VANCOUVER, British Columbia – No decapitation, no foul. Play on.
Left in the wake of the Avalanche’s stirring 5-4 overtime victory here at Rogers Arena Saturday night was the question, “So what DO the Colorado Avalanche have to do to get a stoppage in play when one of their guys is bleeding all over the ice?”
For the second time in two weeks, play continued despite an Avalanche player that lay bleeding from the head after taking a puck there, and, no, the Avs weren’t too happy about it. Matt Calvert, like Nikita Zadorov before him, had blood pouring from his head (with Calvert, it was coming from the area of the right ear) and an opposing team took advantage with a goal.
The NHL leaves it up to the referees to use their discretion when a player is down like that, whether to blow everything dead. But, generally, if a player is kind of struggling to get up AND the other team has possession of the puck, they often let the game play on. That’s what they did again here, and Vancouver used Calvert’s prone, bloodied state to score what essentially was a 6-on-4 goal to cut a 4-2 game to 4-3. The Canucks got a legit, no-excuses goal to tie it with a minute left.
Then, Nathan MacKinnon essentially was like “We’re done here.”