Hit on Schenn a turning point in Flyers' win
Brayden Schenn is helped off the ice after being checked into the boards in the second period of the Flyers' 5-2 win over the Capitals. (USA Today Images)
Fifteen minutes into the second period, Brayden Schenn turned toward the back boards and was drilled by Caps winger Tom Wilson, who was accelerating from the blue line in.
The hit was so hard Schenn laid there, tried to get up, and couldn’t (see video), as Nick Grossmann jumped Wilson and a scrum ensued.
Schenn crawled out, got between the top of the faceoff circles and fell again before trainer Jim McCrossin came off the bench to help him off the ice.
Schenn fell three times to the ice (see 10 observations).
“Ugly hit and he kind of turned into it, too,” Jakub Voracek said. “He hit him full speed. It’s a hit the league is trying to take out of the game.”
Wilson got a five-minute major for charging and game misconduct. The Flyers scored twice on their ensuing five-minute power play and it changed the parameters of the game in their favor as they won 5-2 over Washington on Tuesday at Wells Fargo Center (see Instant Replay).
Though he appeared to have suffered a concussion, Schenn, according to coach Craig Berube, was “all right.”
Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren would not address the media, only saying Schenn had an upper-body injury. Holmgren did tell CSNPhilly.com that he would “know more [Wednesday].”
If Schenn was concussed, it may take a full day for symptoms to manifest itself.
“It’s a reckless play, a hit from behind like that, but he’ll be all right,” Berube said. “Players are a lot faster, but I think taking interference out of the game where you can’t ride them or hold them off, they’re coming with a lot of speed.
“Guys go in there and they’re not protecting themselves very well. They turn and, basically, that is what happens 80 percent of the time. I don’t know if that was the issue tonight. I don’t think a lot of them are intentional, but guys are skating hard and fast and [someone] turns, you hit the guy, it’s a tough play. That’s the biggest reason.”
The NHL’s Department of Player Safety will review everything on Wednesday before "Lord of Discipline," Brendan Shanahan, makes a ruling -- if any.
Berube said he spoke to Schenn after the period and “he seemed OK,” though he could not determine whether Schenn underwent a concussion exam (baseline testing).
While the Internet exploded with people demanding Wilson get suspended, keep in mind that the NHL often overlooks suspensions if a player wasn’t concussed.
Caps general manager George McPhee told CSNPhilly.com he doesn’t expect a suspension for Wilson.
“It was a great hit,” McPhee said. “I don’t expect anything.”
Caps coach Adam Oates felt the same way.
“I thought it was a clean hit, I really do,” Oates said. “I watched it live, I saw it on the Jumbotron, I watched it again between periods.
“He had changed, he went across the ice, he slowed down, saw Schenn come out of the pile with the puck, took two quick strides.
“Schenn saw him at the last second and he hit him in the arm. He’s a big, strong guy. He hit him hard, yeah, to me it’s a clean hit. I don’t think it’s a penalty at all.”
Washington captain Alex Ovechkin said the same thing.
“To be honest with you, I don’t think it was a dirty play,” Ovechkin said. “He saw him coming. He turned and Willy’s a big boy. It’s always dangerous play out there, but it’s hockey.
“When you get a hit, you have to be ready, especially today. I don’t think [Schenn] was ready. Willy finished his check and I don’t think it was two minutes. It was a good hit.”
Flyers captain Claude Giroux said he didn’t see the hit live and had to go to replay.
“It’s a dangerous play and hopefully he’ll be fine,” Giroux said.
Goalie Steve Mason watched Schenn fall twice more to the ice trying to get to the bench.
“You don’t like to see that, especially when it’s your teammate,” Mason said. “We’re all hoping that it’s nothing serious for Brayden.
“He is obviously a key part to this team and when you see a guy struggling like that, you never know if it’s for his head.
“The way that this game is played now, injuries happen like that and nobody likes to see it, especially when it’s a guy on your own team.”