The Edmonton Oilers beat the Calgary Flames by a 3-1 score in their season finale on Saturday night in Calgary. But the big concern was the status of captain Connor McDavid, who left the game midway through the second period after crashing into the Flames net after being tripped by Flames captain Mark Giordano.
McDavid underwent an X-ray at the Scotiabank Saddledome and the initial prognosis was positive (in that there was no readily-apparent break). Speaking with the media, Oilers forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins shared that he spoke with McDavid briefly and passed along the news.
“Obviously [he was] in a lot of pain, but so far the X-rays came back in a good way,” said Nugent-Hopkins. “So we can just move forward from it and hopefully it’s nothing too bad, too serious. I’m sure he’ll have an MRI tomorrow and we’ll know more. But I mean, the initial news from the X-rays is good.”
McDavid could been seen on the Sportsnet broadcast mouthing words that viewers believed to be “it’s broken.” While this news may contradict that – in a positive way – Nugent-Hopkins noted that MRIs are better at identifying issues than X-rays, noting that his rib injury last season went undetected by X-rays.
Speaking in the Flames locker room, Giordano spoke at length about the play and his decision-making in the moment. Here are his comments, via Postmedia’s Danny Austin.
I feel terrible, again, I tried to obviously dive and get the puck and you never want to see, he’s the best player in the game, so we need him in the game. Tried to find out how he’s doing out there and you’re not going to get much from them. They’re pretty mad about it and I understand that.
I honestly thought I could get that puck and I dove for it, and watching the replay I missed it and stick sort of trips him. He’s obviously a great player and it was tough, I was trying to ask him right away. He was in a lot of pain there so he wasn’t saying much. Obviously with the result being what it is, if I had to do it all over again you’d almost want to see myself let him go and not injured him, but easy to say after the fact, so I’m going to ask around and hopefully get an answer and see if he’s doing alright.
Hopefully it’s better than it looked because it looked like he wasn’t doing well there.
Obviously my intention was to just get the puck. He’s a player, I’m not trying to do any dirty play on him and trying to play a one-on-one, really.
While Oilers head coach Ken Hitchcock seemed to bite his tongue when discussing his thoughts about the play – he repeated the phrase “a dangerous play” – forward Leon Drasaitl noted that McDavid’s speed makes it difficult for defenders to make decisions in the moment.
“It’s a tough play,” said Draisaitl. “I don’t think he meant to necessarily hurt him. I think it’s a quick play. He comes in with so much speed. If you’re beat in the last game of the season maybe pull back a little bit. But I understand that he wasn’t trying to hurt him.”
We’ll have more information on McDavid’s condition as it becomes available.