Sick bay, calling Leclaire and Franzen

Just some things you can always count on:

Tax Day each and every April 15, complete with news organizations rushing to interview late-night filers ...

Sun rising in the East ...

Sky being blue ...

And Pascal Leclaire and Johan Franzen being helped off the ice with injuries.

Leclaire, the starting goaltender for Ottawa, exited just 2:06 into the Senators' 3-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday.

When alerted, Illinois-based Senators fan Christopher Altruda texted back if Leclaire was suffering from a bruised vagina. Yes, he's a classy boy, I know.

But I get Altruda's frustration. Since February 2006, the one-time eighth overall pick by the Columbus Blue Jackets has missed 139 games, seemingly with no body part unscathed.

Last season, a fractured cheekbone followed by a concussion kept him out for 25 games. Ankle woes in 2008-09 resulted in 51 games being missed. Couple of games with a thumb. Sit out seven with the cryptic "head injury." Knee woes cost Leclaire more than half a season a couple years back.


Go open a poutine shop or boulangerie in Repentigny. Anything. Just. Hang. It. Up.

(Besides, Altruda wants more Brian Elliott, and I'm kinda inclined to agree.)

Franzen left midway through the first period of the Detroit Red Wings' 4-1 loss on Thursday to the Dallas Stars with what the team initially called an undisclosed injury.

After the game, it was called a head injury, but coach Mike Babcock wouldn't use the "C"(oncussion) word.

"It's not too bad," Franzen told The Associated Press. "I feel OK right now."

Check your watches: If it's October, "Mule" is laid up.

In 2007, Franzen missed 10 games with a sprained knee. The following October, No. 93 was down for five games with sprained MCL. Last year, Franzen outdid himself, missing 55 contests after tearing an ACL.

With three goals in his first three games, a bounce-back season seemed possible. Even if Franzen didn't bruise his brain Thursday, it would make sense for the Red Wings to sit him out for a while and make sure all is good.

And now - Two minutes


The Minnesota Wild.

OK, so the Minnesota Twins can't win a playoff game anywhere.

But Wild fans know this: If the Edmonton Oilers are in town, it's almost a sure-fire two points.

Minnesota won its 14th straight at the Xcel Energy Center over its Northwest Division rival, 4-2 on Thursday. Mikko Koivu scored twice for the Wild, who tallied all their goals with the man advantage.

After losing twice to the Hurricanes in Finland to open 2010-11, Minnesota clearly wanted to have a better showing in front of their home fans.

"You always have to be desperate to get wins," Koivu said. "I think we were tonight and it worked for us."


Mike Modano and the Red Wings

Way to come up big in that return to Big D!

Despite outshooting the Stars 26-15, the Red Wings didn't score until 8:25 remained.

Modano received a standing ovation during a first-period break in the action from Dallas fans, but the former face of the franchise and a link to their Stanley Cup win a decade ago and the old Minnesota North Stars didn't record a shot, and was even in 15:14 of ice time.

"There was just a world of emotions and memories," said Modano. "A lot of special things have gone on here. I was involved in the game from the ground floor, and helping to promote the game of hockey here in Texas. It was fun to play here."

Not so much over his last three games. The 40-year-old future Hall of Famer has averaged 13:06 of ice time, has one shot and no points.

I'm thinking one-and-done in Motown, and the end could come soon for the highest-scoring U.S.-born player of all time.


"I wanted to cry. I had to stop watching (the video) a couple of times. A lot of emotion. Everything started here. They showed my first goal and all the big goals. It's still hard to think about. They're always going to be in my heart. That's something I'll always remember." - Tampa Bay forward Simon Gagne after seeing a video tribute during the Lightning's 3-2 win over Philadelphia in his first game against the Flyers.

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