The whole hockey world was still in shock and relieved Friday morning after watching what could’ve been but thankfully wasn’t a tragic accident and injury to Toronto Maple Leafs captain John Tavares in Game 1 of the first-round series between the Leafs and Montreal Canadiens Thursday night.
It was a horrifying scene that unfolded at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto Thursday night when ten minutes into Game 1, John Tavares laid on the ice with blood pouring down his face after taking an inadvertent knee to the head from Canadiens forward Corey Perry. Tavares tried to get up but was clearly dazed and rattled and before he stumbled back down to the ice risking further injury, trainers and teammates were able to catch him, hold him up, and gently lay him back down before he was stretchered off the ice.
An extremely frightening situation on the ice in Toronto. Our thoughts are with John Tavares after this hitpic.twitter.com/QV0TtbEP6A
— Snipe N’ Celly (@SnipeNCellyPod) May 21, 2021
John Tavares was able to give a thumbs-up before exiting and being transported by ambulance to a local hospital. He was kept overnight and released Friday morning. He is out indefinitely with a concussion. After news broke that Tavares had been cleared to leave the hospital, Boston Bruins winger Brad Marchand expressed his and his teammates’ concern and well wishes for one of the most well-respected and well-liked players in the NHL.
“That was really tough to see. You don’t ever want to see a guy like that get hurt in a game,” Marchand said of John Tavares, whom he has been teammates with playing for Hockey Canada. “It was such a split-second thing. There was no way ‘Perrs’ [Perry] could have gotten out of the way. You could see that he was distraught. Hopefully, J.T. is going to be OK. Like I said, it’s tough to see and that’s the last thing you wanna watch is a guy get hurt. So hopefully he’s going to bounce back and recover quickly. All the best goes out to him from all of us in here.”
Perry, who is good friends with both Marchand and John Taveres, was clearly distraught over the incident after the game.
“I know Johnny pretty well,” a clearly shaken Perry said after the game. “I just hope he’s OK. … I honestly felt sick to my stomach when I saw it. It’s a scary situation.”
What has gotten equal or maybe even more attention on social media since the unfortunate but clearly not an intentional collision between Perry and John Tavares has been the response of Leafs wingers Nick Foligno and Wayne Simmonds. Foligno immediately challenged Perry to fight once play resumed and Perry reluctantly obliged and then Simmonds tried to do the same for the remainder of the game but Perry avoided him. Many fans and media are now wondering why a player has to answer the bell for a very obvious accident?
“That’s a tough situation. Foligno is obviously trying to stick up for his teammate,” Marchand pointed out. “That’s what he’s there to do. He’s one of the tougher guys on that team. It’s an unfortunate situation and obviously, ‘Perrs’, you could see it, it was an accident, there’s no question about that but he wanted to do the right thing in that situation and step up so give credit to both of those guys but by no means was there any intention in that by the looks of it and it’s just tough to see all around. So hopefully, JT is OK and he’ll be back soon.”