Red Wings News: Nick Lidstrom Out with Knee Sprain

Bleacher ReportSenior Analyst IFebruary 19, 2008

Update (2:42 PM): The official site has a brief piece in which Lidstrom talks about the hit and his injury.

He describes his knee as "sore and a little bit swollen," so take that as you will. It sounds like his head is fine as he does not have a headache.

He of course does not come right out and accuse Laperriere of anything, but he does leave his true feelings open to interpretation:

“I have a pretty good mark on my chin where he hit me. 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.”

- Matt

 Update (1:43 PM): Ryan Doherty reports that Nick’s knee will be reevaluated tomorrow morning rather than today, as previously expected.

As some have noted, the “7-10 day” diagnosis came a little fast, but  there’s no particular reason to disbelieve it at this point. Sure, it’s possible that 7-10 days is optimistic, but if it was much worse than a simple sprain, we’d probably already know.

Still, pray that the MRI has a positive result. - Matt


Ansar Khan is reporting that the right knee sprain Nick Lidstrom suffered last night, as a result of a high hit by Colorado's Ian Laperriere, will keep him out a week, or longer.

A seven-day recovery period would put Lidstrom behind for the February 26th meeting with Edmonton, while 10 days would have him back for the March 1st home game against the San Jose Sharks.

Lidstrom missing two to three games is a blow, but the team is extremely fortunate he won't be out longer than that.  A more serious injury would have put a serious damper on their hopes for a long playoff run.  It is impossible to overstate Lidstrom's importance to the team.  It's going to be a major test of their resiliency as they go through the next couple games.

The situation on the blueline will be improved by Brian Rafalski's likely return on Friday.  Still, no one player can replace a five-time Norris Trophy winner.  In the coming games, the team will need to put forth the same effort that propelled them to a 4-0 win over the Avs last night.

When I got home last night after the game (which I was unable to watch), I just wanted to check the score and go to bed.  Then I saw the comment emails sitting in my inbox.  IwoCPO put it perfectly, titling his first post on the incident, "Worst Case Scenario: Lidstrom Helped Off the Ice."  When it comes to possible injuries, losing Nick Lidstrom is basically as bad as it gets.  Fortunately, the post-game news was fairly good or I would have slept much worse than I did.

This morning I wanted to see a replay as a I worked on school stuff (thinking the whole time, "I have more important things to do than prepare for this presentation. Like find out how Nick is.").  Thankfully, IwoCPO posted the highlights from the game.

It's difficult to watch.  The hit is high, but not overtly vicious.  Maybe unnecessarily hard, but not particularly dangerous.  Laperriere caught Lidstorm in a bad position and didn't hold back.  Personally, I call it disrespect and typical of a low-life like Laperriere, though I know there are those out there who disagree.

In any case, I've seen players get up fine after much nastier looking hits.  The part that's hard to watch is Nick's disorientation as he gets up.  In all my years of watching the Wings, I have never seen him out of it like that. It was jarring in a way similar to seeing Steve Yzerman's reaction to taking a puck to the face. 

Laperriere obviously caught Nick with a late elbow/forearm and his head rebounded off the glass, causing the disorientation.  Let's hope his head is okay.

I'm thankful for Mike Hasenfratz, who was quick to grab hold of Lidstrom and whistle the play dead before he fell again.

I'm glad Aaron Downey was in the lineup last night.  It was good to see the replay of him beating up Laperriere.  That's precisely what No. 20's job is.  I'd like to think that  teams might think twice about streamrolling the Wings' superstar now.

Anyway, Lidstrom has been an incredibly consistent feature of the Wings' lineup over the years, missing only 22 of 1,452 games, and most of those because he was being rested for the playoffs.  Rarely has the team had to go it without him.

Be sure to read IwoCPO's wrap-up here.

Lastly, keep an eye on the AHL wire over the next couple days. If it turns out that Rafalski isn't quite ready to go Friday, Jonathan Ericsson will get the call-up.


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