Death and taxes? How ’bout injuries and shoot outs

Just as I settled back into things after the first holiday layoff, Milan Lucic is helped back onto the shelf with another injury. These high-ankle sprains, well some experts say they’re worse than certain knee injuries, and this four week prognosis really feels optimistic. No Lucic at the Winter Classic? Very likely, and still very hard to swallow. Add to that the injury talk that’s following Thomas, and the Bruins are clearly a blurred picture of health.

Also hard to grasp is the Bruins’ penchant lately for giving up late goals. OT play has become the norm as a result, with the Bruins already playing 11 overtime games this season, nine going the full shoot-out distance.  It’s a postives kind of outweighing the negatives situation–the Bruins are raking in shots and have tucked five SO wins in their pockets. But the Bruins need to tighten the defensive lapses in the late going, even if Thomas wants to shoulder the blame. Still, since dropping that November 16th tilt to the upstart Islanders, the Bruins have gone 5 of 6 in the win column, losing only to a heated Devils team, and gaining a point in the process. (Yep, you guessed it, shoot out.)\

Interesting schedule note: After a December 2nd game against Stamkos’ Tampa Bay Lightning, the Bruins spend Friday evening in Montreal playing for Lecavalier’s Canadiens (C’mon, does anything think, with the Lightning’s ownership questions and Vinnie’s subpar play this season, that this whole scenario will ever be dodged anytime soon?), AND then head back to Boston the following night to face the Maple Leafs. They also host the Maple Leafs five days later. Cue the “Kessel in favor of Lucic a bad decision?” questions.

A quick weighing in of NHL suspensions. (I know, I know, why bother?) But last night Penguins forward Matt Cooke was involved in another questionable play, this time involving the head of Rangers forward Artem Anisimov. We’ve known Matt Cooke to dodge suspensions before. Even Laraque dodged them when he donned the Pittsburgh jersey. But after seeing Kaleta finally collect some sitting time for his latest infraction, can the NHL really choose to ignore this, especially after John Tortorella used it as an example of escalating violence on the ice? We’ll see.

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