Washington Capitals first round pick Tom Wilson recently missed three games with what OHL announcers described as a “minor ailment.” Wilson returned Friday night and had a huge impact in Game Five of the Plymouth Whalers’ playoff series against the Owen Sound Attack. In a 5-0 win that gave Wilson’s Whalers a 3-2 series lead, the Ten Train scored a power play goal and picked up six minutes of penalties — two coincidental roughing minors with Gemel Smith and Kurtis Gabriel and an unsportsmanlike conduct minor.
Less than twenty minutes into the contest between the Washington Capitals and the Florida Panthers, the Caps’ big trade deadline acquisition, veteran winger Martin Erat, went awkwardly into the boards courtesy of a reckless shove by hulking young defenseman Eric Gudbranson. A few anxious seconds later, Caps fans were holding their breath as Marty was helped off the ice by his teammates, clearly favoring his right leg. Later on, the team referred to it as a “lower body injury.” Nothing to be happy about, of course, but it could have been so much worse, especially given Erat’s extensive concussion history.
“Wait! What concussion history?,” you may ask, and rightfully so. After all, Marty has been an NHLer for over a decade, and in all that time the Nashville Predators (his team since his debut in 2003) released exactly zero statements mentioning Martin Erat having a concussion. The ubiquitous “upper body injury” appears numerous times, but never a concussion. In fact, a Google search for “Martin Erat concussion” yields references to just one suspected case – an injury Erat suffered during the last World Championship. So, no worries then, right?
But what if someone actually asked Marty? Because someone did.
Dima sits with the other Bears scratches during Saturday’s Bears game. (Photo credit: Katie Stansbery)
When Dmitry Orlov came out of the tunnel for the AHL Showcase game last month, he was excited to see fans back at Verizon Center. It was the reason why, in his opinion, he played the best hockey of his season. The AHL gamesheet says that the 21-year-old defenseman recorded two shots on goal that first period, but Dima remembered it being closer to four or five.
After spending two weeks recovering, Orlov has begun riding an exercise bike and lifting weights. According to Hershey Bears head coach Mark French, Orlov is close to getting back on the ice for practice again.
On December 6th, the Verizon Center hosted the AHL Showcase between the Hershey Bears and Norfolk Admirals. Due to the lockout, it was the first hockey game played in Washington since May 9th, when two current Bears were playing with the Capitals: Braden Holtby and Dmitry Orlov.
Special thanks to Gary Bettman for letting the guys out of the Quiet Room long enough for us to snap this pic. Enlarge. (Photo illustration by Ian Oland)
The stars of the All-Star Game were a little less bright this year. Some of the familiar faces that fans expect were absent for reasons that are becoming all too familiar in the modern NHL: head injury. Approximately 85 head injuries have been reported this year, meaning that nearly ten percent of all active players have been injured. 28 of 30 teams have reported at least one head injury, while some franchises have dealt with as many six or seven. With star center Nicklas Backstromnow sitting out due to concussion, the issue has hit close to home for Caps fans.
Our favorite beat reporters, Tarik El-Bashier (The Washington Post) and Corey Masisak (hired gun), are on the scene in Montreal, confirming what we feared last night: Joe Corvo and Shaone Morrisonn are not practicingwith the team today.
I haven’t gotten a clear message on Corvo’s exit, but Shaone took a nasty swipe to his wrist/hand area in the second period and did not return. Corvo had a goal in game one, and ShaMo had been playing great hockey so far. Both will be missed.
Will we see John Erskine and Tyler Sloan tomorrow night? Can anyone in Hershey catch the red-eye up to Canada? Please? Pretty please?
RMNB will keep you posted.
(And by that, we mean we’ll just repeat what someone else said and then put a joke in there.)
In just a few hours, the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins will face off for the second-t0-last time ever before the playoffs in a few weeks. The stakes are not as high as they have been– both teams are sure things for the post-season, D.C.’s win streak has ended, and NBC’s Pierre McGuire won’t be leaving drool streaks on the glass barrier between him and the Pens bench. Still, any meeting between these two rivals guarantees an exciting game. Except that one time. But unfortunately, both squads have modified their lines to accommodate injured players. And when our hockey heroes cannot play, we must toast their immortal memory in a feature we like to call… Russian Machine Sometimes Breaks!