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Photo Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

Initial X-ray results look good for Connor McDavid, will have MRI on Sunday

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.

  • Serious Gord

    The play that precipitated the injury is quite common as are the injuries. Yet it almost never happened thirty or forty years ago.

    The reason for the change is the change to technology.

    Back in the day the nets were anchored solidly with a steel stake that stuck out above the ice at least six inches. The net didn’t breakaway when you collided with it. In fact it was designed to do the opposite.

    Forwards never came barreling towards the net for fear of colliding against it. And goalies didn’t hammered by forwards like they do today as a result.

    Today because the risk is far lower players like Mcdavid take the chance that they might fall and hit the net.

    But there is still a risk. And Mcdavid paid the price last night.

    I state this not to argue for more solidly moored nets. I do think it worth pondering how the game would be played if they were.

    More significantly I think it worth acknowledging that while hockey is safer today than it was in years past it still has dangers -some of them new. And that they are the result of attempts to make the game safer.

    • Reg Dunlop

      You never saw Glenn Anderson? You never saw Billy Smith get steamrolled? The only differences between 2019 and 1984 is there are no consequences for dangerous plays today and players make so much more money. Get rid of the instigator rule and bring in players that play for the love of hockey rather than solely the love of big paydays and that clown in Calgary would have faced instant karma.

      • Serious Gord

        The breakaway net came into the league a couple years after Anderson (most overrated player in oilers history) did. The first ones were magnetically attached (called MagNets if I recall correctly) and were ridiculously easy to dislodge. The plastic/rubber pegs today didn’t come along until the late 80s or 90s and put up quite a bit more resistance than the MagNets.

    • Rugbypig

      No-where in the article does anyone quote McDavid making any statements about the play.
      Here is the quote that mentions anything about “no intention to hurt”: (By Draisaitl)
      “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.”

      That means Draisaitl has heard Giordano quote: “I’m not trying to do any dirty play on him”

      Please note however he also did something similar to Cam Fowler
      So repeat offender – you decide

      So Lazarus – please bring some integrity next time you visit ON

      • Lazarus

        In this article? Nope.
        Conner spoke this morning..I know, everyone thought he was dead but turns out he is walking fine and not blaming Gio. As he shouldn’t be

      • Alfonso

        It was barely worth of a two minute minor penalty … Gio is adept at defensive hockey as he is offensively … he’s paid to prevent the McD’s of the world from driving to the paint like that … it’s all good …

        • OilerForLife

          We’ll get over it when a Flame core players is injured severely. We’ll say it was unintentional and come to their site to antagonize them and high five each other later. You know you like what happened. This is McDavid you must know the consequences of this to a struggling team like the Oilers. There is something very wrong with standing here to defend him. There is a time to chirp and then there is a time to turn away. This is one off these times.You simply can’t be that obtuse.

          • T&A4Flames

            Holy crap buddy. Wishing an injury on a player Is pretty bad. You really need to get over your crying. Wake up and realize the reality. There was no malice. Gio just tried to prevent a good scoring opportunity.

        • Mcjesus97

          I find it ridiculous that these flamers come on here and talk s*** lol get a life and go follow your own team. The only time I have ever went on flames website was to check if one of my fantasy players was playing that day.

  • Derzie

    Here’s the deal: Speed Kills.

    I’ve watched every game Gio has played. He’s in no way dirty. He is competitive and always on. If a player goes with speed into a tight spot, odds suggest they will get hurt. If you drive into a parking lot every day at 80km/h, the odds that you get hurt are high. The driver takes that risk.

    Does anyone really expect a player to just let someone speed past them? Maybe destroy the goalie in the process? The answer is no. Any other answer is emotion without logic.

    • HockeyRooster

      Thanks for your completely unbiased assessment, troll. The only part of your post that is correct is where you say “without logic”. Well said, you and your flames fan friends are without logic, not to mention class. I hope karma finds your team.

  • Heschultzhescores

    Hopefully words right from the race horses mouth will silence TO wishful thinking.

    McDavid also shot down the incessant trade noise out of Toronto. “I want to be here. If I didn’t want to be here I wouldn’t have signed an eight-year deal. I love the guys and the city. There’s obviously going to be changes both on and off the ice and that’s just the facts of it. But I am here to be part of the solution. That’s that

  • K.Pal

    In all honesty we are getting caught up in the wrong issue here. Did gio intend to go injure. Of course not. Was it an irresponsible play. Maybe. But what else was he supposed to do. He tried to use a legal hockey play to stop McDavid. If he had hit the puck, there wouldn’t have even been a penalty. And there last s the issue. As the speed of the game gets faster and faster the dive and sweep from behind will get progressively more dangerous. Even when you knock away the puck you still end up taking out the players legs in a dangerous position. So that is the play that needs to be illegal, touch the puck or not. Make it a penalty and then good players will stop taking dangerous dives at players legs.

    For those purists that say it’s a good defensive play, don’t forget that not that long ago, a head shot was considered a good hockey hit. Keep up with the times.

  • Ratt McNuge

    Okay. McDavey has just said he doesn’t feel his injury is serious and doesn’t blame Gio for the play. Also said he wants to be in Edmonton and wouldn’t have signed 8-year deal if he didn’t. Wants to be part of solution. Classy, great player.

  • RJ

    Im not a Flames fan, never been a Flames fan.

    It was the last game for the Oil, but for the Flames, their next game is Game 1 of Round 1. If I’m a Flames coach, I’d want everyone playing like a playoff game.

    This isn’t the Brandon Manning situation where he intentionally tried to hurt McD. At least that’s what it sounds like to me.

  • BringtheFire 2.0

    “I want to be here. If I didn’t want to be here, I wouldn’t have signed an eight-year deal. I love the guys and the city. There’s obviously going to be changes both on and off the ice. That’s just the facts of it. I’m here to be part of the solution. That’s that.”

    -Connor McDavid

    Connor McDavid is a class act and Flames fans who are actual hockey fans know this and respect his commitment to the game and its traditions. We respect his loyalty. We don’t want him injured. We want top beat an Oilers team with him on the roster, every time.

    On the other side, real Oiler fans know that wasn’t a dirty play. It just wasn’t. This back and forth is utterly pointless.

    Anyways, glad he’s okay.

  • YFC Prez

    I really wouldn’t worry about the flames fans on here looking to argue over mcdavid.

    The play was a stupid panic play. Diving at someone’s feet after they clearly beat you wide is not a hockey play. It was careless. I wouldn’t call it dirty at all though because I just don’t think what I’ve seen of Gio’s Career that he would have any intent to intentionally injure another player. Being a flame or one of their fans doesn’t make you an awful person. The nhl has done everything in their power to stop plays like this. You can’t stick out a knee a stick, you can’t clutch or grab like they used to in the early 20’s. You certainly can’t dive and take out someone’s feet. Players like mcdavid are a nightmare to deal with because they can handcuff d-men. Gio is pushing 40, he doesn’t have the speed to keep up with a player of mcdavid’s caliber. The “hockey” play there was to force mcdavid as wide as possible. Give him the least space possible. Not dive in desperation taking out his skates.

    I just hope than mcdavid is all right. That’s priority number one. Fan squabbling and arguing with bored flames fans is kind of a waste of time isn’t it?