John Tavares carried off stretcher Game 1
(Screenshot/ Sportsnet)

Toronto Maple Leafs’ captain John Tavares gave a thumbs up as he was stretchered off the ice following a freak collision with Montreal Canadiens’ forward Corey Perry in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Tavares took an accidental knee to the head from Perry and appeared to be out cold. We don’t want to show the injury on our website. You can view the video here if you wish.

Both Montreal and Toronto doctors rushed onto the ice to attend to Tavares. After a lengthy delay in which Tavares couldn’t get up, he was eventually placed on a stretcher and taken off the ice.

The best news is that Tavares gave a thumbs up as he was being stretchered off. Perry also came over to console him in a cool moment of sportsmanship.


This photo is the best thing any hockey fan could see after that injury:

Sportsnet’s Chris Johnson is reporting that Tavares has been transported to hospital. We’ll post further updates when we hear more from the organization.

General manager Kyle Dubas was in immediate panic as the situation unfolded on the ice.

Despite it clearly being a freak accident, Nick Foligno still felt it was necessary to drop the gloves with Perry.

Wayne Simmonds gave a passionate intermission interview with Sportsnet’s Kyle Bukauskas when asked about his injured teammate.

‘”I think the boys are a little shook up. We need to take this time in the dressing room to regroup”, said Simmonds. “We’ve just got to calm down and relax. We’ll find out Johnny’s ok. Obviously he’s a little bit out of sorts. It’s on us, we’ve got to get this one for Johnny. I know he wouldn’t want anything but for us to get the win for him tonight. So we’ve got to do that.”

Tavares is one of the top scorers on a Maple Leafs team expected to accomplish big things in these playoffs. This goes far beyond the game on the ice, however.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Tavares and his family tonight.

*Update (11:00 PM EST on May 20th) – Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe says John Tavares is conscious and communicating well…will remain in hospital overnight. Tests have come back “clear.” (via Elliotte Friedman).