Carolina Hurricanes GM Ron Francis revealed that winger Alexander Semin underwent successful wrist surgery sometime during this offseason and is expected to be ready to go by the time the team’s training camp kicks off.
Interestingly, Francis notes that the 30-year-old sniper hurt his wrist during 2013 training camp and was hampered by the injury for the duration of the 2013-14 season. It was a tough year for Semin, who needed an injury to make Russia’s Olympic team and missed the playoffs once again with the Hurricanes.
“He hurt it in training camp. He jammed it and had issues with that. He tried a couple different things over the course of the season, but more or less just played with the bad wrist all season,” Francis said. “All indications are that the surgery went well. He’s rehabbing it now, and he should be 100 percent for training camp.”
A 22-goal campaign is probably a little underwhelming to some, although he did so in 65 games and was obviously not 100 percent.
Really, though, it’s been a while since Semin unleashed his outstanding shot enough to enjoy a truly outstanding goal-scoring season. He’s scored 28 or fewer goals since the 2010-11 season after enjoying 38, 34 and 40-goal campaigns during his best times with the Washington Capitals.
That’s not to say that he’s been an “enigma” at all times in Carolina; he managed exactly a point-per-game (44 in 44 contests) in 2012-13 while showing some promising chemistry with Eric Staal. Injuries have been a considerable hindrance for Semin and many other Hurricanes, really, so a coaching change plus a little more health-related luck could help that struggling franchise turn things around.
If nothing else, we might see more of that world-class wrist shot next season.
Now, players are known to at least try to return to games after injuries, sometimes ultimately demeaning such efforts unsuccessful.
So, it’s possible that the Washington Capitals should still be concerned about defenseman Nate Schmidt. The solid depth blueliner was helped off the ice after a hit by Leo Komarov of the Toronto Maple Leafs, but the good news is that he was at least able to make his way back for a spin later on in the same third period.
Does that mean he’ll be OK? We’ll see. The game is entering OT – the 18th of this round, a new NHL record – so a possible Schmidt injury could put Washington at a disadvantage during “free hockey.”
It makes sense that Toronto and Washington made it a new record, as this is the fifth time in six games that they beyond regulation in this series. Wow.
These are the moments Toronto Maple Leafs fans were dreaming about when they drafted Auston Matthews. At least those bold enough to picture such great things, so soon in his career.
Speaking of so soon … that’s not how you’d describe a 1-0 goal happening in the third period of a game in this Leafs – Washington Capitals series, but it took that long to break the ice in Game 6.
It took a very lucky bounce for the puck to find its way to Matthews … but the finish was pure skill. With that, the remarkable rookie now has a goal in four straight games (with an assist thrown in for good measure).
The lead wouldn’t last long, however, as Marcus Johansson scored to tie it 1-1.
Things could get awfully nervous for Toronto as they try to force a decisive Game 7 in Washington, but that was a huge goal by Matthews either way.
It could have been over for Clarke MacArthur plenty of times during his turbulent NHL career. Scratch that, his turbulent hockey career.
His team walked away from his salary arbitration award. MacArthur’s seen plenty of people give up on him. And then, when he finally found a home with the Ottawa Senators, concussion issues threatened to end his playing days.
Yet, there he was on Sunday … drawing a penalty in overtime and then scoring on the ensuing power play to help the Senators advance beyond the Boston Bruins.
He didn’t deny that he imagined very different possibilities during his darker moments.
And, as uplifting as his story was – seriously, just watch this interview and try not to root for the guy – it wasn’t the only emotionally charged moment from Game 6.
Nicholle Anderson was on hand to cheer on Craig Anderson in this one, and the two were able to embrace after the contest:
As violent and intense as the playoffs can often be, MacArthur and Anderson reminded us of the gentler human side of it all.
Remember when many were keeping an eye on Erik Karlsson after he was seemingly cramping up after logging more than 40 minutes in an OT contest against the Boston Bruins?
It’s possible he was also dealing with that sort of ailment, but he earned some “hockey tough” kudos on Sunday after word surfaced that the Ottawa Senators defenseman was dealing with hairline fractures in his left heel through the series.
Sportsnet’s Jason York refers to the issue as “two small fractures” while ESPN’s Joe McDonald went into specifics, noting that Karlsson explains that the injury happened on March 28 (and was why he missed some games late in the season).
There’s some optimism as the Senators ready for the New York Rangers, at least according to Karlsson.
Either way, that’s impressive stuff from the Senators defenseman, and the sort of information that usually only surfaces after a team has been eliminated. We’ll see if he’s hindered by such issues as the playoffs go along.