When the Predators acquired Hal Gill prior to the NHL trade deadline, it was seen as a move to bolster Nashville’s defensive depth for the playoffs.
It just hasn’t quite worked out that way.
According to Josh Cooper of The Tennessean, Gill will miss his second straight playoff game on Friday, meaning he’s still waiting to make his Predators playoff debut. The hulking blueliner took a shot off his foot last week against Dallas and has been on the limp ever since.
“I’m going to give it some more time,” Gill said of his injury. “I don’t think at this point I can help the team. We have some good players that can play so I will let them go.
“There’s being tough and then there’s too much pride and at this point it would be too much pride to play, so like I said, we have good players and we can win with them.”
Given Gill’s strengths — penalty-killing and shot-blocking — you’d think Nashville would be keen to get him back in the lineup soon. Detroit fired 37 shots at Pekka Rinne on Wednesday and had eight power play opportunities, scoring twice.
Gill said he’s noticing improvement in the injury and will definitely travel with Nashville to Detroit for Game 3.
“I’m getting better and trainers have been working hard and I’ve been working out staying in shape, so I think we’re getting there,” he said. “You have to be patient sometimes.
“You want to heal right away and get back out there. Sometimes your body gives you mixed signals I guess, and you have to deal with that.”
With their mothers traveling on the road trip — Matt Bartkowski‘s mom, Beth, has become a cult hero in Vancouver after another priceless media interview — the Canucks took back-to-back wins, moving them right back into the thick of the playoff fight in the Western Conference.
Up by a goal in the third period, defenseman Alex Biega played the hero, pulling the puck out of the crease after it got by Ryan Miller on a backhand shot from Kyle Chipchura, maintaining Vancouver’s lead.
Phaneuf burned on Zetterberg game-winner in Sens debut
“I put my stick there, he put (the puck) under and he made a good shot. I’ve got to have a better stick in that situation, but you’ve got to give him credit for that play.”
Phaneuf finished the night with a minus-one rating and two hits in almost 22 minutes of ice time, putting him second among Sens defensemen in that category behind Erik Karlsson, who played a whopping 33:30.
Phaneuf drilled Red Wings defenseman Danny DeKeyser with a hard slap shot early in the third period.
DeKeyser played one more shift — all of 10 seconds — before exiting the game.
Blashill says DeKeyser has a bruise, not a break. Will know more tomorrow, but probably day-to-day