At the end of a rough day for Minnesota Wild fans, we got a sliver of good news to close out the night. The team announced through its official Twitter account that Eric Staal was released from the hospital late Saturday night, after he left Saturday’s Game 5 during the second period, due to a serious-looking head and/or neck injury. As he left the ice, Staal appeared disoriented and strongly in need of assistance after taking a scary head-first dive into the endboards behind Jake Allen.
With the Wild trailing 2-1 and in the midst of a 4-on-4, Staal received the puck in his own end and flew through the neutral zone. He made a power move to the middle to split the Blues defense, but was tripped up by a combination of Allen’s right pad and Carl Gunnarsson’s stick. As Staal went down, his arms got tangled under him, so he couldn’t brace himself for the impending impact with the boards. He received extensive assistance on the ice, and was eventually helped to the dressing room.
As we move into the off-season, Staal will of course have plenty of time to rehab from whatever injury he sustained on the play. He’s a tough, gritty player that does not leave a hockey game without serious injury, so this was a frightening moment, to say the least. We hope to see Staal in Training Camp, as he looks to build on his resurgent first season in Minnesota. Get well soon, Eric!
NHL.com has video of the collision here, in case you wish to see it again.