Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Bryan Bickell is aiming to return to the lineup during the team’s home stand from Feb. 17 to 26, according to NHL.com’s Tom Gulitti.
Bickell, 30, has not played in a game since Oct. 30 and the Hurricanes announced on Nov. 11 that he’d been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Since that time, Bickell has been focusing on beginning his battle with the disease with the help of doctors, but has remained positive through the help of his supportive family, the Hurricanes organization and the hockey world.
The Hurricanes will be on a five-day break beginning on Sunday and return to action on Feb. 17 against the Colorado Avalanche.
“I feel good,” Bickell said after a conditioning skate on Tuesday, according to Gulitti. “I obviously don’t feel good right now, I just got skated pretty hard, but it’s going to help me down the long run. I think we’re getting there and getting close to getting back in the rotation. We’re shooting for probably after the bye week and then kind of day by day from there.”
Crosby’s Opportunity for 1000th Point at Home
Sidney Crosby has an opportunity to reach another major milestone in his NHL career when the Pittsburgh Penguins host the Calgary Flames on Tuesday.
Crosby, 29, is sitting just three points shy of 1,000 for his career and Tuesday’s contest gives him an opportunity to do what the next two don’t — reach the total in front of the home crowd. The Penguins will go on a brief two-game road trip to play the Colorado Avalanche and Arizona Coyotes after facing the Flames.
He leads the NHL with 30 goals and is second in points, with 59, to the Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid, despite playing in just 45 games this season. The native of Nova Scotia has compiled 368 goals and 629 assists in just 752 games.
The Penguins are second in the Metropolitan Division with a 33-13-5 record and 71 points — seven less than the division-leading Washington Capitals.
Myers Undergoes Surgery, Out 4-6 More Weeks
The Winnipeg Jets will be without defenseman Tyler Myers for at least the next four-to-six weeks, according to TSN’s Sara Orlesky.
#NHLJets Tyler Myers had surgery yesterday. Lower body; not the hip/knee he had done last season. 6-8 wk recovery.
— Sara Orlesky (@saraorlesky) February 7, 2017
Myers has been out of the Jets’ lineup since suffering a lower-body injury against the Colorado Avalanche on Nov. 11 and has missed the past 39 games on the long-term injured reserve.
Based on the reported return timeline, the best case scenario is that Myers returns with only a few games left in the regular season, while the worst case would mean he probably doesn’t return at all in 2016-17.
The 27-year-old blueliner skated in 11 games and tallied two goals and three assists this season before he was injured. It’s important to note, however, that Orlesky reported that this procedure is unrelated to the one he had done last year.
The Jets are fifth in the Central Division with a 25-26-4 overall record, despite the ninth-best 2.9 goals per game average. They could use Myers on the blue line, as they are averaging 3.1 goals-against per game — 27th in the league.
Odds and Ends
— Amid concerns about the ice conditions at some rinks across the NHL earlier this season, the league will begin distributing post-game surveys asking players to rate the ice conditions, according to Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos.
@RealKyper says NHL will have players rate the ice conditions via post-game surveys. MLSE did that when ACC opened, helped improve ice here.
— Lance Hornby (@sunhornby) February 7, 2017