Monday, November 30, 2009
Joe Beninati on Ovechkin's apparent knee injury
By Joe Beninati
Judging by the final score you wouldn't have said the Caps were 21-points superior to the Hurricanes in the Southeast Division standings. After a lackluster start, Washington found it's skating legs and recovered to win a 3-2 hockey game. While at the same time fearing they may have lost Alex Ovechkin to an apparent knee injury.As I write this, I just witnessed Ovechkin walk onto the bus without the aid of crutches. He will be further evaluated by Caps team physician Dr.Ben Shaffer in the morning. No MRI tests will be conducted until tomorrow.Jose Theodore deserves a great deal of credit for the win. The Canes attacked the net very early in this one tonight and could have lead by two or three goals in the first seven minutes.
Washington had a sleepy start and thankfully Theodore was sharp from beginning to end.Nick Backstrom played at a very high level in this first meeting with Carolina. He's been in the midst of a drought in the last couple weeks, but Bruce Boudreau gave us the indication he could see signs of Backstrom finding his form. That would come this evening. He was the driving force behind the Caps attack. He brought the puck strongly to the net all night and was rewarded for it.If Ovechkin is out for any length of time, Eric Fehr seems to be in line to cover his top line wing position. We've all waited to see Eric go on a scoring rampage, the likes of which
he produced regularly in junior hockey and in the American Hockey League. Well, he's in a nice groove now. He's a tough guy to cover in the slot area and if he continues to go to the net with power, his points will continue to come. We just have to get him to refrain from taking the penalties that made this game way too interesting late in regulation.Say a prayer or two for Ovechkin. I'm sure the league will review the collision to see if any suspension is warranted. But more importantly let's hope he's healthy for the long term.