Less than a day after a bone crunching collision between Brendan Shanahan and the Flyers Mike Knuble, the Ranger forward returned to Madison Square Gardens.
Mind you he didn’t pick up a sweater or a stick and was quick to leave before the game got started, but just the fact that he could leave the hospital was an inspirational message for the Rangers. It was a message that they apparently took to heart as they went on to scramble towards a 2-1 victory over the Chicago Black Hawks on Sunday afternoon.
Shanahan made the surprise appearance just before game time, dropping in to wish his team mates well in their match with the Hawks. Shanhan has been ordered home for rest after the collision, expected to be on the injured reserve list for at least the next seven days as he recovers from a concussion suffered on Saturday afternoon. Carried off the ice on a stretcher and held in place by a neck brace, many had feared for the worse as he left the ice.
As things turned out, it's Knuble that may be in the most peril, his orbital bone and cheekbone shattered on his right side, he won’t be able to undergo surgery until the swelling decreases expected to happen early in the week. From that point it’s expected that he will be finished for the season.
It was one of the more horrifying of collisions that hockey fans will see, neither player realizing they were on a collision course until the point of impact. The speed and size of today’s NHL players and the confines of the rink leave many surprised that these things don’t happen more often than they do.
But when they do, it leaves a lump in your throat as you watch the medical staff scramble to the ice to administer aid as fast as possible. Fortunately both will recover from their injuries, Shanahan perhaps quicker than Knuble.
Still the incident goes to show the speed of the game and the danger the players face each time they take to the ice.