Gotta See It: Vladimir Tarasenko never sees it coming.
Colorado Avalanche centre Mark Olver absolutely drills January’s Rookie of the Month, driving his shoulder into Tarasenko’s jaw as the young St. Louis Blues phenom had his head down, playing the puck along the boards in his own zone with less than 12 minutes left in regulation.
The player’s helmet shakes and he falls straight onto his back.
Tarasenko’s response is frightening, as he rolls on the ice, looking dazed and bleeding from the mouth. Slow to get up, he is helped off the ice by a trainer and does not return to the game, which Colorado steals 1-0 in overtime.
I’d be shocked if Tarasenko doesn’t miss a game or six. Remember Mark Fraser’s hit on Jeff Skinner last week? We learned days after the big check that the Hurricanes forward suffered a concussion. NHL.com reports that Tarasenko already dealt with a concussion last season while playing in the KHL.
Tarasenko, a 21-year-old Russian, has six goals and six assists in 17 games played.
Olver, a native of Burnaby, B.C., is not known as a dirty player, but the clean hit comes a bit late. He has committed a single minor penalty in 15 games this season.
There was no call on the play, but coach Ken Hitchcock was visibly upset.
Mike Halford of NBC’s Pro Hockey Talk reported Thursday that there will be no NHL disciplinary hearing for Olver.