Tamba Bay Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman collided with fellow Swede Carl Hagelin during Saturday night’s game against the Capitals. With nine seconds to go in the first period Hedman attempted to check Hagelin into the boards and his face made contact with Hagelin’s helmet.
Hedman appeared to recover and skated until the buzzer but did not return for the rest of the game.
Tampa head coach Jon Cooper told the media after the game that Hedman “got hit in a tough fashion” and would be re-evaluated. He did not rule out a concussion.
#TBLightning Cooper said he’s concerned with the chances they’ve been giving up and too many penalties. But have to imagine biggest worry is status of Victor Hedman, especially with history of prior concussions. Cooper said he didn’t know yet whether he could rule concussion out
— Joe Smith (@JoeSmithTB) March 31, 2019
Hedman, the 2018 Norris winner for best defenseman, has played the second most minutes on the team, 1594, behind only Ryan McDonagh. With 12 goals and 42 assists, Hedman’s 54 points place him fourth on the team (behind Kucherov, Stamkos, and Point) and 10th among all NHL defenseman.
The incident occurred while Hagelin had the puck in the Capitals’ defensive zone. Hedman skated in with the attempted check and his face made contact with Hagelin’s helmet. Hagelin’s change in position as he attempts to brace himself for the hit may explain the injury.
While Hedman did finish the period an added concern is his history of concussions.
The Lightning’s next game is against the Senators on Monday, the start of a Canadian road trip with a back-to-back game against Montreal on Tuesday.
With the President’s Trophy already secured, the rest of the regular season isn’t as much concern to Tampa as his impact during playoffs and his long-term health.
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