evgeny-kuznetsov-shoulder

Photo credit: Vitaly Gubin/HC Traktor

Yesterday we had an alarming report out of Chelyabinsk, where it appeared that Washington Capitals prospect Evgeny Kuznetsov injured his shoulder for the umpteenth time.

Traktor Chelyabinsk’s head coach Valery Belousov wasn’t very encouraging after the game, saying that Zhenya “hurt his shoulder a little.” Today, however, the news out of Chelyabinsk is a bit more reassuring, as reported by Yuriy Golyshak of Sport-Express and translated below.

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How Did Alex Ovechkin Get Hurt?

ovechkin-injury

Photo credit: Rich Lam

Sometime during Monday’s game against the Vancouver Canucks, Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin suffered an upper body injury. “I think [the injury happened] in the first period sometime,” head coach Adam Oates said to Monumental Network on Wednesday. “He was sore. [Head athletic trainer Greg Smith ] told me he was a little sore. I think as the game went along probably a little sorer. Yesterday was an off-day, we traveled, so he’s getting checked out today.”

Oates confirmed that Ovi was not suffering from a concussion. Thursday morning, Mike Vogel announced Ovechkin would not travel to Philadelphia and miss Friday’s game.

I re-watched the entire first period of the game Wednesday night. Frequent RMNB GIF contributor Hana Imiolczyk (welshhockeyfan) did too. When did Ovechkin get hurt and what is the nature of the injury?

Here’s what we pieced together.

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jack-hillen-injury

Photo credit: Bruce Bennett

Jack Hillen‘s knee was pinned between the boards and Calgary’s Lance Bouma as Bouma out all his weight into the hit. Just eight minutes into Thursday’s home opener, Hillen was hurt and needed assistance to leave the ice, unable to put any weight on his leg.

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brooks-hip-flexor-injury

Washington Capitals forward Brooks Laich came out from the lockerroom and addressed with the media why he left the ice only after ten minutes this morning. “It was a left hip flexor,” Laich said to 106.7 The Fan’s Sky Kerstein. “It is completely non-related to what happened to me last year.”

“We’ll monitor it day-by-day and it should come back very very quickly,” Laich added according to Monumental Network.

Laich also suggested that the ice at Kettler may have contributed to his injury. “The ice back home [in Saskatchewan] is very hard, and I came here and this ice is very soft.”

Laich says he tweaked his hip and first started feeling pain last Thursday.

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brooks-laich-hurt-again

Photo credit: Justin K. Aller

Well that was fast. Our long national nightmare continues. Brooks Laich is hurt again.

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Kuznetsov absorbs a hit in Traktor’s season opener against Dynamo. (Photo credit: HC Traktor)

Washington Capitals top prospect Evgeny Kuznetsov played all of 30 seconds in his team’s second game of the regular season, a loss to Vityaz Podolsk, 5-3.

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Tom Wilson knocks down Chris Bigras. (Photo credit: Plymouth Whalers)

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.

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martin-erat-injured

Photo credit: J Pat Carter

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.

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Dmitry Orlov sits with the other scratches during Saturday's Bears game

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.

Unfortunately, as he confirmed to me on Saturday night during the first intermission of the Bears/Senators game, Orlov suffered an injury after absorbing a hit from Emerson Etem. Due to team policy, Orlov would not reveal the nature or location of his injury.

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.

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Dmitry Orlov

Photo credit: Jordan Tenenbaum

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.

While Holtby dominated in the Bears 2-1 victory during the Showcase, Orlov made it through just the first period before leaving the game due to injury. Since then, Orlov has missed ten games– a month’s worth of action. Bears radio announcer and PR man Scott Stuccio told RMNB on Thursday night that the Novokuznetsk-native is not close to returning yet.

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