Saturday, April 22, 2006
Umberger helped off ice after heavy hit
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Rookie R.J. Umberger was up and walking
around in the Philadelphia dressing room after being knocked woozy
by a tremendous hit in the Flyers' 3-2 double-overtime playoff loss
to Buffalo on Saturday night.
Although Umberger wasn't made available to reporters, coach Ken
Hitchcock said the forward is fine and "good to go."
Umberger was hurt 12 minutes into the first overtime of the
playoff series-opener when he was leveled by Buffalo defenseman
Brian Campbell at the Flyers' blue line. Campbell, who wasn't
penalized on the play, blasted Umberger with a clean shoulder check
as the Philadelphia player skated with his head down after taking a
pass. Campbell anticipated the play and got his right shoulder down
to hit Umberger across the chest and jaw.
Umberger never appeared to lose consciousness but his eyes
appeared glassy as he lay on the ice for several minutes before
being helped off. He was taken immediately to the locker room and
the team had no immediate update of his condition.
"He got a suicide pass. I stepped up and just hit him,"
Campbell said. "I feel bad that he's hurting. You hope you make a
hit like that and he pops up and gets going."
Hitchcock said Umberger needs to learn to keep his head up.
"He's a young player in his first series. He got welcomed in a
big way. He'll be back," Hitchcock said. "You could see it coming
from the bench. He was trying to get the puck up the ice, either
get a breakaway or a 2-on-1."
Game 2 of the best-of-seven series is Monday night in Buffalo.
The Flyers are already minus three players with
concussion-related problems: captain Keith Primeau and defensemen
Chris Therien and Kim Johnsson.