The c-word is a dirty word.
Keeping that in mind, Chris Phillips has a concussion.
To this point, there’s been no clarification as to whether the reason as to why he left Monday night’s game against New Jersey at the 7:47 mark of the second period was related to the decision to scratched from the December 27th game against Montreal. Admittedly however, when it was reported that Phillips left the game with an undisclosed ‘upper body injury’, I feared that it was a euphemism for concussion.
Who could blame me for that?
It’s a by-product of this hockey era: concussions are prevalent and it’s the topic du jour in the sports media realm.
From James Gordon at SenatorsExtra.com:
“We’re going to be hopeful that it’s short term and it’s being evaluated and it appears to be a mild one, but it depends on him,” said MacLean.
The coach says there’s no question the Senators will miss the steadying influence of the 33-year-old Phillips, who has played 984 career regular season games, all with the Senators.
“Chris has been a real steadying influence on our team and a major part of any success we’ve had in our end end defensively,” he said. “If he’s not playing, we’re going to miss him, much like we did when (Filip) Kuba and (Sergei) Gonchar were out. I thought he was stellar in his play when they were out and any time we’re missing a veteran player, it gives us a concern.
“He has been here a long time, part of our leadership group and he has a lot of pull in the locker room and he’s well respected. So when he’s not in there, it’s going to make a difference.”
According to Hockey Prospectus, Ottawa has the worst defensive GVT in the NHL and the second-worst goaltending GVT. Whatever success Ottawa has had in the defensive zone has been limited. I don’t even want to think of how much worse it could get if Phillips (who has the second highest defensive GVT rating amongst Ottawa’s defencemen) is out for a prolonged period of time.