It figures that we've been going on and on about Jamie Benn being the exciting future of the Dallas Stars for weeks. He scores a goal on Saturday night to put Dallas on the board first and then promptly gets run in to by James Wisniewski in front of the New York Islander bench in the third period. It was a pretty clean hit as the puck was there and Benn was facing him head on, but the follow through made it look worse than it was in real time.
Jamie Benn did not return to the game.
Earlier in the night John Tavares was run into from behind by Stars forward Adam Burish. The Stars had the puck and a dump in was coming. It looked like Burish was trying to stay on-side when Tavares started to turn back toward his net and was accidentally run into by Burish. Some fans might say "blind-sided" but it's a little bit of a dramatization. No penalty was assessed on the play.
Burish told NYDailyNews.com:
Most reasonable Islander fans (insert joke here about quantity of Islander fans?) don't seem to have a problem with it, but there are a few (see the YouTube video comments) that do. Oh well.
Meanwhile Coach Crawford talked to the Dallas Morning News on Sunday about Jamie Benns condition... Plus video...
First, I have to admit I was a little hot about this one when it happened. Consider that the surging Islanders were harshing my Stars buzz at the time and that Jamie Benn is the Stars most promising young talent before you judge me too rashly.
Consider also that Wisniewski performed this abomination last season and know that was running through our minds the instant the hit occurred. Reputation is a bummer sometimes. Nevertheless it's hard to begrudge him the hit now. We just hope Benn is alright for Thursday.
Crawford said he was talking and joking around after the game last night, and that it seemed like a positive sign. Said Mike Heika today...
Benn update: Crawford said that Jamie Benn will have to go through all of the protocols for possible concussion this week, so that will determine how much he can practice and whether he will be available Thursday against Detroit. The league has gotten very serious about concussions, and Benn was very wobbly after being hit by James Wisniewski Saturday night. Benn looked good and was conversing normally after the game Saturday, but he still has to pass a lot of tests in the next couple of days.
Please be sure to give Mike's full post a click as it is a wealth of information that you simply must have.
If you like, view the carnage again...
The Stars seemed to be at the epicenter of so many of these weird hits last year. (Two from Neal, two from Ott, the Fistric-helmet-windmill incident...) We'd certainly like to keep any potential controversy to a minimum this season, guys.