Game of the day: Washington (39-18-5) at Boston (42-12-8) — Hossa, Savard, Lucic

Only one of these Bruins might play in today's 1:00 p.m home game vs. Washington

Only one of these Bruins (left to right, Savard, Lucic, and Ryder) might play in today's 1:00 p.m home game vs. Washington.

Winning teams don’t mind resting injured players: the Detroit Red Wings played without right wing Marian Hossa (neck) last night, and still defeated the visiting Los Angeles Kings 2-1.

I put “neck” in those parentheses because that’s what the AP story says, but if you’ve followed the NHL for more than three days, you recall that Hossa actually had concussion-like symptoms after taking hard hits in Wednesday’s 4-1 home win vs. the San Jose Sharks.

Hossa is expected to return for Tuesday’s game in St. Louis. The fantasy lesson here: when it comes to winning teams and player injuries, “questionable” often means “out” in the regular season.

All of this pertains to today’s 1:00 p.m. Washington at Boston game. While the Bruins smashed visiting Anaheim 6-0 Thursday night, center Marc Savard (unspecified upper body injury) and left wing Milan Lucic (megadittoes) did not play in the third period. Both got in fights on Thursday night, and both are questionable today.

Will they play? I doubt it. For one thing, as Matt Kalman reports in The Bruins Blog, Boston recalled center Vladimir Sobotka from Providence (AHL) last night. Clearly, the team needed a body in town by high noon.

But the larger question is, Why would the Bruins take risks with Savard or Lucic? An injury to either would turn the Bruins from Cup contenders to second-round losers.

We know, Bruins fans, that the Spokes were 4-2-2 sans Savard last year and are 5-1-1 less Lucic this year. But the previous sentence remains our unhumble opinion.

The point is: if you have solid bench options behind Savard and Lucic, use them today. That’s what the Bruins plan to do.

photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons

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