Red and Black Hockey
by David Lee on 04/23/09 at 03:55 AM ET
According to reports out of New Jersey, Devils’ captain Jamie Langenbrunner and defenseman Bryce Salvador are both “doubtful” for Thursday’s game five against Carolina. Langenbrunner suffered a “lower body” injury during game two and Salvador injured his knee in game four.
When asked about the availability of the players, coach Brent Sutter was vague, but offered a hint that Salvador is a no-go. From Fire&Ice
“I thought our five defensemen played extremely well,” Sutter said. ‘I thought the five of them handled it very well. And Greenie will come in and we won’t miss a beat.”
wherein “Greenie” = Andy Greene.
Salvador’s injury occurred near the end of the second period on Tuesday while the Canes were still up 3-0. A very unpopular Devil, Nic Havelid, had a hand in the play.
Salvador cross-checked Matt Cullen from behind, right in front of Marty’s net. Both players went to the ice. Separate from that, a few feet away, Havelid was attempting to clear Chad LaRose out of Marty’s house, but instead he knocked Sharpie and himself into the pile. Salvador’s left leg was on top of Cullen, and as he tried to roll himself off, Sharpie landed on the leg, twisting or bending Salvador’s knee in a way that it’s not meant to twisted or bent. There is no doubt from his reaction that he was in a tremendous amount of pain. He was eventually able to get up and gingerly leave the ice under mostly his own power, but it didn’t look good.
He was optimistic about being able to return, but didn’t practice and wasn’t available to the media on Wednesday, giving rise to suspicion that he won’t play.
Meanwhile, the Hurricanes have been lucky enough to stay healthy and they will almost certainly keep the exact lineup that they used in games three and four. After game one, Paul Maurice subbed Ryan Bayda for Tim Conboy on the fourth line left wing, and that has paid big dividends. After game two, Dennis Seidenberg replaced Frantisek Kaberle on the second defensive pairing. I’ve been sharply critical of Kaberle, so it didn’t hurt my feelings one bit. Seids had eight hits on Tuesday. I don’t think Frankie has had eight hits in his entire career.
Carolina and New Jersey will play the pivotal game five at 7:30 on Thursday.
The time of game six in Raleigh on Sunday depends upon how game five between the Rangers and Caps goes on Friday. If Washington forces that series to a game six, they will be on NBC at 2pm and Carolina/New Jersey will be on Versus at 7:30. If the Rangers close out that series, the Canes/Devils game will be the featured game on NBC and we’ll have to listen to Pierre McGuire babble on about one of his man-crushes. His flavor of the week is Mike Richards, but since the Flyers are on the precipice of elimination, he’ll have to find a backup.
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About Red and Black Hockey
David Lee is a restaurant manager with an unused degree in political science. He can be found at Carolina Hurricanes games, Scrabble tournaments and indie-rock shows. Sometimes, all in the same day.