He tried to play. It was a valiant effort by the Canucks captain. But he was clearly in pain and as a result he will not play tonight in Montreal or Saturday in Toronto.
Three weeks ago this happened (28 second mark):
Damn you, Martin Hanzal! That's gonna hurt on or several of those lower ribs. Rib injuries suck. Period. They take a long time to heal, whether it's cartilage or bone damage. I cracked and bruised ribs before and it takes at least 4 weeks to heal. Certain movements that put any strain on the damaged area, including sneezing, or taking faceoffs, causes pain. If you don't ease off on physical activity you risk the chance of aggravating the injury. This appears to be the case with Hank.
If he wasn't 100% during his return he should not have returned. It's a contact sport. I am not sure why he came back prematurely. Ignored doctor's orders? Lied about the pain? Wanted to play through it and be ready for Sochi?
Now him playing for Sweden
is was a big concern. Given the amount of pain he was in last game, and not even being able to take faceoffs, it's clear that his injury has been aggravated. That generally means he should be shelved for a month to let the injury fully heal.
There were growing concerns over Hank playing in Sochi and aggravating the injury further and delaying the healing process. If he would do so, and would then need more time after the Olympic break to return, his allegiances to the Canucks would come into question. John Tortorella said today:
"It’s got to the point where he’s not as effective as we want him to be. Sooner or later, you’re going to put him at risk. We needed to do this (bench him for the next 2 games)."
"It (Sochi) is a family matter. That is the players’ matter. That’s his country.
"I’ll tell you right now, do I want him to go? Absolutely not. I’m thinking about our hockey club."
Well, Torts and all of us got our wish. Henrik Sedin has reportedly chosen not to play for Sweden in Sochi. He wouldn't have been effective enough anyway, and I am sure Sweden has plenty of better options out there than playing Hank at 50%.
Wise move, Hank. I am sure though that this is a very disappointing day for you though.