It turns out that the Capitals are going to be a bit more careful with Nicklas Backstrom.
After getting an elbow in the head from Rene Bourque, Backstrom has been practicing and working out like normal with the Caps. Coach Dale Hunter tells Mike Vogel of Dump And Chase that they’re going to err on the side of caution with Backstrom, however, and sit him out of tonight’s game against the Sharks.
“He’s not going to play,” says Caps coach Dale Hunter of Backstrom. “We’re just being careful. He feels good, but you’ve still got to be careful with it.”
Backstrom has said all along that he feels fine and that all is well, but you can’t blame the Capitals for being careful with their No. 1 centerman. After all, Backstrom is their top setup man and the guy that helps the Caps offense go. Having him sit out one game sure beats having him miss more after putting his health at risk. It’s just another example of a team taking concussion worries much more seriously.
Maybe it was David Krejci who put Sidney Crosby on the shelf
We know that Sidney Crosby is going to be out of action for the Penguins’ next two games, but what was the hit that got Crosby back on the Pens’ watch list? Seems that his collision with teammate Chris Kunitz is the one that everyone has paid attention to, but Mike Colligan of The Hockey Writers found another one that might’ve done the trick.
There’s no ill intent, no purpose to hurt anyone, it was just a hockey play. Not one of those Colin Campbell hockey plays where a guy misses months of action, just your regular run-of-the-mill turn and fire with the puck. Colligan notes that Crosby went right after Krejci later in the period to voice his displeasure.
Here’s video of the play in question.
Crosby stayed in the game after this and later ran into Kunitz making the whole game a bit of a mess for Pittsburgh. With how much the Penguins have riding on Crosby’s health and the nervousness about seeing him sustain another head injury, holding him out of action this weekend makes sense.
Could something as innocuous as this be the sort of thing that undoes all the months of rehab though? Let’s hope not.
Canucks lose Dan Hamhuis to his second concussion this year after huge hit
Vancouver’s ability to withstand crucial injuries will be tested once again, and this time it’s their defense that suffers another blow. Dan Hamhuis was knocked out of today’s game against Columbus with a concussion after hitting his head on the ice after a huge hit involving Rick Nash and his defensive partner Kevin Bieksa.
Hamhuis was immediately supervised under the league’s new concussion protocol and did not return to the game. The concussion is the second one that Hamhuis has suffered this season. He missed five games in February after taking a big, and questionable, hit from Anaheim’s Ryan Getzlaf. Suffering another head injury nearly two months later will certainly ensure that Hamhuis’ recovery time is extended.
Losing Hamhuis is a big setback for the Canucks blue line this late in the year when they were finally starting to get everyone back into action. Having been without the likes of Bieksa, Keith Ballard, and Sami Salo for significant chunks of this season and still going without Alexander Edler and Andrew Alberts now. Coming back into focus now will be the Canucks depth and with Aaron Rome and Chris Tanev set to likely see more time, players they weren’t banking on being big on minutes will now likely be helping the Canucks make a run at the Stanley Cup.
Championship teams persist through adversity and the Canucks have certainly had plenty of that this year including Manny Malhotra’s season-ending eye injury. Can they overcome this shot to their defense? If the regular season is a proper measuring stick, they should be able to do just fine.