It’s been almost a month since Jonathan Ericsson underwent surgery on his broken finger — a lengthy time to be shelved, but apparently not enough for the injury to fully heal.
Ericsson is unlikely to be available for Detroit’s opening-round playoff series against Boston, GM Ken Holland told the Macomb Daily. The injury, which the club originally thought would only sideline Ericsson for 10-14 days, ended up requiring a 4-6 week timetable, forcing the Swedish blueliner to miss the last 14 games of the regular season.
This has been a crazy year for Ericsson overall. He’s been pretty good when healthy — scoring 11 points in 48 games while averaging over 21 minutes a night — and signed a big six-year, $25.5 million extension with Detroit in November. But he’s had absolutely miserable luck health-wise, missing time with rib and shoulder injuries prior to the broken finger.
Not having him available for the opening playoff round will be tough on Detroit, as Ericsson’s one of the club’s most veteran players — he has 64 games of playoff experience on his resume, and played in the 2009 Stanley Cup Final loss to Pittsburgh.
Last month, there was excitement coming out of Boston as reports suggested Dennis Seidenberg — out since December with a torn ACL — might be able to return to the lineup come playoff time.
On Monday, that enthusiasm was tempered a bit.
“We’re not counting on Dennis to be back,” B’s GM Peter Chiarelli said, per CSNNE. “We’re going to be very cautious with his injury. He has been skating, but that’s all I can say on it. It really hasn’t changed.”
Seidenberg resumed skating on Apr. 9 and, at the time, Boston Herald sources claimed the team was contemplating a possible lineup return should the Bruins go deep into the playoffs. The 32-year-old German rearguard emerged as a terrific shutdown defenseman during last year’s Stanley Cup run, averaging nearly 27 minutes a night and was rewarded for his efforts with a four-year, $16 million extension in October.
Without Seidenberg — and fellow blueliner Adam McQuaid — in the lineup, Boston has relied on youngsters like Dougie Hamilton (20), Torey Krug (22), Matt Bartkowski (25) and Kevan Miller (26) extensively this season, and has managed to squeeze some decent minutes out of trade deadline pickups Andrej Meszaros and Corey Potter.
The Presidents’ Trophy-winning Boston Bruins are also the favorites to win the Stanley Cup, according to online bookmaker Bovada.
Following is the full list of Cup odds:
Boston Bruins 7/2
St. Louis Blues 6/1
Pittsburgh Penguins 7/1
Chicago Blackhawks 8/1
Anaheim Ducks 9/1
San Jose Sharks 9/1
Los Angeles Kings 10/1
Colorado Avalanche 14/1
Detroit Red Wings 20/1
Montreal Canadiens 20/1
New York Rangers 20/1
Philadelphia Flyers 20/1
Tampa Bay Lightning 25/1
Minnesota Wild 40/1
Columbus Blue Jackets 50/1
Dallas Stars 50/1
Back in the beginning of February, the Bruins’ odds were considerably higher, at 9/1. A 17-3-5 record since the Olympic break helped push the line to 7/2.
Boston opens the playoffs against Detroit. Beat the Red Wings and the Bruins would meet the winner of the Montreal-Tampa Bay series for a spot in the Eastern Conference Final.
Buffalo Sabres goalie Matt Hackett wasn’t the only player to get hurt in their 4-1 loss to the Boston Bruins.
Defenseman Christian Ehrhoff (concussion) and forwards Matt D’Agostini (lower-body), Brian Flynn (lower-body), and Chris Stewart (re-injured ankle) all left the Saturday afternoon tilt with separate injuries as John Vogl of The Buffalo News shares.
“It’s a tough enough year on us in our situation with the standings, but also to lose bodies the way we’ve been doing is an unfortunate thing, too,” McBain said. “I’ve never seen anything like it in my career. I’ve never heard of anything like it.”
All five players will not suit up against the New York Islanders on Sunday for the final game of the season.
The Sabres have the worst record in the NHL and will have the best odds of landing the first overall pick in the NHL Draft. The Sabres’ injury list headed into the game was already long enough with guys like Tyler Myers leading a list of others out of action.
Now the real question now is: Who the heck is going to play for this team tomorrow?
The Boston Bruins could be headed into the postseason a bit more banged up than they hoped.
Bruins forward Daniel Paille was knocked out of their 4-1 win against the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday afternoon. Paille was put down on the ice after a big hit at the blue line by Sabres rookie defenseman Jake McCabe.
McCabe was given a five-minute major for interference and a game misconduct. Paille was led off the ice straight to the locker room where he did not return. Bruins coach Claude Julien did not offer an update on Paille after the game. Paille missed time with a concussion back in early March and suffered from concussion-like symptoms in December.
The debate here is if this hit was worthy of a major penalty. The better debate might be whether it was worth a penalty at all. Have a look: