2.07.2007

Injury streaks turn on, off after lockout

Well, I've seen a lot of players who have either become or lost their injury-proneness. Here are a few significant ones.
Tim Connolly- Actually, it's hard to determine whether or not his has changed at all. Connolly had some serious concussion problems going into the lockout, but then played a little in Europe during it. During the 05-06 season, Connolly missed some games, but managed a career high 55 points in 63 games. Then, he received another concussion during the playoffs, where he was almost MVP and could have led the Sabres to the Stanley Cup. This year, his status has been largely uncertain, but now it appears as though he could return in March. If he manages to stay concussion-free and regains his playoff greatness, then the Sabres have a huge chance of winning the Cup this year.
Chuck Kobasew- Before and during the lockout, Kobasew was a consistent 70-75 game player. Even last year, he managed 77 games and scored 20 goals. The Flames are wondering where this Chuck Kobasew is taking his vacation, because the current Chuck Kobasew has missed as many games as anyone else on the roster. First, he was out with a concussion in January that lost him 10 games in. Now, a broken elbow has had him sidelined since his first game back from the concussion.
Frantisek Kaberle- Kaberle was a strong offensive defenseman who averaged between 50-70 games a year. Last season he was the Canes' best defenseman with a career high 44 points, and probably became one of the few defensemen to be credited with a Stanley Cup winning goal. That category includes Bobby Orr. Then, a major hit to Carolina's defense when they figured out he would need shoulder surgery. He missed his team's first 55 games with an injury only defined as "shoulder*". But, fortunately, he has returned to his offensive style, scoring a key goal in his first game back.
Gee, it's hard to find some players who have stopped having injury years. But one has prevailed........
Eric Lindros!- Yes, the original Next One has finally tossed aside his concussion-ed years. At least for now. Lindros is famously known for having a concussed career, but now he has almost played as many games as anyone else on his team. Sort of. But he has played more games than he did in his past two seasons. Through 43 games this year, he has not exactly been his dominating offensive force, only getting 5 goal, but 21 assists. He caused a small shock wave by joining a Southern team for the first time in his covered hockey career, and now he is causing some aftershock by staying healthy.
- Darcy Tucker was the most-wanted super pest in the league, according to people who read the polls for www.nhl.com. The other choices were Sean Avery, Matthew Barnanby, Ian Laperriere, Chris Neil, Jarkko Ruutu, and Jordin Tootoo. Tucker has 19 goals and 31 points, along with 63 PIM's. Avery has 10 goals, 29 points, and 116 PIM's, Barnaby has 1 goal, 7 points and 127 PIM's, Laperriere has 2 goals, 16 points and 100 PIM's, Neil has 10 goals, 21 points, and 115 PIM's, Ruutu has 4 goals, 11 points, and 93 PIM's, and Tootoo has 2 goals, 5 points, and 78 PIM's. Personally, I like Chris Neil, because he isn't a quote, provides some leadership, and doesn't focus on goals or assists, instead being nearly even on each of them.
- Sean Avery actually did quite well in his Rangers debut. He assisted on a tying goal, provided some roughness, got key playing time in OT, and kept his PIM's down to 2 minutes on a goaltender interference call. However, the one spot he is clearly not so skilled in, the shootout, caused the Rangers loss.
Later!

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