Carolina entered the game in kind of rough shape. They only had 11 forwards available. Craig Adams is suspended and Chad LaRose is concussed. Williams, who has been in a terrible slump, might be out of the lineup for a long time. Late in the first period, he suffered an injury to his left knee which left him writhing in pain on the ice for several minutes. This is the same knee that he injured in the 2002-03 season while still with the Flyers. He missed 36 games with a torn ACL.
I hate to speculate, but it didn't look good at all, and Luke Decock from the N&O wrote the following:
Tangled with Richard Zednik in front of the Florida net, Williams’ legs flew out from under him and Rostislav Olesz slammed into Williams’ extended left leg.
“Not good,” Williams said as he limped out of the building.
Williams missed 36 games with a torn ACL in that knee in 2002-03, so he has a frame of reference for knee injuries. He needed assistance on both sides to get off the ice. I suspect Williams won’t be as lucky as Stillman.
“He’s got to see a doctor, but obviously he couldn’t come back tonight,” Hurricanes coach Peter Laviolette said. “The preliminary (report) is that it’s his knee. It doesn’t look good. …
“Even if it is something that is going to be longer, I don’t think there’s anything you can do for it immediately. The swelling is going to have to settle down.”
I'm not excited about this. Down to 10 available forwards, Carolina will have no choice but to make a call-up to the depleted River Rats. I wrote the other day that they had 13 guys out of the lineup with injury or flu. THIRTEEN! They made emergency callups to the ECHL affiliate of the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Ryan Bayda would be the logical first choice for a call-up, but he is out with a concussion. I guess that means we'll see Keith Aucoin again. I still wouldn't mind getting a look at Brandon Nolan or Jerome Samson, but I suppose we'll have to wait a while before we see them.
I wouldn't be surprised to see both Aucoin and Dave Gove called up.
Carolina will be in Tampa on Saturday, then will be off until Boxing Day, when they face the Rangers at MSG.