The human ankle is a conglomerate of bones and ligaments that naturally work against each other to enable us to walk, run and, in hockey, skate. It is a miraculous mechanism which relies on all of these moving parts to be in perfect sync - otherwise, one can experience pain.
Or "Big Pain" as Washington Capitals' centerman
Mikhail Grabovski put it when he was forced to the shelf for eight games
after New Jersey Devils' defenseman Bryce Salvador fell on his leg
during a game on January 24th - but Grabovski was back in the lineup
against the Florida Panthers on Thursday night, though teammates knew he
was skating on thin ice with the ankle.
“We knew his status coming into the game tonight,” right wing Troy Brouwer said. “We
knew it might be a touch and go kind of feeling thing. Obviously
something happened in the game early that didn’t feel well for him and
he pulled out.”
lasted all of three shifts in the 5-4 Caps' victory over Florida before
Panthers' forward Nick Bjugstad fell on his leg, aggravating the joint
and sending Grabovski to the room, where he rained for the duration of
“I don’t know if it’s the same spot, they’re going to check,” Coach Adam
Oates said. “Those ankle injuries are difficult, as I think everybody’s
seen before, and hopefully it’s not bad.”
It was bad
enough that the playmaker couldn't play Saturday in Boston, as he had
returned to Washington to be evaluated by team doctors, and no new word
has emerged from the team in regard to his status moving forward.
Capitals, who entered the Olympic break on a hot streak has come out of
the break absolutely on fire and have now won five of their last six
and are just one point behind Philadelphia for third place in the
Metropolitan Division and the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference
playoff race - and also a point behind Detroit for the second wild card
And wouldn't you know it? Washington enters a
home and home series with the Flyers on Sunday afternoon in a battle for
that playoff spot, the second leg of the series on Wednesday before
things get much, much tougher for the Capitals with trips to Boston,
Pittsburgh and the California gauntlet against the Murderer's Row lineup
of Anaheim, Los Angeles and San Jose.
Hopefully for the Caps, Grabovski's ankle heals quickly.