NHL Morning Links - Dec. 6 

December, 6, 2013
12/06/13
10:21
AM ET
After Thursday’s frightening scene in Montreal, news that Johnny Boychuk was cleared to fly home with his team is most welcome. The Boston Bruins defenseman was unable to get up off the ice on his own after being hit into the boards by Montreal Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty. Boychuk was eventually stretchered off and taken to hospital. According to Bruins forward Jarome Iginla, Boychuk suffered a back injury when he was hit. In any case, the valued D-man will likely miss a fair amount of time. General consensus is Pacioretty won’t receive supplemental discipline from the league for the hit. The forward was handed a two-minute minor penalty at the time of the infraction.

The Detroit Red Wings can’t seem to get far ahead of the game on the injury front. Shortly after hearing that Pavel Datsyuk was nearing return, word emerged of the latest injury to hobble Darren Helm. The center is ruled out for the weekend with a suspected shoulder strain or sprain. While Stephen Weiss is favored to center the Red Wings’ second line in place of Helm, a returning Todd Bertuzzi could sub in (for Weiss) on the top unit with Johan Franzen and Gustav Nyquist. But coach Mike Babcock hasn’t promised anything.

Coach Alain Vigneault thinks all of his defensemen stink except Ryan McDonagh. Ok, maybe that wasn’t exactly what the New York Rangers coach said recently, but he definitely wants a greater effort from his corps of blueliners. Vigneault wasn’t shy about his preference for John Moore over Michael Del Zotto either. You get the sense Del Zotto wouldn’t see any action at all these days if he wasn’t being flaunted for a trade.

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