Toronto Maple Leafs forward Daniel Winnik had a frightening episode Thursday night in Colorado when a check from Avalanche defenseman Jan Hejda left him motionless on the ice for several minutes before he was removed on a stretcher.
Winnik had just chipped the puck past Hejda at Colorado's blueline in the first period when the Avs blueliner hit him with a clean check; Winnik's feet kicked up and his head fell back, and he landed on the ice directly on his neck-and-upper-body area:
To see a player not moving at any point in an NHL game is terrifying enough. To see one not moving with his eyes wide open feels even worse. But Toronto's PR staff provided some encouraging information shortly after Winnik was taken for treatment:
UPDATE: Leafs coach Randy Carlyle said after the game (won 4-3 in a shootout by the Avs) that Winnik was "100 percent" healthy. He should be thanking his lucky stars.