Nick Foligno is thanking his lucky stars Sunday night. The Blue Jackets right winger escaped serious injury after being taken off the ice on a stretcher due to an unusual collision with linesman Shane Heyer during the third period of Columbus' game against the L.A. Kings.
Foligno was skating the puck up the ice along the boards and had his head down when he collided at an awkward angle with the lower back area of Heyer, who had jumped up on the boards in an attempt to avoid contact with players. The 26-year-old fell to the ice immediately and laid motionless for several minutes before he was removed from the ice strapped to a spinal board:
Foligno did not have to be taken to hospital in Los Angeles and had movement in his extremities after the game, a huge relief for all involved. There's really nothing the NHL can do to stop these types of freak injuries from occurring; the only thing you can do is hope for the best, and in this case, Foligno got the best news he could've received.