James O'Brien

Hockey Daily Dose

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Evgeni Malkin makes a mark

Wednesday, December 21, 2011



TWO GOALIES GET HURT

 

Tuesday was a costly night for some teams when it comes to injuries, but the biggest blows might have landed in net. Al Montoya and Mike Smith left their respective games and did not return.

 

Montoya was absolutely clobbered by Evander Kane, who might get some attention from Brendan Shanahan amid all the concern of Lucic-on-Miller-like collisions. It certainly didn’t look good for the closest thing the New York Islanders have had to a stable No. 1 goalie, but updates were scarce last night.

 

While Montoya was injured because of a crease crashing collision, Smith’s injury was a cousin to the ailment that inflicted Kari Lehtonen. The big Phoenix Coyotes goalie stretched to make a save and either pulled his groin/injured another part of his “lower-body” or hurt his arm. The consensus seems to be a lower-body issue. Either way, he’ll be re-evaluated today.


CAPS ACT LIKE CAPS

 

Alex Ovechkin and Alexander Semin scored in the first game for the first time this season. It is December 21. There hasn’t been a lockout and they’ve both played in most contests. How does that happen?

 

Tuesday night seemed like a glimpse into an alternate reality where the Washington Capitals are the Washington Capitals most of us expected. About the only fantasy quibble is that Michal Neuvirth received his fourth consecutive start, which has to worry the many disappointed owners who drafted Tomas Vokoun as their top goalie.

 

Vokoun will likely get back in the mix, but hopefully he’ll play in front of a team that looks a lot like the one that beat the hot Nashville Predators 4-1 on Dec. 21.


QUICK HITS

 

To the surprise of people without hockey fan friends, TVs or Internet access, Darryl Sutter was officially named the coach of the Los Angeles Kings … Jarome Iginla remains red-hot in the month of December as he factored into both Flames goals (1G, 1A) in a 2-1 win against struggling Minnesota … Kyle Turris earned an assist in his Ottawa debut. All he needs is about 30 more this season to shut his critics up … It might be a while before Ryan Miller straightens things out, but if you ever wanted to get him for cheap, punch up those trade offers now.


INJURY SNIPES

 

Mikael Samuelsson barely got a tan in Florida before he suffered another injury. The rumor is that this one could have concussion potential. It’s probably wise to cut ties with him since he’s a fringe guy anyway … Jesse Winchester also had his “bell rung” on Tuesday … Colby Armstrong hid his concussion from Toronto’s staff for a bit, but he’s now out indefinitely. (Click here for the full injury list.)



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James O'Brien is the Hockey Daily Dose's author and has been a contributor to NBC's Pro Hockey Talk for more than two years. Follow him on Twitter.
Email :James O'Brien



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