Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Watch: Baertschi Concussed by McLeod Hit in Nashville

The Canucks lost one of their most valuable forwards early in their 4-2 loss to the Predators at Bridgestone Arena.

Sven Baertschi was blindsided by Cody McLeod (see video above) and went down immediately, just two minutes into the game. The hit appears to get Baertschi very high, but it's hard to tell if McLeod got all head or a bit of shoulder before he contacts Baertschi's head.

Baertschi left the game soon after and did not return, with the Canucks' Twitter feed reporting that he was concussed.

It's also hard to tell if the hit wasn intentional by McLeod, but he does appear to thrust himself into Baertschi, who is making a hard turn and is unaware of McLeod's presence until he gets hammered. Baertschi never was near the puck on the play so it makes it pretty important that McLeod at least makes an attempt to avoid hitting him.

At the very least, he should avoid giving him the business, but if you watch the replay it looks like McLeod throws a little extra shoulder into Baertschi at the last moment. Was McLeod caught unawares and just throwing the shoulder reflexively, to defend himself? Or was the repeat offender eager to take out a key player with a sneaky little hit?

Canucks head coach Willie Desjardins has his thoughts about that:

We'll wait til tomorrow to find out whether McLeod has a date with the Department of Player Safety.

And we'll also wait and see about the health of the 24-year-old Baertschi. He's put up 27 points in 50 games for the Canucks, which leaves him one point shy of his career-high.