TORONTO – Maple Leafs captain John Tavares was taken off the ice on a stretcher after a collision early in Toronto’s first-round playoff matchup with the Montreal Canadiens Thursday.
The 30-year-old centre crashed into Montreal’s Ben Chiarot 10:29 into the primary interval and was hit within the head by Corey Perry’s knee as he fell.
Trainers and docs from each groups rushed to the ice and attended to the veteran ahead earlier than he was taken away, encouraging him to remain down as he struggled to stand up.
Tavares gave a thumbs up as he was wheeled off the ice and transported to hospital.
Toronto head coach Sheldon Keefe stated afterward Tavares was acutely aware and speaking properly. He added his exams had come again clear, although Tavares was to stay in hospital in a single day.
“It’s horrible. Life comes into play at that time,” Leafs ahead Nick Foligno stated. “Simply seeing how he was in ache, it made you sick to your abdomen. You concentrate on him as a household man, too. The sport takes a again seat, regardless of the circumstances if you see any person in that a lot ache, and an unlucky play prefer it was.
“We’re considering of him, praying for him.”
Gamers from each groups tapped their sticks and “Braveness” by The Tragically Hip performed over the sound system at Scotiabank Area as he left.
The Canadiens posted an announcement on Twitter expressing concern for Tavares and wishing him a speedy restoration.
“Scary scenario when that occurs,” Perry stated. “By no means wanna see that. It’s unlucky. I’ll attain out and ensure he’s all proper.”
Tavares had 50 factors (19 objectives, 31 assists) in 56 regular-season video games this yr.
Moments after play resumed, Perry dropped the gloves with Foligno in a brief combat. Each had been handed five-minute combating penalties.
“It’s robust to see. We love every man on this crew,” Leafs goalie Jack Campbell stated. “Any time one among your brothers goes down it’s fairly gut-wrenching.”
Thursday’s recreation kicked off the first-round playoff sequence between the 2 North Division groups. It’s the primary time since 1979 that the Leafs and Habs have met within the playoffs.
This report by The Canadian Press was first printed Might 20, 2021.
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