The Montreal Canadiens center left the ice on a stretcher after taking a devastating open-ice hit by Senators defenseman Eric Gryba during the second period of Game 1 on Thursday at Bell Centre — a game won 4-2 by Ottawa.
Eller was trying to accept a pass from teammate Rafael Diaz — a very dangerous pass because of Eller’s positioning on the ice. It left him in a vulnerable spot. There are many words for it. An a** pass and a suicide pass are the most common. But it’s a big no-no.
Eller was skating out of his zone when Diaz, playing in his first playoff game (poor guy), sent a pass straight up ice. Gryba read the play and delivered the crushing hit. Gryba’s shoulder stunned Eller and and he went crashing to the ice. The most damage seemed to come when Eller’s face hit the ice, leaving a pool of blood.
Eller was taken to a nearby hospital, where he was to stay overnight. Reports indicated he lost consciousness and suffered facial and dental fractures and a concussion. Losing consciousness would explain why he didn’t put his arms out to protect himself as he went down.
Gryba received a five-minute major for interference and a game misconduct, and was scheduled to have a disciplinary hearing with league VP of Player Safety Brendan Shanahan and the league on Friday.
This really just looked like a tough hockey play, not a dirty one.
Senators coach Paul MacLean really kept it real by saying:
”(If I’m Eller), I’m really mad at player 61, whoever he is, because he passed me the puck in the middle of the rink when I wasn’t looking. That’s always been a dangerous place as far as I know. Ever since I’ve been playing this game, that’s a dangerous place to be — bad things happen. I think it’s a hockey play that ended up going badly for Lars Eller."
How bout that. MacLean’s quote is maybe as good as his moustache.
Here’s what some others in the hockey world were saying:
In NO way was it a suspension on Gryba. Hockey play gone bad. I really hope Eller is ok. Very ugly.
The Kings lost on a goal with less than a minute left in the game when Barret Jackman beat Quick on a long shot. The Kings are going back to Staples Center down 2-0.
"I gotta stop that. My fault. Second game in a row," Quick said after the game.
The "second game in a row," comment was referring to this video (right), in case you somehow missed it the first time.
Team Elevator better than actual Rangers?
The Verizon Center media elevator had almost as much talent as the Rangers had put on the ice at any single point in Game 1 of their first-round series against the Washington Capitals.
Well, maybe outside that stint in the first period where the Rangers illegally had six skaters.
Forwards Ryane Clowe (undisclosed injury, but believed to be a concussion) and Brian Boyle (leg injury) along with defenseman Marc Staal (eye injury) were in the back of the car that also included this FOXSports.com reporter, a Capitals staffer and a couple fans.
Rangers defenseman Roman Hamrlik was also on board, but nobody seemed to notice. He’s seen the press box as a healthy scratch so much that he could be mistaken for the elevator operator.
There’s been no clear timetable given to exactly when Clowe, Boyle or Staal might shed their suits for hockey gear during a game. Clowe, acquired from the San Jose Sharks at the trade deadline, was injured in the second-to-last regular season game. Boyle hasn’t played since April 16 and Staal has been out since he took a puck to the face on March 5, an injury that left Staal with blurry vision.
Rangers coach John Tortorella told reporters after the game there were no updates about on any the players.
The Detroit Red Wings were cruising at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., until all went wrong in the period. The Quackers scored three goals in less than 12 minutes to tie the game at 4-4 and send it into OT.
Wheres that Lidstrom guy when ya need him? #OnHisSofa