Edit 4:58 PM: Lidstrom spoke with DRW.com earlier; the consensus is that his knee is a little sore and swollen, but he doesn't have a headache, and will have an MRI tomorrow. He also noted the following:
"I have a pretty good mark on my chin where he hit me," said Lidstrom, a five-time Norris Trophy winner. "Whether he tried to or not, I don't know, but he followed through and finished with his elbow up on my chin and that's when my head went back into the glass."Personally I'm really starting to wish we played them again this season .
It was great to see the Wings win last night, 4-0 over the Avs (whom they have now not allowed to score a goal in over 200 minutes if play), but the evening was marred by Ian Laperriere's hit against captain Nick Lidstrom in the first period. The hit itself didn't look necessarily bad, but Laperriere caught Lidstrom awkwardly and he went down hard.
While the injury is being called a "knee sprain" and doesn't appear to be too serious (Ansar Khan reports 7-10 days) the really scary part was just how disoriented Nick seemed afterward. He struggled several times to get up, and when he finally did he was wobbly, looked hazy and lost and needed help to get off the ice. Maybe it's just from watching so many Wings games (in which Nick has played 1,430 out of a possible 1,452 games, including the playoffs, since entering the NHL in 1991 - and most of those 22 games missed were because the team was resting him for the playoffs) and never seeing him look so misplaced out there, but it was hard to watch the highlights.
The hit inspired a bit of a resurgence of the the old Blood Feud rivalry days, and it was great to see Aaron Downey take on Laperriere in retaliation (to Laperriere's credit, it was also very classy of him to later say, "I would have done the same thing if it had been on the other side. I respect Aaron Downey and have no problem with what he did.") and coach Mike Babcock being restrained by a bench assistant as he leaned over to yell across the benches at Joel Quenneville - although it would have been more fun if every fan watching didn't have the captain on his mind.
Losing Lidstrom is obvious a worst case scenario for the Wings, but the captain only being expected out for 2-3 games is about the best we could have hoped for, and to hear this also from Khan helps as well:
"Lidstrom sat in his dressing room stall icing his knee, getting treatment and watching the rest of the game on TV. The Wings said he didn't sustain a concussion and he never blacked out. At one point he wanted to return to the game."In the meantime, the Wings will look to bring back their winning ways without the help of Lidstrom, Dan Cleary, Dominik Hasek, Niklas Kronwall, and Brian Rafalski (though he is considered likely to return Friday). The defensive core has been shaken up a little but the Wings are still managing to get their game back and played solidly against Colorado, winning on two goals from Henrik Zetterberg, and one each from Valtteri Filppula and Chris Chelios, while goalie Chris Osgood put his struggles behind him and shut out the Avalanche.
Let's hope the dark days are over.