Archive for the ‘Ouch’ Category

The Pittsburgh Penguins broke their silence Friday and announced that the mysterious injury that has kept Kris Letang out since January 27th is a stroke. Not the flu, not mono, not any of the other usual garbage that young healthy people get, but a stroke. Strokes are uncommon in young people (but not impossible), and the team has said that they believe a congenital heart abnormality may have been the cause. How can this happen? And how can only six weeks possibly be how long he’ll be out?


Kris Letang’s last game was January 27th against Buffalo. An episode of nausea and dizziness on the 29th kept him out of the LA game on 30th, but he continued to travel with the team. When his symptoms still hadn’t cleared by the time the team hit Phoenix a couple of days later, he underwent some tests. Those tests were suspicious for a stroke, and Letang was sent back to Pittsburgh for yet more testing. In the course of all the diagnostics, doctors discovered “a very small hole in the wall of his heart since birth”, which could have precipitated the stroke. That’s a lot of information to take in all at once, and none of it seems to make sense in the context of a young, healthy athlete.


Nausea and Dizziness? That’s a stroke?


While there are two kinds of strokes – ischemic and hemorrhagic – the outcomes can run the gamut from death to major (or minor) disability to almost no side effects at all. Ischemic stroke is caused by an interruption in blood supply to a certain part of the brain – like from a clot. Hemorrhagic strokes are caused by bleeding into the brain. Letang’s stroke was ischemic, and his symptoms were mild enough that he obviously had no idea there was anything wrong with him until several days later.

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marlies oops

This story might sound familiar:

The Grand Rapids Griffins and Toronto Marlies were doing battle in the AHL playoffs last night. The Marlies had their backs against the wall and were facing elimination…when they blew a 3-1 third period lead in the final ten heart-breaking minutes to have their season ended. Oh man, Toronto teams.

As Corey Pronman noted, you just can’t make this stuff up.


Would’ve been nice if they had at least blown it in the final minutes, but ah well, this will do for entertainment value for now.

Via Deadspin, here’s a Leafs’ fan who attached a GoPro camera to the top of his TV to catch him and his buddies celebrating a Leafs victory.

Here’s how he sets it up on YouTube:

Had my gopro out in hopes of capturing some memorable playoff moments for Toronto but instead got this. Though loss but still had a great time watching the leafs in the playoffs and seeing how nuts all the fans were. I’m sure leaf fans can relate to the reactions in this video!

For the record, I found this really hard to watch. Gave me goosebumps.

J.S. Giguere - 165220232 - Michael Martin

(Michael Martin, Getty Images)

At this point, the Colorado Avalanche are likely thankful for the NHL lockout: 82 games of this level of mediocrity would have been unbearable. As it is, the team has just 9 games left until they’re put out of their misery. It would be completely understandable if the team just mailed it in down the stretch, accepted their last place finish, and started making their off-season plans.

On Monday night, that’s exactly what Colorado goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere accused his teammates of doing, unleashing some of the most devastating denunciations that I have ever seen a player direct at his own team. And, while understandable, giving up is also unacceptable.

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Ottawa Senators v Pittsburgh Penguins

Ugh. Terrible, terrible news for Erik Karlsson, the Ottawa Senators, the NHL and fans: a collision tonight between the defending Norris Trophy winner and Matt Cooke resulted in a scary, fluke skate cut to his his left achillies tendon. It will require surgery to repair, leaving him out indefinitely.

They went into the boards together, and it was immediately evident that something went wrong. Here’s the incident:

Karlsson was off to another ridiculously good start, which was validating for a guy who had some doubters after taking home the big prize for d-men last season. He was leading the NHL in shots (ahead of second place Sidney Crosby). The next closest defenseman had 26 less shots than him after 14 total games played. He was leading defensemen in goals by two, with six. He was T4 in d-men points with 10.

If you care to see the injury in slo-mo, here it is, courtesy @schneidersteeth:

As Harrison Mooney noted over at Puck Daddy: this was an accident. It sucks, but sometimes bad things happen in sports, especially sports that that involve humans wearing foot-knives. For a nice breakdown of how we can be sure it was an accident, check out what Aaron Ward had to say on TSN.

All we can hope is that he makes a quick recovery, and returns soon. I have a feeling the Senators and their fans are doing the same right now.




 So that went well. Time to decertify!



Statement from Bill Daly:

      “Today, we concluded two days of mediation with FMCS mediators and representatives of the NHL Players’ Association.  After spending several hours with both sides over two days, the presiding mediators concluded that the parties remained far apart, and that no progress toward a resolution could be made through further mediation at this point in time.  We are disappointed that the mediation process was not successful.”

And here’s what Don Fehr had to say, via Dan Rosen:

“Today, players and NHLPA staff, along with representatives of the league, concluded a second day of mediation under the auspices of the FMCS. This afternoon, the mediators informed the parties that they did not think it was productive to continue the discussions further today. The mediators indicated that they would stay in contact with the league and the NHLPA, and would call the parties back together when they thought the time was right.”

Yikes. Sort of a “we can’t help you unless you want to help yourselves” situation.

It’s tough to be a fan of the Columbus Blue Jackets during a normal season – a lack of respect, minimal stars and a lack of success all contribute to that. As an Islanders fan, I feel their pain. But even as an Isles fan, I can’t quite relate to their misery of late. Rick Nash is gone, their All-Star Game has been cancelled, and now this:

Columbus took Murray with the second overall pick, and assuming the NHL were to have a season this year, were likely counting on him to crack the roster.

At the very least, they’d like him playing somewhere and developing, instead of sitting on the couch watching the seconds tick past, waiting to heal.

In sum: ouch.


READ: Backhand Shelf’s resident doctor Jo Innes on what a torn labrum is specifically.