On-ice moments don’t get much scarier than what happened at the Bell Centre in Montreal on Saturday.
Late in the second period in a game between the Montreal Canadiens and the visiting Boston Bruins, Zdeno Chara took a one-timer from the point that got high in a hurry and caught Canadiens forward Phillip Danault in the side of the head.
Danault laid on the ice for several minutes before a stretcher made its way out onto the ice.
Players on both teams, refs and fans stood nearly silent as the Canadiens trainers worked with Danault.
Pucks traveling at high speeds are inherently dangerous, but that doesn’t make plays like this any less difficult to watch.
Nobody knows the velocity of Chara’s shot better than the man himself. And Chara looked devastated by what laid in from of him.
Chara stood by Danault throughout the whole ordeal, and when they got him up on the stretcher and ready to wheel him out, Chara kneeled down and said some words to the Canadiens forward.
UPDATE: The Canadiens tweeted out that Danault has been taken to the hospital due to a head injury. They say he’s moving and awake.
Refs stopped the game with 1:37 left in the period, sending both teams to their respective rooms for an early intermission and resumed the game following the break with 1:37 left.
UPDATE: According to the Canadiens, Danault is at home resting after being released from hospital.
Here’s what Chara had to say after the game:
Scott Billeck is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @scottbilleck
Chicago Blackhawks prospect Phillip Danault could miss about three months after undergoing hip surgery, the Chicago Sun-Times’ Mark Lazarus reports.
(Do note that the Blackhawks haven’t confirmed or denied the 22-year-old’s status just yet.)
Danault saw his first bit of NHL action in 2014-15, failing to score a point in two regular season games.
The 26th pick of the 2011 NHL Draft spent the last three seasons with the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs, where one would assume he’d likely end up for much (if not all) of 2015-16.
Whenever he blossoms, the Blackhawks would like him to remind fans of Marcus Kruger, as CSNChicago.com reported back in July 2014:
“They told me they want me to be a Kruger,” Danault said. “So I’ll try to mold myself after Marcus Kruger.”
The Blackhawks still don’t have Kruger locked up to a new contract, so they might ask Danault to do that impression sooner rather than later. Before that happens, he’d need to have a clean bill of health, of course.
Defenseman Cam Barker didn’t survive the latest round of Chicago Blackhawks cuts.
The 28-year-old was originally a 2004 first round pick (third overall) of the Blackhawks was dealt to the Minnesota Wild in February 2010.
After bouncing around with the Wild, Oilers and Canucks following the trade, Barker was invited to Chicago’s camp on a tryout earlier this month.
Barker spent the 2013-14 season with Barys Astana in the KHL where he scored two goals and 12 points in 26 games.
Additionally, forwards Matt Carey and Phillip Danault along with defenseman Stephen Johns were assigned to the Rockford IceHogs of the American Hockey League.
Chicago currently has 21 forwards, 11 defenseman and four goaltenders.