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.
Forty-two seconds into the game, Alex Ovechkin got his first shift. It was eventful. First, the Russian machine harmlessly knocked over Daniel Sedin from behind in the offensive zone.
Hm, no apparent injury there– at least not to Ovechkin.
Twenty seconds later, The Great Eight was sprung on a breakaway.
As Ovi breaks in alone on goal, Alexander Edler trips the three-time Hart trophy winner from behind.
Ovechkin’s torso and ribs land on his left wrist, left arm, and his stick.
Ovechkin lies in the goal for 10 to 15 seconds before finally getting up. It’s unclear if he was winded from the play, disappointed that he didn’t score, or injured and taking his time to get up.
Ovechkin was awarded a penalty shot for his efforts. He did not score, failing to get much lift on the shot. It would be the only shot he registered in the period.
A minute later, the Canucks’ Ryan Stanton held Joel Ward. The Caps went on the powerplay. Ovechkin took his second shift of the game, filling his normal spot on the Caps’ first line power play unit.
During this shift, the normally aggressive Ovechkin appears timid, looking to pass over shooting. At one momenet, when he dishes to Mike Green at the point, Ovechkin looks a bit hindered.
A few minutes later, Ovechkin got another shift. As the puck is frozen by Luongo, Ovechkin shrugs his left arm.
For the rest of the first period, Ovechkin looked like himself. He delivered hit after hit after hit. He showed the normal Ovi aggressiveness, except for shooting the puck.
With two seconds left in the period however, Dan Hamhuis catches Ovechkin at the red line with a hit that catches him in the left arm and ribs.
Ovechkin skates off the ice slowly.
In the second and third periods, Ovechkin attempted only three more shots, getting two on net. His three shots on the game are way below his average this season.
So, the injury. After re-watching the film, Ovechkin appeared to be struggling with either a left-wrist or left-arm injury. He could also be dealing from some sort of rib ailment on his left side.
Whatever the injury is, it definitely appears to have happened when he was tripped up on his breakaway in the first minute of the game.
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