Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin did not suffer any torn ligaments in his right knee after sustaining an injury Sunday while playing for Russia at the 2014 IIHF World Championship.
Andrei Safronov, Russia’s general manager, told reporters in Belarus on Monday that an MRI exam showed Ovechkin’s injury is not as severe as initially feared.
“He’s OK at the moment,” Safronov said. “There’s some pain, but he’s working with the doctors.”
It’s expected Ovechkin will miss Russia’s next game, Tuesday against host Belarus, on the final day of the preliminary round. Safronov said Ovechkin will remain with the team and could return for the quarterfinals, which are Thursday.
Meanwhile, the IIHF suspended German forward Marcus Kink for clipping Ovechkin:
Upon careful review of the hit, the Disciplinary Panel observed that in delivering the hit, Kink has lowered his own body position to a level so as to cause contact with the right knee of Ovechkin. The Russian forward’s efforts to avoid the hit are simultaneous with the hip-to-knee contact by Kink. The missed poke check attempted by Kink caused him to lean forward where the player remained when the two players made contact.
The Disciplinary Panel determined that Kink was in violation of rule 524 b) Clipping. Although Kink did not intentionally target the knee of Ovechkin, the lowering of his body position as the two players collided caused the hip-to-knee contact which is classified as clipping.
CSN Washington has more on the story, which fortunately sounds like it could’ve been a lot worse for the Caps and their fans.
“Costly victories” may have been one of the themes of Saturday night, as some teams paired impressive wins with worrisome injuries.
The good news is that, in each case, it appears that the early word is optimistic about those players (Tyler Seguin got stitched up in the Stars’ win, for example).
The Anaheim Ducks are reportedly readying to recall Anton Khudobin on Sunday after John Gibson suffered an upper-body injury during a collision with Chicago Blackhawks forward Richard Panik.
Again, so far the hope/expectation is that this might not be a major issue:
The pessimistic take would be to wonder “Uh oh, is the Ducks goalie carousel starting again?”
Frederik Andersen has seen some runs as Anaheim’s No. 1 guy, so maybe this issue is a reminder that the Ducks may be better off keeping both Gibson and Andersen around … at least while they can.
For two periods, the Dallas Stars seemed to say, “Are you sure the Washington Capitals are the best team in the NHL?”
They chased Braden Holtby and built a 4-0 lead through those first 40 minutes, and that was enough … but barely. The Stars beat the Capitals 4-3 on Saturday, which accomplished the following:
- Dallas ended Washington’s winning streak at five games. The Stars have now won three straight.
- This win slides the Stars ahead of the Chicago Blackhawks for first place in the highly competitive Central Division. While both teams sit at 77 standings points, Dallas holds three games in hand.
- By passing Chicago, the Stars now lead the Western Conference as a whole.
Impressive stuff. Some might even call it a statement game, although others may hold that nail-biting ending against them (possibly arguing that the Stars’ flaws may come back to haunt them in the playoffs).
Dallas’ biggest concern likely has little to do with doubters. Instead, they must monitor the statuses of forwards Tyler Seguin and Cody Eakin.
Long story short, the Stars are red-hot, yet bigger challenges likely lie ahead.
The Chicago Blackhawks are on edge on Saturday, and it’s not because of what’s currently a close game against the Anaheim Ducks.
(Not that they’re indifferent toward a match against their opponents from last year’s conference final match, mind you.)
Instead, the Blackhawks are quite concerned about the health of Marian Hossa, who needed help off of the ice following an awkward, scary-looking crash into the boards. (Hampus Lindholm delivered the hip check that sent Hossa sprawling, in case you’re wondering.)
You can see that moment in the video above, while My Regular Face’s GIF also captures that troubling moment:
It’s too early to tell if Hossa will bounce back or miss some time from this. Stay tuned for potential updates.
Update: Joel Quenneville seems optimistic about Hossa, broadly speaking:
Ryan Getzlaf scored the overtime game-winner as the Ducks won 3-2 (OT).
If it weren’t for Mike Yeo and the Minnesota Wild, you could argue that the Florida Panthers suffered from the worst night so far.
You can see that Saturday was unpleasant merely from looking at the scoreboard: the Nashville Predators pummeled the Panthers by an unkind score of 5-0.
The pain goes beyond that … literally so.
For one thing, Quinton Howden suffered an upper-body injury and did not return. That’s no good, but if you want to feel sick to your stomach, footage of Brandon Pirri‘s likely lower-body injury (ankle maybe?) may do the trick.
(Seriously, you may be happier if you don’t look.)
The Panthers didn’t make an announcement about Pirri one way or another, so we’ll see if he somehow avoided anything significant.
Either way, it was a night this team would like to forget.