Boston’s David Krejci suffered an injury after a knee-on-knee collision with Ottawa’s Chris Wideman. He will not return to the game. There was no call on the ice, although the play easily could have drawn an infraction. The play can be viewed here. Krejci could not put much weight on his leg and looked pained as he left the ice. The Bruin had just returned from a previous, unrelated injury, and was slotted in as the 2nd line center between wingers Drew Stafford and David Backes. Krejci had tallied 54 points in the full 82 games this past season. His team is fighting to stave off elimination at the hands of the Senators, trailing 3-1 in the series. Regardless of the result of the game, there is the possibility for review for Wideman by the Department of Player Safety, especially in light of an equally scary Kadri-on-Ovechkin hit just minutes earlier in the other contest.
- The Los Angeles Kings are reportedly close to an agreement to hire John Stevens as their new head coach. As noted by colleague Gavin Lee earlier this month, his son, captain of Northwestern (also John Stevens), has drawn interest from management. Stevens (the senior) started out his head coaching career with 6 seasons for the AHL’s Philadelphia Phantoms, culminating in a Calder Cup win in 2004-05 – a season which drew lots of interest due to the NHL lockout of that year. Stevens was promoted to head coach of the Philadelphia Flyers after the following season, serving until he was fired midway through the 2009-10 campaign. Following his firing, that Flyers team then went on to make the Finals after just barely making the post-season under Peter Laviolette. Stevens earned two Stanley Cup rings as assistant coach to Darryl Sutter during the Kings’ championship runs of 2012 and 2014, after his brief (4-game) stint as interim coach for the franchise. Stevens is known for his endearing “players’ coach” personality and rapport with developing younger players. He has an all-time record of 122-111-34 as a head NHL bench boss.
- Help is apparently on the way for the St. Louis Blues, who still hold a commanding 3-1 lead in their series with the Minnesota Wild. Both Paul Stastny and Jori Lehtera look probable to return to competition in Game 5. Stastny has been out of action since he took a shot from a teammate off the foot a month ago. Lehtera has been out with an apparent illness since April 8th. Stastny potted 40 points in his limited 66 games this season, while Lehtera was less impressive with 22 in 64 games. Both centers will provide depth up the middle for St. Louis, and assistance on faceoffs. Considering how proficient Jake Allen has been so far these playoffs, their contributions on the defensive side of the puck will only make Minnesota’s offensive efforts even tougher. Both players posted average Corsi For just above the mid-line 50%, but each boasts a wealth of playoff experience that is difficult to replace this time of year. Stastny’s post-season consistency in particular should inspire confidence in his ability to contribute to his squad. Ivan Barbashev and Zach Sanford are expected to sit out.
*The original post had incorrectly cited Dennis Wideman as the offender*