythm. He said that the training staff did a good job of picking up the problem when looking at his EKG during his physical.
“The medical staff did a great job, they recognized this,” Nill said. “They picked it up on the EKG, and he’s going to be fine.”
But the heart issue resurfaced last week. Peverely "felt strange" after a game on March 3 and then missed the Stars' next game against Columbus on March 4. He returned to the lineup on Thursday, March 6.
“It was the same thing,” Coach Lindy Ruff told the Dallas News. “He’s been monitoring it the whole year and this might have been the first or second time it’s come around, but it’s something he has to deal with and it’s something that obviously we’re aware of.”
Peverely, 31, was acquired from the Boston Bruins in the Tyler Seguin trade.
Mon Mar 10 08:51pm EDT
Think about the day you’re having. Perhaps it’s a good day. Perhaps it’s a bad day.
But no matter what kind of day it is, it’s undoubtedly better than the day Cody Ceci of the Ottawa Senators is having. Because Cody Ceci took a Shea Weber slap shot to the head.
Here’s the aftermath, as the Sens defenseman crumpled to the ice after taking the NHL’s second-hardest shot to the noggin.
Check out a GIF of the shot via SB Nation.
Ceci fell to the ice in front of Ottawa goalie Craig Anderson after he was hit on the side of the head by Weber's drive from inside the blue line at 10:21 of the first period. The 20-year-old rookie was bleeding from the right side of his head as he was helped off the ice to the dressing room.
The Senators reported that “Ceci will not return to tonight's game after sustaining a laceration behind his right ear.”
Well, yeah …
Mon Mar 10 06:08pm EDT
Here is the Puck Daddy Viewing Guide: Spotlighting five things to watch for during tonight's slate of games. Make sure to stop back here for the nightly Three Stars when the games are finished.
Create-a-Caption: "Dallas Stars goalie Tim Thomas (30) skates on the ice prior to the game against the Vancouver Canucks at the American Airlines Center."
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Preview: Pittsburgh Penguins at Washington Capitals, 7 p.m.
Preview: Nashville Predators at Ottawa Senators, 7:30 p.m.
Preview: Phoenix Coyotes at Tampa Bay Lightning, 7:30 p.m.
Preview: Columbus Blue Jackets at Dallas Stars, 8:30 p.m.
Preview: Winnipeg Jets at Colorado Avalanche, 9 p.m.
Preview: Los Angeles Kings at Calgary Flames, 9 p.m.
Preview: New York Islanders at Vancouver Canucks, 10 p.m.
Preview: Toronto Maple Leafs at Anaheim Ducks, 10 p.m.
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Five things to know about tonight's NHL games ...
1) Feelin’ Randy in Anaheim. Randy Carlyle returns to Anaheim for the first time since he was fired in 2011. What’s changed at Honda Center? "I see players have new cars," Carlyle said.
2) Kuzy Time. Evgeny Kuznetsov will make his debut for the Capitals as a fourth liner tonight, roughly two years after he should have.
3) Gillis Pleads With Fans. GM Mike Gillis sent a letter to Canucks fans. “We need to get younger, faster and stronger to succeed. That process is happening now, as we look to retool by surrounding our veteran stars with new, young talent. You can look at Anaheim as a recent example of a team that has retooled successfully.” Wait, the Anaheim team that hasn’t been out of the quarters since 2009? Or the one that won the Cup?
4) Timmy Time. Tim Thomas gets his first start for the Stars after Kari Lehtonen’s injury. He faces Curtis McElhinney.
5) Stastny Out. Paul Stastny is out on Monday with a back injury. Nathan MacKinnon skates with Gabriel Landeskog and Jamie McGinn in his stead.
Bold prediction: Martin Jones pitches an 18-save shutout against Calgary.
Mon Mar 10 05:31pm EDT
The NHL is out to end head shots, but they're still willing to condone the occasional punch to the head. That's not a headshot. I mean, sure, it's a shot directly to the head, but it's different.
And still, they draw the line at sneaky punches. NO SNEAKY PUNCHES.
It would appear that Jordan Nolan forgot about this distinction, unfortunately, so he's been handed a gentle reminder in the form of a one-game suspension for this cheap and despicable sucker-punch on Jesse Joensuu of the Edmonton Oilers.
"It is perfectly reasonable for Joensuu to expect that he will not be punched in this situation."
Story of my life.
This might be the rare instance where the Department of Player Safety's video does more damage than good. Rather than explaining things, it just serves to confuse. As we see what Nolan did from multiple angles, it seems pretty clear that this calls for more than a brief one-game grounding, so when Patrick Burke explains, at the end, that this is all Nolan is getting, it's a stunner.
The argument for more games is right there in the script.
"It's important to note that not only are Joensuu's arms tied up by the linesmen," says Patrick Burke, "but the scrum has essentially ended when Nolan decides to throw this punch."
A punch, Burke adds, that's thrown with significant force. How is punching a completely defenseless and unsuspecting opponent that flipping hard worthy of just one game?
Explain to me how what I'm seeing here gets one-fifteenth the suspension that Shawn Thornton got for doing something similar to Brooks Orpik. Fewer games, I can understand, I guess, since Joensuu didn't leave on a stretcher. But that's just dumb luck. Are we letting luck hand out the suspensions now?
Nolan may have a relatively clean rap sheet, this strikes me as more than a one-gamer. My guess is it struck Joensuu similarly.