The Consol Energy Center went silent on Thursday as Pittsburgh Penguins winger James Neal needed help off the ice after taking an elbow from New York Rangers defenseman Michael Del Zotto.
Cameras caught shots of Neal, who was slow to get up and appeared groggy after that collision. The incident happened just moments ago, so it’s too early to tell how severe the situation might be.
It’s difficult to tell if Del Zotto delivered the blow intentionally. Judge for yourself in the video below:
Either way, if Neal is seriously hurt, the Penguins could face another staggering injury. Obviously, they’re without key pieces such as Sidney Crosby, Kris Letang and Paul Martin and had to make due with Evgeni Malkin on the mend for long stretches of time.
The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Rob Rossi points out that the Rangers have left the Penguins banged up quite a bit lately.
There isn’t a ton of time left in this game, but it seems like things are getting a little ugly between the two division rivals (who might just meet in the first round, depending upon how things work out in April).
Mike Babcock admitted that there might be a painful transformation as he tries to fix the Toronto Maple Leafs.
His old friends made that abundantly, painfully clear on Friday.
As of this writing, the Detroit Red Wings are up 4-0 on the Buds. Justin Abdelkader just completed a hat trick with James Reimer in net, so the subplot isn’t just about Jonathan Bernier having another tough start.
The big story might just be Detroit’s varied new line of Abdelkader, Dylan Larkin (who scored his first career goal) and Henrik Zetterberg. At the moment, they’ve combined for seven points.
This post will be updated if Detroit’s tribute video to Babcock surfaces.
Really, though, this beating has been about as ugly as this blanket so far.
It wouldn’t be a regular season game without a Columbus Blue Jackets injury, right?
OK, the Blue Jackets hope that 2015-16 looks different from the medically challenged mess of last season, but at least one player is banged up tonight.
Alexander Wennberg suffered an upper-body injury and won’t return on Friday, as the team noted.
There’s no word yet regarding how serious the issue might be. It looks like he might have suffered an injury thanks to a Chris Kreider check:
Naturally, the Blue Jackets must hope that this doesn’t begin another trend.