Top Line: Chris Pronger update, Hawks' streak hits two dozen, more links
By Allan Muir
A notated guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:
• Love him or hate him, it's really tough to read just how bad things are for Chris Pronger as he tries to get his life back in order after suffering a concussion back in 2011.
• Despite another horrific injury, the NHLPA continues to fight the call for mandatory visor use. Gotta love a union that's always looking out for the best interests of its members.
• The Rangers picked up Roman Hamrlik on waivers to help fill the hole left by Staal. Interestingly, the move makes it unlikely New York will re-sign Mats Zuccarello when his Russian season ends.
• The Avs were just the fourth team to take a lead into the third period on the Hawks, but a shorty from Captain Serious (note: stop typing Captain Sensible) and a last-minute tally from Daniel Carcillo extended Chicago's point streak to 24 games. Some thoughts from coach Joel Quenneville on the cliffhanger, the streak, Car Bomb's comeback and more.
• The win moves the Hawks closer to another NHL record: 35 consecutive games with at least a point. It sounds like the members of the 1979-80 Flyers are okay with that...under one condition.
• Carey Price was smashing sticks in frustration during practice ahead of tonight's game against the Canes. No guarantee he gets the start, but if he does, he needs a bounceback effort in the worst way.
• Name a potentially available player ahead of the deadline and chances are the Bruins have been mentioned in a rumor involving his acquisition. But for all the talk of big names, a smaller deal to improve their third-line depth makes the most sense. Ryane Clowe makes a lot of sense.
• The next two or three weeks will determine whether the Red Wings will be buyers or sellers at the deadline. Pro hint: they'll be buyers.
• Miikka Kiprusoff earned his 300th win as a Flame in his return to action last night after a month-long stint on the IR. More important than the win though is what his presence means for Calgary's chances down the stretch. (Al says: They're still not that good, buddy.)
• Wow. Here's something I didn't know. Apparently Calgary's retool-rather-than-rebuild plan is the same approach being used to great success by the Canadiens. With that in mind, I now see nothing but long-term success for the Flames. #LizLemoneyeroll
• The Senators say David Dziurzynski has a concussion after being knocked out by a hard Frazer McLaren right last night. One observer said it reminded him of the incident that ended the career of former Maple Leaf Nick Kypreos, while Ken Campbell says this is the sort of incident that demands re-opening the debate over fighting.
• The third time was the charm as Anaheim finally knocked off the Coyotes in the third of three straight meetings between the teams. Putting Bobby Ryan back on the top line paid instant dividends. He probably shouldn't get too comfortable there, given Bruce Boudreau's history of line tinkering.
• Lou Lamoriello says Martin Brodeur has not suffered a setback in his recovery from back problems. Of course, that might be wishful thinking for a guy whose team dressed Keith Kinkaid last night and is looking at Jeff Frazee next.
• Six NHL teams attended a fancy stats conference at MIT this week. I'm fascinated by this emerging field so I'll read anything that connects it to hockey...but it sounds like I'm not the only one still skeptical about the broad applicability of advanced analysis to our sport.
• Nipissing University defenseman Brett Cook has been suspended for life after slugging a linesman in OUA action. • Speaking of college hockey, UBC is relying on a 36-year-old freshman on their path to a national championship.