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Pazzy pulls a hammy, Jackets pull off a win, and Norrena SMASH TEAMMATES!

Saturday, December 23, 2006
No, Leclaire didn't pull that 'Hammy' to your left, but I bet that horrified, wide-eyed look is the one his hamstring would give if it was sentient.

Poor Pascal; I'm sure the pundits will be talking about how he's become more and more injury prone as time has gone on, and to an extent they are right. Leclaire has been dealing with injuries for longer than I can even recollect since last season, and it's a serious cause for concern. But at the same time, he deserves all the credit in the world for hanging tough as best as he could last night, despite tweaking things during the warm-up. It was obvious from my little alcove in section 219 (also known as the 'Dead Zone' when it comes to kiosk and selling activity) that he was suffering badly. The final half of the first period was exceptionally unkind to Leclaire, as he lay on the ice for several moments after a puck clear, and then had his goalie mask knocked clean off his head after a Canuck was shoved down atop him moments later. He can't catch a break.

This game had almost the same sort of scenario play out that the Detroit game did on Monday: Jackets come roaring out of the gates early with goals by Aaron Johnson and former Canuck Anson Carter, the team doubles back in the second period (but a lot of that has to do with the numerous penalties they received during that time as well), and then a physical, grueling third period with punishing hits, a goal for each team (Luongo must be ready to listen to some Linkin Park after Nash fired off that shot through his five hole to ensure the victory), and then a nail biter win.

By the way, watching Alexander Svitov totally pummel Ryan Kesler in the third was a thing of absolute beauty. He just tossed Kesler around like a rag doll!

Anyway, with Leclaire out, that means Conks returns to the team as the backup. All things considered, Conklin has done an admirable job in the time that he has played, even though he's only faced a total of 11 shots. At the moment, I'm cautiously comfortable with him as the backup to Norrena, who will be getting the start against the Islanders tonight.

Speaking of Freddy, did anyone see the way he all but stormed off the ice once the horn blew to signal the end of the game? Opinions on the HFBoards seem to range from "He was pissed off at the team for failing so hard to help him out", to "He was pissed off that there was no whistle to stop play during that insane moment before the end of the game", if he thought he had had the puck at one point during the player pile on top of the crease. Maybe Portzline or Arace from The Columbus Dispatch can glean a little bit of intel on that, or if it was much ado about nothing? It'd be nice to know why he looked ready to take down a bull elephant with his bare hands.

Lastly, Nikolai Zherdev looks to be showing some signs of life finally. While all he tallied tonight was one assist, beggars can't be choosers. Hopefully he can build on that. Baby steps, and all.

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About Me: A mid-20s male who feels much too old even before he's 30. Has a degree in Sport Management and after branching out and trying a few other things in the job market, has finally decided to go back to his first love of hockey and hope he can break in with a team, big or small, somehow.
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