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Injury Report: Encouraging news for Murray

Finally some positive developments for the Penguins’ starting netminder… but will he be back this week?

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According to a report from Pittsburgh Penguins broadcaster Josh Getzoff, Pens goaltender Matt Murray took part in a full morning skate routine yesterday and then again today.

The quote, “we’re just trying to get him healthy,” can be attributed to Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan.

While this isn’t exactly the injury report that most Pens fans are hoping for, it’s still a positive development. 

Murray is travelling with the Penguins on a road trip that will see them face off against the New York Rangers tonight, Montreal Canadiens tomorrow and the New York Islanders next Tuesday.

The 23 year old netminder has been out of the team’s lineup for the past seven games, having last played on February 24th against the Florida Panthers in relief of backup Tristan Jarry. While the team hasn’t specified a date for Murray’s return, today’s development has to be seen as an encouraging sign.

In other encouraging injury news, it looks as though the injured Bryan Rust may also make his return to the team's lineup tonight at Madison Square Garden.

Former NHLer knocks out referee out cold with a brutal sucker punch

Hands up if you remember former NHLer Andrei Kovalenko. The big Russian winger played over 600 career games in the NHL split between the Quebec Nordiques, Colorado Avalanche, Montreal Canadiens, Edmonton Oilers, Philadelphia Flyers, Carolina Hurricanes and Boston Bruins, but left for the KHL, or rather its predecessors the Russian Super League (RSL) following the 2000-2001 NHL season. 

The big man affectionately known as “The Tank” by former teammates is probably best known for being part of the trade package that netted the Avs goaltender Patrick Roy from the Canadiens. Kovalenko was shipped to the Habs, along with goaltender Jocelyn Thibault and Martin Rucinsky for Roy and forward Mike Keane. The rest, as they say, is history.

Since leaving North America and retiring from professional hockey in Russia in the late 2000s, Kovalenko has remained in the sport and is currently the head of the KHL’s Players Association. As such, Kovalenko is a spokesman for the league and often participates in promotional events including one earlier this week in the league’s United Corporate league where he apparently took issue with a referee’s call. So much so that he delivered a devastating sucker punch to the official, knocking him out cold and giving him a concussion.

Check it out:

WTF!? The referee, Vladislav Kiselev, was taken to hospital and diagnosed with a concussion. He made an official statement to Swedish hockey magazine Aftonbladet the next day saying:

“He could not control himself, he hit me several times. He was furious. I told him to go and sit in the stall, then he pulled me in, burst out all other judges and players - and hit me hard again.”

Kovalenko has reportedly not reached out to Kiselev to offer an apology or to explain his actions. Double WTF!?