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What you need to know about COVID-19: August 7, 2020
Ottawa Senator Scott Sabourin during practice at the Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa Monday Oct 7, 2019.
A Senators medical staff member calls for assistance while tending to winger Scott Sabourin, who was knocked unconscious by a collision with Bruins winger David Backes during a game on Nov. 2 in Boston.
Scott Sabourin looked good and, thankfully, he’s feeling much better.
The Ottawa Senators’ winger took a big step on the road to recovery Monday when he skated with his teammates for the first time since a devastating collision with David Backes of the Boston Bruins during a game Nov. 2 at the TD Garden.
Taken off on a stretcher after being knocked unconscious by the hit, Sabourin suffered a broken nose and the first recorded concussion of his career. He spent the night in a Boston hospital before returning to Ottawa the next day. Since then, the 27-year-old Sabourin has been working hard to get back into the lineup.
Backes, who has also been out with a concussion, reached out to Sabourin after the hit to make sure he was okay.
“I’m feeling much better,” said Sabourin, who spoke to reporters for the first time since the hit, on Monday morning. “It’s been a little while here and I’ve been taking my time recovering but we’re taking it day-by-day. I’m glad to be out there with the guys and I’m looking forward to the future.
“(Next is) getting back to shape I’d say. Six weeks off is a bit of time so we’re just trying to progress by getting the legs back under me and getting the confidence coming along with it and then hopefully back in the lineup sooner rather than later.”
He hasn’t been cleared for contact yet, which is the next step.
“We still have a neuro-psych test to get out of the way. Hopefully that goes well and then we’ll be off to the races,” Sabourin said.
Still, getting the chance to skate with his Ottawa teammates was a big step for Sabourin. He has mainly been skating on his own and didn’t accompany the club on its recent five-game road trip so he was on the ice several days with injured defenceman Christian Wolanin, who’s recover from shoulder surgery he had in September.
There’s no timetable because until he gets clearance to take part physically, nobody is certain when he’ll return.
“I’ve been getting bag-skated a little bit here throughout the week, which has been good, but it’s always different getting out with the guys and getting the camaraderie back and feeling like you’re a part of it again,” he said. “It was awesome to be out there.”
SABOURIN WAS WORRIED ABOUT HIS FAMILY FIRST
Sabourin has seen the hit and he understands what happened.
“I didn’t watch the whole clip. I only had the little condensed version and that was plenty for me to see,” Sabourin said. “It’s what it is. It’s probably worse for my family and the rest of the world to see than it was for me. I just took a little nap, woke up and the head was hurting. That’s about it.”
Of course, he was concerned about the reaction of his family.
“I didn’t have time to be scared really,” Sabourin said. “I was a little concussed so it wasn’t really a big deal for me. I had a head that hurt and I was lucky to get away with that being the only injury. It could have been a lot worse the way I fell. It was a blessing to wake up and have a headache.
“There was a lot of people reaching out and I wanted to reach out to a few people and let them know that everything was okay. I did that and then I tried to get as much rest as I could.”
Sabourin said the reality is that he and Backes were in the wrong place at the wrong time.
“It was my fault that I went to hit him,” said Sabourin. “There’s no one to blame in that situation and in a lot of these situations there aren’t. It’s a freak accident and it happens. You play hockey and you know the dangers that come with it.”
THE LAST WORDS
The Senators recalled goaltender Marcus Hogberg to dress as the backup to Anders Nilsson after Craig Anderson suffered a knee injury in the first period Saturday in Philly. While Anderson was placed on the injured-reserve list, he won’t be eligible to return until next Saturday against Carolina. Coach D.J. Smith guessed that Anderson would be gone a week. You can expect Hogberg to see some action while he’s up here because the Senators were pleased with the way he performed in a 3-1 loss to the Calgary Flames on the second game of the trip. There was a chance he would have started in Edmonton if Anderson hadn’t return from his hamstring injury … Fined by $2,400 by the NHL for cross-checking Philly’s Scott Laughton Saturday, Brady Tkachuk indicated again he wasn’t happy with something Laughton said to the Ottawa bench during the last minute of the club’s 4-3 loss. “I just thought it was disrespectful. It was a big goal for them with five minutes left and I don’t think you have to say something to our bench,” Tkachuk said Monday. “Nobody was happy with that. No one is going to get away with disrespecting our team and our bench, no matter who you are. I just thought it was the right time and I know it was one goal game. I had to send the message that you can’t do that to our team.” Tkachuk said messages have to be sent. “I don’t care if you’re chirping an individual but don’t say that to the bench,” he added.
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