The Phoenix Coyotes may have dodged the proverbial bullet as defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson appears to have escaped serious injury from taking a vicious shot into the boards on Thursday night.
regarded to be the Coyotes' best and most trustworthy blue liner and a
lock for the Swedish National Team preparing to participate in the Sochi
Olympic games, Ekman-Larsson was taken immediately into the locker room
for evaluation after being boarded by Columbus' Derek MacKenzie.
who drove Ekman-Larsson face-first into the sideboards, was not
whistled for a penalty but was taken to task by veteran Coyotes'
defenseman Keith Yandle - the two duking it out and landing in the box with fighting majors instead.
The league took exception to the hit, however, suspending MacKenzie for three games.
has been no update on the condition of Ekman-Larsson, but the
specualtion in the media is that his participation going forward will be
a game-time decision.
The 22-year-old has played in
all 40 of the 'Dogs games this season, accounting for 22 points on four
goals and 18 big helpers while eating up a nearly 25 minute chunk of ice
time per game - so his loss would be a major blow, particularly when considering that his first-unit defense partner, Zbynek Michalek, is currently on the shelf with a hip injury.