One of the scariest collisions you can experience as a hockey player happened to Minnesota Wild center Eric Staal.
During the second period, Staal was going toward goal in an attempt to score and got tripped. As he fell, Staal slid head first in the boards, causing a scary collision that really could have been tragic.
Eric Staal went head-first into the boards and was shaken up. Hopefully he's ok because this looks ugly pic.twitter.com/LbaQBtZpFQ
— Bar South N Celly™ (@BarSouthNCelly) April 22, 2017
Sliding into the boards like that, where the boards have hardly any give to absorb impact, thoughts immediately turn to not only a serious head injury but a neck and/or spinal injury as well. And especially when you see Staal lying motionless on the ice, it’s natural to fear for the worst.
After a few minutes, Staal slowly skated away looking dazed but at least being able to skate away. Hopefully those with Staal on the ice eliminated the possibility of a neck injury before he got up because usually people get taken out on a stretcher for even the potential of a neck injury so you can keep stabilizing the neck. The Wild Twitter account reported that Staal was “alert and stable” and was taken to the hospital.
Play resumed and the Blues and Wild were tied 3-3 heading into overtime. The Blues lead the series 3-1 and the winner of the series would face the upset minded Nashville Predators. But all that pales in comparison to the health of Eric Staal.