It’s hard to believe that Elias Pettersson was born with a bullseye on his head, but the damage he’s taken in his first NHL season would make one reconsider.
The rookie superstar has taken a beating to his noggin’ this season and he took another shot to the head on Wednesday in Vancouver.
Pettersson had the puck behind his own net when Kreider came flying in. Pettersson did well to make him miss on the initial check, but Kreider spun around and caught the Calder candidate with an elbow flush to the face.
Pettersson was bloodied on the play and stayed down while a trainer rushed out to see him. He was able to get back to the bench before he was summoned to the quiet room for concussion testing. The good news is Pettersson was able to return late in the second period.
Kreider, meanwhile, was handed a five-minute major for elbowing and a game misconduct.
Later in the period, Rangers newcomer Brendan Lemieux was also thrown out of the game after Antoine Roussel barreled into him as he was going hard to the net. Lemieux was given a five-minute major of his own plus a game misconduct. Lemieux can be a hot-head at times, but he was merely in the wrong place at the wrong time on this one.
Roussel had to be helped off the ice and did not return to the game. The way he looked after the incident, that’s not all that surprising.