Early into the Flames’ 4-3 loss against the Capitals, Travis Hamonic was involved in an awkward collision with Jakub Vrana that would eventually see him leave the game early with a lower-body injury. He subsequently did not practise the next day, and did not play against the Hurricanes the day after that.
Hamonic’s injury may not be too serious, though, as he’s been skating, and Bill Peters has said there’s a chance he plays in the Flames’ next game: Thursday against the divisional rival Sharks.
Coach Peters says Hamonic will likely practice with the group tomorrow. Says if he responds well, could be an option to play Thursday vs. San Jose. #Flames
— Pat Steinberg (@Fan960Steinberg) February 5, 2019
This is great news for the Flames, as even though they’re in a safe position to make the playoffs, they still have plenty more to play for, such as a division title – and they’ll need to beat the Sharks in order to help get it. Though the Flames presently have a six-point lead on the Sharks for top spot in the Pacific, things can change in an instant; having a four-point swing go their way instead of their opponents’ would not only be massive, but also ensure the Sharks would not be able to win the season series (it’s currently tied at one victory each with two games to go).
Being down a top four defenceman is never ideal, especially when it’s someone as heavily relied on in the defensive aspects of the game and penalty kill as Hamonic is. He’s been instrumental in reducing high-danger events against, and makes the defensive group that much deeper simply by being present.
Even if Hamonic can’t go against the Sharks, though – as important of a game that is – that things don’t seem to be serious regarding his injury is certainly encouraging, and implies he may still be back sooner rather than later. That, on its own, will help the Flames as they close out the season – to say nothing of allowing them more time for further judgment if they wish to trade for another defenceman at the trade deadline.