Hatcher hangover

TODD SAELHOF -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 12:39 PM ET

 The Calgary Flames thought they'd eliminated Detroit Red Wings defenceman Derian Hatcher from their playoff equation with Martin Gelinas' overtime winner last Monday.

 But it turns out the hulking defenceman is still inside the head of Matthew Lombardi, who took a vicious elbow from Hatcher during Game 6.

  It's believed, just as is suspected of teammate Toni Lydman, Lombardi is suffering from a concussion.

 "He's not relatively healthy," Flames GM/head coach Darryl Sutter said cryptically.

 Lombardi was fishing for a puck at the Wings blueline when a flying Hatcher put his well-decorated elbow into the side of Lombardi's head. The 22-year-old centre was helped off the ice and straight to the dressing room.

 Lombardi returned to finish the game. But since then, the Quebec native has been absent from the last two days of team practices at SAIT.

 As well, the Flames practised yesterday without veteran winger Dave Lowry.

 The 39-year-old made a triumphant return to the lineup for Games 5 and 6 of the second round after missing nearly half the year and all of the playoffs with a pelvic/abdominal injury. Likely, he sat yesterday to rest up after making the early comeback.

 And certainly the five-day break between series has really helped players like Lowry, Lombardi and Chris Simon.

 "I've never experienced a five-day break in the playoffs before," said Simon, a veteran of two Stanley Cup finals.

 "It's great. I think at this time of year, guys on all teams are playing with small injuries or with big injuries, so it's nice to get those days to heal up."


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