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Cannon Blasts: It’s time for the NHL to take serious head injuries seriously

That and more of this week’s links

Colorado Avalanche v Vancouver Canucks Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images

On Saturday night, the Vancouver Canucks pulled the goalie to erase a two goal deficit with three minutes remaining. Colorado Avalanche forward - and former Blue Jacket fan favorite - Matt Calvert did a very Matt Calvert thing and blocked an Elias Pettersson shot ... with his face. For an entire THIRTEEN SECONDS Calvert was down on the ice on his hands and knees, unable to get off the ice on his own. The Canucks, of course, were able to score with a 6-on-4 advantage.

Avs star Nathan MacKinnon had harsh words for the NHL:

“I can only imagine if that was LeBron James, his head was bleeding and they let the other team take a three-pointer to tie the game,” MacKinnon told Sportsnet’s Scott Oake after the game. “I know it’s not the ref’s fault, it’s the league rule, but I think you need to look and who’s laying on the ice.”

Here’s that league rule:

I understand they don’t want to put a team at a disadvantage by cutting short a well-earned offensive possession. But at the same time, how are they defining a “serious” injury? Seems to me that taking a puck to the head, leaving a player dazed and bleeding, is pretty damn serious. This is a league that has seen terrible effects of head injuries (Derek Boogaard, anyone?) but has been slow to take sufficient action to reduce them. In the same week they cite a concussion as a reason to suspend Nick Foligno for three games for a hit, their refs prevent a player from getting the immediate attention he needs after taking a shot to the head.

Of course this all hits home for Jackets fans because we remember a similar play from 2.5 years ago:

Jackets fans noticed for the rest of those playoffs that refs started having quicker whistles in situations like that. Apparently enough time that refs have forgotten. Werenski hasn’t:

A major rule change is not necessary here. Just require the refs to blow play dead when they see impact to the head. Get the affected player back to the locker room immediately for evaluation and treatment. It’s much better for the league AND its players to err on the side of caution.

The week that was

Game 18: MTL 3 CBJ 2 (SO)
Game 19: CBJ 3 STL 2 (OT)

Two more overtime results! Weeeeeeeeeee

Ryan thinks the Jackets are boring. Will thinks they’re mediocre.

We talked Foligno, goalies, Finland, and I ranted about Don Cherry in last week’s Cannon Cast.

elpalito checked in on how our division mates are doing. The Islanders are crazy hot right now! I guess last year was not a fluke.

Saturday night was Hockey Fights Cancer night at Nationwide Arena, and I admit I teared up during the anthem:

On deck

Tuesday vs. Montreal
Thursday vs. Detroit
Saturday at Winnipeg

Monsters Mash

The Monsters keep losing. This makes me said. Recaps: Griffins, Americans, Crunch

Elaine also wrote a profile of Markus Hannikainen and got a one-on-one interview with new defenseman Anton Karlsson.

Around the League

Are the Colorado Stadium Series jerseys good or bad? I kind of like them. They’re distinctive, at least.

Hockey Wilderness got some advice from other bloggers about how to cope with entering a rebuild. Not that’s relevant for us yet.

Ohio Sports Update

I’m still livid about the ending of the Browns-Steelers game. I should be on Cloud Nine over the Browns whooping their longtime rivals but instead I’m sickened by the behavior of the players I’m supposed to root for each week. The suspensions were well-earned thought I’m a little surprised the Myles Garrett suspension was left so open-ended. But then, there’s not much precedent for what we saw. Freddie Kitchens still needs to answer for his team’s lack of focus and discipline.

And yes, Mason Rudolph technically provoked Garrett by attempting to rip his helmet off and kick him, but that’s no excuse for Garrett escalating the situation.

Play me out

This is this week’s “song I had to listen to on repeat for an entire afternoon at work.” I’m a fan of Joshua Homme’s work with Queens of the Stone Age as well as his various side projects. The Desert Sessions were something he started in the late 90s as an excuse to jam with friends of his from around the music industry. I’m glad he revived them after a 16 year hiatus.