A rough stretch here for defensemen on playoff-bound teams.
You can add Florida’s Erik Gudbranson to a list that, after last night’s action, now includes the Rangers’ Ryan McDonagh and the Isles’ Calvin de Haan — after taking a high hit from Toronto’s Colin Greening on Monday, the Panthers sent Gudbranson back to Florida on Tuesday for further evaluation.
Gudbranson averages over 20 minutes a night and, at 6-foot-5, 216 pounds, is Florida’s most physically imposing defenseman. He leads the club’s blueliners in hits, with 150, and is fourth on the team in fighting majors.
He’s also the second Panthers d-man to be sidelined with concussion issues.
Captain Willie Mitchell hasn’t played since mid-January while dealing with post-concussion symptoms, and it’s unclear if he’ll be able to return to the club this season.