Captain Bryce Salvador said he will not need surgery on his right hand and wrist, where he was struck by a Zdeno Chara slap shot.
“I’m pretty fortunate not to be working on my hand this summer,” he said. “I’ll probably be cleared (by doctors) in a week. No surgery, just a little rehab to get the strength back.”
It’s good news that he just needs a week or so to heal up and that shows (I’m guessing) if the Devils had made the playoffs, he would’ve been on the ice for Game 2 or Game 3, if not Game 1. Of course, before he returns to the lineup, he’ll obviously have to show Pete DeBoer he’s ready. “How will he do that,” you ask? I imagine it will go something like this:
As I said on Twitter postgame, this was an impressive win for a lot of reasons. Yes, the Devils probably should’ve played like this at some point during their 10-game slide. No, two more wins like this won’t drastically change how we look at the season. However, there were bright spots in this game that lend themselves toward a positive look for next season and it’s possible missing the playoffs flipped a switch in the psyche of a lot of these players, which is another topic for another day. As for tonight’s game, some thoughts…
Fortitude: At least for me, the most impressive part of tonight’s win came after the Canadiens scored two unanswered, the second of which came including one in the final minute of the second period. We’ve seen the Devils melt down multiple times in that scenario, giving up an early goal in the third and going on to lose in regulation or in extra play. It’s been one of my biggest criticisms of this Devils team, particularly during their recent slide. This team lacked a strong enough mental edge to their game to rebound from “woe is us” moments. Tonight, though, they didn’t need a timeout to correct them and while they struggled to get shots on net in the third, they still kept the Canadiens at bay for long stretches. Also, the Habs came out in the third and tried to bully the Devils, who fought right back. Ilya Kovalchuk, for one, went right at the Canadiens after he got hit from behind. Kovy’s response, along with the the energy he’s played with and the way he drives the train (so to speak), has me wondering if it should be Kovalchuk with the captain’s “C” next season. I know Salvador is respected in the room and a lot of guys like him, but would it kill them to give it to Kovy and have Salvador take an “A?” I think it would be a wise move that would help shape the team’s mindset going into next season. Food for thought.
Bryce Salvador hasn’t played since taking a puck off his hand/wrist on April 10. The Devils initially stated they expected Salvador to return this season, but the more the injury linger, the less likely that option became. On Monday, the Devils announced the inevitable.
Devils have shut captain Bryce Salvador down for the rest of the season. At this point doctors feel he he doesn't need surgery on hand/wrist— Rich Chere (@Ledger_NJDevils) April 22, 2013
Salvador was examined by a specialist today, who said hand (struck by a Chara shot) needs to settle down. I'll be re-evaluated in few weeks— Rich Chere (@Ledger_NJDevils) April 22, 2013
This is the smart decision. It’s the right decision. Let his hand/wrist heal in the next couple weeks and over the summer. Also, let’s not forget that the hand/wrist injury is far from the only thing bothering Salvador. There’s likely a knee/hip issue as well as an upper-body injury that Salvador admitted earlier in the season he’d have to play with all year. Salvador will have plenty of time to get in shape before training camp next season, although I’m not sure if he’ll stay the captain or keep his spot on the Devils’ top defensive pairing after the season he’s had.
A lifeless start, a couple of bad penalty calls and suddenly the Devils were frustrated, losing and on their way to playoff elimination. All in all, a sad but fitting end (as far as playoff chances go) to a season that was flawed from the get-go. Some thoughts…
Two things: When you combine a lack or energy with some questionable officiating, you usually get one of two results. Sometimes the team will take on an “us against the world” mentality, snap out of their funk and go on a tear the rest of the game. That didn’t happen today. Instead, the Devils went further into their shell and seemingly quit on the game and essentially their season. Even Martin Brodeur admitted that he felt his teammates gave up when things didn’t go their way. The Devils basically mailed in the first period, negating to forecheck or apply any sort of offensive pressure on the Rangers. It was almost like the Devils came out assuming they were already eliminated from the playoffs. While it was a mathematical eventuality, it’s still disconcerting to hear players after the game talk about how they knew it was just a matter of time. When you hear stuff like that, you can understand why you get a first period like the Devils had today.
