MINSK, Belarus – The hope around Team Canada is that the right leg injury Alex Burrows suffered Friday in a victory over Italy is not too serious.
Coach Dave Tippett and his players were somewhat optimistic about Burrows after a knee-on-knee hit from Italy’s Joachim Ramoser knocked the Vancouver Canucks forward out of the game late in the first period.
“I don’t think he’ll be out too long,” goaltender James Reimer said after helping Canada beat Italy 6-1 at the world hockey championship. “We’re not quite sure the extent of what’s going on, but I don’t think it’s as serious as it may have appeared, although you never know when things settle down. Hopefully he’ll be back, but who knows.”
It looked bad because Burrows was on the ice and writhing in pain with 56 seconds left in the first after he collided with Ramoser, who was given a five-minute major penalty for kneeing and an automatic game misconduct. Burrows could not put any weight on his right leg while being helped off the ice by teammates Brayden Schenn and Nathan MacKinnon and did not return.
Ramoser attempted to apologize to Burrows before skating off, and Italian coach Tom Pokel also addressed the situation with Tippett after the game.
“The five-minute major penalty was obviously not intentional, it’s not our style,” said Pokel, a native of Green Bay, Wisc. “Hopefully Alex is OK.”
Tippett agreed that he did not think Ramoser tried to injure Burrows. Reimer had the same feeling, even though he acknowledged seeing the play from a bad angle.
“I don’t think anybody on that team’s dirty,” Reimer said. “I think it was just incidental contact and accidents happen.”
Nate DiCasmirro, an Aitkokan, Ont., native playing for Italy, said Ramoser felt bad about the incident.
“He’s a young guy, first tournament, so he’s pretty down,” DiCasmirro said. “We’re trying to cheer him up and stuff like that. He’ll bounce back.”
If Burrows feels OK Saturday, it’s possible he could play Sunday against Sweden in Canada’s biggest game of the preliminary round. Without him, the Canadians would be down to 12 healthy forwards.
“He’s a big part of this team,” captain Kevin Bieksa said. “The way that he plays is contagious, the grit that he plays with and the character. He’s a big-game player, so we’re going to need him coming down the stretch.”
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