Schedule conflicts

Now, folks, I’m aware it is not actually hump-day, but instead Tuesday. Due to schedule conflicts, I won’t be able to get the HH Report up Tuesday night or at all Wednesday…so please enjoy an early edition…

Ovechkin hates Mike Green

The Caps left winger received a little hump-day hating last Wednesday when teammate Mike Green accidentally struck Ovechkin in the right foot with a slap shot. Without him in the line-up, Washington dropped another home game against the Toronto Maple Leafs last Thursday.

However, his foot certainly can’t be blamed for even another home loss for Washington Sunday against Pittsburgh as he seemed to be doing very well on it…his try-to-beat-the-buzzer rush at the end of the second period proved that well enough.

Briere hates playing

…why else would he be missing so many games?

This time the Flyers’ forward suffered a groin injury. It was last Thursday that Briere tweaked is groin in a match-up with Calgary, a game that Philadelphia lost 5-1. So if you’re a NHL star looking to avoid groin issues, don’t come to Pennsylvania…because apparently it’s contagious here.

Reports say that the injury came from the pulling of adhesions that were applied during a previous groin surgery.

After missing Saturday’s 4-1 win at home against Nashville Saturday but hopes to return tonight.

Some teams just have his number

That’s certainly the case when it comes to Marty Brodeur. No matter how badly teams might be struggling to get by in the NHL, certain ones just have their way with certain goalies. The New York Islanders scored six goals on the record chasing veteran, who was pulled in the third period. With a final score of 7-3 (Bergenheim added an empty-netter to give him a hat trick), it should serve as a reminder to Mr. Brodeur that he’ll need to do more than just stand between the pipes to get the records.

To provide some background (provided a reader doesn’t know of which records I write), Brodeur is three wins behind all-time leader Patrick Roy (551) and three shut-outs behind all-time leader Terry Sawchuk (103).

GM’s hate head shots

As the GM conference continues at the Ritz Carlton Golf Resort, headshots are one of many physicality issues on the agenda. NHL Players’ Association executive director Paul Kelly made sure that the topic was brought up.

There is opposition, however, coming from Colin Campbell, the NHL’s senior vice president and director of hockey operations. Campbell told NHL.com’s Shawn Roarke:

“I believe there is a responsibility by the player getting hit by a legal check that he has to have his head up and avoid it,” Campbell said. “In my day, if you got hit that way, legally by a player , your teammates would wonder what was going on, your coach would look at you and maybe not say anything, but your dad for sure when you got home would give you crap for having your head down.”

He also added that he fears if a head-hitting rule is instituted that the over-zealousness of the officials being ordered to call them could interfere with the physicality of the game.

Regardless, Stephen Walkom, director of NHL officiating, said “We’re on top of it.”

So what more do we have to worry about?...Right?

GMs discuss fighting

So head shots (and playing golf) aren’t the only things on the list of physicality issues. While very few changes are expected to be made, there are talks on the table as the GMs want to explore every possible option.

I think Brian Burke summed up the feeling best by saying, “This will sound really silly, is there a way to make it safer?”

Well first, yes, Brian that does sound really silly. But, second, it’s not impossible. The Ontario Hockey League instituted a rule saying that if any player undoes their chinstrap and removes their helmet before or during a fight, they will be receive a game misconduct and a one-game suspension.

NHL.com’s Dan Rosen reports that similar talks are on the table in these meetings but no one is expressing positive interest in instituting these types of changes. One thing that is unanimous, however, is that the GMs would like to see ‘staged fighting’ come to a halt. How to manage that is where the problem occurs. What would the base it off of?

Keep an eye out for developments on both stories as the conference will be continuing through the week.

For the latest quotes from NHL.com, visit Dan Rosen’s column on NHL.com.

Carbon-no

Guy Carbonneau joins the club of dismissed coaches this season with his departure from Montreal early Monday. Since Dec. 22, the Habs have gone 17-16-1. Overall, Montreal has 77 points, which ties them with Carolina, who recently defeated the New York Rangers to knock them out of the playoff picture.

With Montreal continuing to slip and the teams fighting for the remaining Eastern Conference playoff spots consistently gaining ground, the Habs decided it was time for GM and executive VP Bob Gainey to take over the reins of the team. And, much like the situation the Penguins faced earlier this season, the assistant coaches (Doug Jarvis, Kirk Muller and Roland Melanson) will remain on the bench.

The Habs host the Oilers later tonight.

The Panthers hate untimely injuries

With so many important games coming up for the young team from Sunrise, Fla., key injuries are things they were really hoping to avoid.

Brian McCabe (12G, 21A for 33 points) underwent surgery yesterday to repair a fractured orbital bone in his right eye. Nathan Horton (19G, 19A for 38 points) will be undergoing surgery to repair a severed tendon on his left ring finger.

McCabe will miss both tonight’s game in Pittsburgh and Thursday’s game in Buffalo: both crucial games to Florida’s playoff hopes. Horton will be out at least two weeks.

Panthers’ coach Peter DeBoer was quoted as saying “When it rains it pours.”…you’re preaching to the choir Pete, preaching to the choir.

NBC game of the week

The Pens have been graced with the spotlight of NHL on NBC’s game of the week. The Pens will welcome the Philadelphia Flyers into Mellon Arena in two Sundays, March 22.

Hopefully, this game should get much better ratings than NBC’s newest show, “The Chopping Block,” which is about yet another British guy ripping apart small restaurants. Good thing Doc is there to make sure the NHL keeps their ratings up.

That concludes the early edition of this week’s HH Report. As always, look for more haters in hump-days to come.

Happy hating!