Rich Chere of the Star-Ledger caught up with injured defenseman Bryce Salvador prior to Thursday’s game against the Flyers. Salvador told Chere the puck that injured him hit where the thumb meets the hand and that further X-rays show nothing is broken. That’s good — but it doesn’t mean he’ll play again this season.
But Salvador admits it will be difficult trying to play again this season. “I’m always hopeful. The difficult thing right now is I’m not…"— Rich Chere (@Ledger_NJDevils) April 18, 2013
Salvador: "…skating regularly, so that makes it hard,” Salvador said today. “We’ll see.”— Rich Chere (@Ledger_NJDevils) April 18, 2013
We’ve been saying for the past week that Salvador should be shut down and this seems like pretty strong confirmation that he will be. It’s the right decision.
Bryce Salvador has yet to return and the “fairly significant bruise” on his right wrist is starting to look a lot worse than originally thought. To that end, the Devils send their captain for another opinion, hoping to get some clarity on whether Salvador will be able to play again this season.
The Devils sent D Bryce Salvador to get another medical opinion on his bruised right wrist. X-ray/MRI showed no fracture, but not improving— Tom Gulitti (@TGfireandice) April 16, 2013
Salvador did skate on his own Monday. Devils still awaiting results of latest examination/tests on his wrist.— Tom Gulitti (@TGfireandice) April 16, 2013
I said it over the weekend and I’ll say it again now: Shut him down. I really think we’ve seen the last of Bryce Salvador this season. The wrist injury is obviously fairly serious and he still has to deal with at least two other injuries if he’s going to return to the lineup. The Devils are not going to make the postseason so there’s no reason to rush him back into the lineup. What’s troubling is that X-rays and MRIs continue to be negative, yet the injury isn’t healing. When those tests show something, doctors can prescribe a clear rehab path, be it surgical or otherwise, in order to get the player back to 100 percent. The question now isn’t “When will Salvador return?” It’s, “What’s going on with his wrist?” The second question is a far more worrisome one to answer than the first.
Bryce Salvador missed Friday’s game with a bruised wrist and it looks like two days off won’t be enough to get him ready for Monday’s trip to Toronto. Salvador sat out practice again Saturday and Pete DeBoer was not optimistic about his captain’s chances.
DeBoer said Bryce Salvador (bruised right wrist) is "doubtful" for Monday's game in Toronto.— Tom Gulitti (@TGfireandice) April 13, 2013
Shut. Him. Down. He’s as banged up as anyone on the roster right now and there’s no way he’s going to get healthy enough in time to be of assistance to the Devils this season. You know how you know this wrist injury is serious? Salvador hasn’t been seen anywhere near practice since it happened. If he were even close to being able to play, he might be skating on his own or doing work before practice. Nope, no sightings, no work — just rest, which he should get a ton of this summer. Because he shouldn’t play again until the 2013-14 season.
Pete DeBoer announced at Friday’s morning skate that neither Ilya Kovalchuk (shoulder) nor Bryce Salvador (wrist) will be in the lineup against the Senators tonight. Neither player participated in today’s skate.
DeBoer on Kovalchuk:"It was obvious he's not close enough to help us or help himself. I don't think he's far off but definitely not tonight"— Tom Gulitti (@TGfireandice) April 12, 2013
DeBoer said Salvador (right wrist) also is "not good enough to play". Didn't know if his wrist has improved at all since yesterday.— Tom Gulitti (@TGfireandice) April 12, 2013
This isn’t much of a surprise considering what DeBoer said about both players at Thursday’s practice. While I think Kovy has a solid shot to return to the lineup Monday night, it seems readily apparent that Salvador could be looking at a decent chunk of time in the press box. With Anton Volchenkov suspended, that means the Devils will have to roll with Adam Larsson (recovered from a foot injury) and Peter Harrold tonight against Ottawa and possibly for the next few games. That is, of course, assuming the Devils don’t recall anyone from AHL Albany. I like both Larsson and Harrold, the former moreso than the latter, but I don’t think there’s any debating right now that neither are playing like top-six defensemen. While the Senators’ offense can be managed, Monday’s opponent, the Maple Leafs, have some very dangerous offensive pieces that could give both Larsson and Harrold (and Tallinder) some pretty significant trouble. But at this point, looking ahead is foolhardy. The Devils need to make sure Larsson and Harrold play smart, sound, positional hockey and don’t get caught watching the puck in their own end.