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  • Michael Chaput puts unconscious teammate at unnecessary risk


    It was as if getting retribution and revenge for the hit was more important than the player himself. Out cold, lying motionless Philip Larsen of the Vancouver Canucks received sticks and skates to his head as a line brawl broke out around him. Last night, New Jersey’s Taylor Hall took aim and hit Larsen behind the Canucks net. It wasn’t a blind side hit, nor did it appear Hall had his hands, arms, or elbows up as he made contact. It was a front-to-front, chest-to-chest hit that caught Larsen with his head down.

    However, the shoulder, as Hall braces for impact does make contact with Larsen’s head, knocking him unconscious as he falls limply to the ice. The hit, in my opinion was clean. Arms were down, it wasn't from the blind side to a defenseless player, and with Hall being taller than Larsen, the contact to the head was collateral damage to an otherwise good hockey play.

    Hockey is a physical sport and even when a player practices good technique and does about everything under the Sun to make sure the contact is clean, bad things can, and in this case with Larsen, do happen.

    But it’s not the hit that gives me cause for concern.

    There’s sticking up for a teammate, and then there’s disregarding his condition because of some need to avenge the hit. Not to mention, teammates skating into the head of Larsen while he lays there as sticks and gloves rain down upon him, bodies collide, and players narrowly miss stepping on him with their skates.

    The only person on the ice that seems to give a damn about Philip Larsen is Jacob Markstrom, the Canucks goalie. He skates over and uses his armored and padded body as a shield to protect Larsen from anymore harm. Then blocks a Devils fan from recording the situation on the ice as trainers attended to his teammate.

    Conversely, Michael Chaput was hell-bent on revenge and instead put his teammate at risk. Seeing that Larsen was out on his feet, the better course of action would have been to get the training staff out immediately to tend to him. There are other ways to deal with the hit. One could look at the replay, see that the hit was a clean one, and move on with the game. Another would be to hurt the Devils on the scoreboard and win one for Larsen, but instead the Canucks lost the game 3-2. Finally, a fight later in the game, because that’s how indiscretions are handled in pro hockey.

    Maybe I am just living as a fool in the real world. Maybe, I am being soft should stick the Icecapades or something else that is less physical that you can muster up as an insult. I guess, when I see skates narrowly miss the neck of a person who is unconscious on the ice, and sticks fall on him, or his teammates skate into his head, I just feel like there could have been better tact, better timing, and a better way to enact revenge.

    The Canucks would later announce that Larsen was conscious, coherent, and had full feeling in all extremities on his way out to the hospital, which is the best news for a guy in his situation. His situation certainly could have been worse.


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