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Lightning Round: Erik Cernak out for possibly weeks with upper body injury

and Ducks’ Bob Murray under investigation for “improper professional conduct”

Tampa Bay Lightning v Toronto Maple Leafs
TORONTO, ON - NOVEMBER 4: Erik Cernak #81 of the Tampa Bay Lightning skates against the Toronto Maple Leafs during the first period at the Scotiabank Arena on November 4, 2021 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Photo by Andrew Lahodynskyj/NHLI via Getty Images

Erik Cernak left last night’s overtime loss to the Carolina Hurricanes after playing only four minutes with an upper body injury, according to the Tampa Bay Lightning. The three remaining top-four defensemen all ended up playing a lot against the very good Carolina team with Hedman getting 30 minutes, McDonagh 27, and Rutta 23. Foote and Claesson didn’t get more than 16 on the other hand.

Cernak’s injury is being officially reported as an upper body injury, so this video of him blocking a shot with his left hand/wrist and immediately shaking it might indicate what had happened. I’m not a doctor, so I messaged Hockey Twitter’s resident doctor, Dr. Harjas Grewal, to give it a look. Give him a follow, by the way, he’s great.

We’ll wait and see what the team tells us at practice in the next couple days, the Lightning don’t play until Saturday so we might get an update on Cernak’s status before the weekend. Jon Cooper didn’t give specifics in his post-game interview, but ruled out the injury being “day-to-day” and indicated that it was closer to “week-to-week.”

There is some solace to find as Mikhail Sergachev is available for the team’s next game after serving his two-game suspension. He’ll likely slot in next to McDonagh on the second pair. Hopefully he’s cut out the immature penalties/hits.

Further to the loss, here is our recap from the game. More brilliance from Andrei Vasilevskiy but a cold power play didn’t give the Bolts the insurance they needed. [Raw Charge]

“Chasing is what the Lightning did for the majority of this game. They scored first, with Steven Stamkos’ seventh goal of the season, but make no mistake; this was Carolina’s game from start to finish. If it wasn’t for the stellar play of Vasilevskiy and some strong penalty killing (Carolina received five power-plays this evening), the scoreboard might be even more tilted. As much as Carolina’s tying goal infuriated those in attendance at Amalie Arena (over a comically bad goaltender interference call on Stamkos), there was little doubt who deserved to win this evening. Martin Necas’ overtime winner merely cemented it.”

From Bryan Burns’ Three Things, here’s Steven Stamkos talking about the wrong penalty call that lead to the Canes tying the game. [NHL dot com]

“I did not get an explanation,” Stamkos said when asked if the referees told him anything as he was heading to the box. “I think it was just a bang-bang play, and he didn’t see it. He saw the goalie down, he saw me down and I think he just probably guessed at what happened because if he saw it, he would have seen I got pushed in.”

Remember when Mike Babcock got fired and all the media members who were holding his dirt all came out and said what an awful person he was? No one bothered to wonder why they were holding the dirt for so long, why none of it was looked into, investigated on or reported. Well, the same thing happened after Bob Murray of the Anaheim Ducks was put on administrative leave pending an investigation into his actions.

Following is a statement from the Anaheim Ducks: “We recently became aware of accusations of improper professional conduct against Bob Murray. After internal review, we enlisted Sheppard Mullin to perform an independent investigation. Upon recommendation from their initial findings, we have decided to place Bob on administrative leave pending final results. In the interim, Vice President of Hockey Operations and Assistant General Manager Jeff Solomon will assume the role of Interim General Manager. We will have no further comment until the investigation is complete.”

The lack of surprise from everyone “within hockey” makes you wonder if this all could’ve been dealt with sooner. Bob Murray has been in the NHL for 45 years, if the reporting by Frank Seravalli below is true, he should not have lasted even a fraction of that time.

Here is that Seravalli article.

Working for Bob Murray was pure daily mental warfare,” one source said. “The abuse was endless. Crazy text messages to players and staff berating them for their performance and threats of job security happened with regularity. These weren’t one-time slip-ups or mistakes. These were regular explosions and eruptions.”

It is unclear how or why Murray’s behavior went unchecked for so long, given that so many people associated with the Ducks organization bore witness to it. This season marks Murray’s 45th consecutive year in the NHL; Murray was promoted to Ducks GM on Nov. 12, 2008.Another source said: “There’s not just one skeleton in the closet here with ‘Murph,’” as Murray is known by his nickname around the NHL. “The list of people who have felt his wrath first-hand over the years is long.”

Erin and Jarrod Skalde settled their lawsuit with the Pittsburgh Penguins yesterday, with the terms of the settlement not disclosed. Read Rick Westhead’s reporting on this for more. Team USA GM Bill Guerin is still facing a US SafeSport investigation on this case.

Carey Price issued a statement regarding his leave from the Montreal Canadiens where he said he entered for substance use.