The Battle of Ontario ramped up during the second period of Saturday’s game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Ottawa Senators.
Maple Leafs’ forward Nazem Kadri got away with a hit from behind on Senators’ defenseman Cody Ceci, then immediately took the puck and set up Joffrey Lupul for the tying goal. The Senators immediately responded to the Kadri hit, going right after him behind the net after the goal was scored.
The Senators weren’t happy with the non-call, either.
“We felt it was from behind, but to be honest it’s irrelevant what we think,” said Colin Greening, as per Jonas Siegel of TSN 1050 radio.
Kadri has already received supplemental discipline this season. He was suspended three games for running Minnesota Wild goalie Niklas Backstrom in November.
In that same game, Kadri was ejected for an illegal hit to the head of Mikael Granlund.
The St. Louis Blues don’t expect to get David Backes (concussion) or Vladimir Sobotka (upper body) back against the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday, but their captain seems like he’s closer to returning.
While Sobotka was placed on the IR on Friday and isn’t expected to join the Blues during their brief road trip, Backes did travel with the team and seemed upbeat to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
It doesn’t hurt that the 29-year-old is traveling with the Blues and participated in an optional skate today.
“There’s been a little improvement every day and that’s a positive sign,” Backes said. “We’ll see how things transpires here in the next little while. Hopefully I’ll be an ice hockey player again in the near future.”
Backes was banged up by what he described as a less-than-optimal hit by Colin Greening of the Ottawa Senators on Monday. The Blues lost to Ottawa that night and San Jose on Tuesday but bounced back against Montreal on Thursday.
David Backes saw one streak end on Wednesday night and on Thursday, he’ll begin another.
Backes, who had his streak of 274 consecutive appearances snapped against San Jose last night, will miss his second straight game on Thursday when the Blues take on Montreal.
The St. Louis captain has been sidelined since colliding with Sens forward Colin Greening during a 3-2 OT loss on Monday. The injury occurred when it appeared Greening’s helmet made contact with Backes’ head, forcing him from the contest while looking wobbly on his skates.
Today, Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock would only say that Backes is out, noting that he hasn’t been cleared to do anything.
The loss is a big one for St. Louis as Backes has been playing remarkably well this season. Prior to getting hurt, he was on pace for career highs in goals and points and was flying on a line with Alexander Steen and T.J. Oshie.
Perhaps even Cody Ceci couldn’t have scripted it any better.
Ceci scored his first career National Hockey League goal to lift the Ottawa Senators to a 3-2 overtime win over the St. Louis Blues on Monday night. We should mention that Ceci was playing in just his third NHL game, and is born in Ottawa.
Ceci is the Senators’ first-round pick, 15th overall, from the 2012 NHL Draft. The win gives Ottawa three in their last five games.
The goal might not have been the prettiest – just a wrist shot from the point that got through traffic in front and beat Blues’ goalie Brian Elliott. But they all count.
Adding to the loss on the score board was the loss of Blues’ captain David Backes, who appeared woozy after a collision with Senators’ forward Colin Greening.
St. Louis Blues captain David Backes left Monday’s game against the Ottawa Senators and will not return due to an upper-body injury, as per Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Backes struggled on his way back to the bench and to the dressing room after a collision with Ottawa Senators forward Colin Greening in the second period.
In 31 games with the Blues this season, Backes has 16 goals and 30 points prior to Monday’s game.
Senators forward Bobby Ryan was also shaken up in the second period, but has since returned to the game, as per Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun.
Updated: As per Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Blues’ head coach Ken Hitchcock said Backes is “day to day” but did not disclose what type of injury it was.