Andrew Alberts is brutally felled by an elbow to the head from Flames enforcer Brian McGrattan
Stick-tap Kukla’s Corner
With defensemen Alex Edler and Ryan Stanton on the shelf with injury, the Vancouver Canucks are already without two left-side defenseman for the medium term. The club may be without a third lefty defender going forward after Sunday night, as depth defenseman Andrew Alberts appeared to be rather seriously injured following an elbow to the head from Calgary Flames pugilist Brian McGrattan (see the video above).
Read past the jump.
The incident occurred in the first period of Sunday evening’s game between the Flames and the Canucks and McGrattan was assessed a major penalty for elbowing for his hit, a second major penatly for fighting Tom Sestito, and a game misconduct. Whether McGrattan receives any additional discipline for the hit is anyones guess. The Sportsnet panel seemed to think some supplementary discipline would be forthcoming from the Department of Player Safety, though McGrattan has no priors and I’d imagine it will depend in part on the extent of Alberts’ injury.
The team, for now, hasn’t updated Alberts’ status but he wasn’t on the bench at the beginning of the second period. Based on the way the American-born defender seemed to attempt to find his balance before going limp and remaining prone on the ice for a troubling length of time, it would be a surprise were he to return to the game on Sunday.
Presumably the Canucks will recall a defenseman, and might even do so tonight (the club plays Philadelphia on Monday, and was only carrying six healthy defenseman on the roster prior to Alberts going down). Utica Comets defenders Peter Andersson, Yann Sauve and Henrik Tommernes all play the left-side and could be options for the club, but it’s right-shooting defenseman Frank Corrado who is probably the most NHL ready of the bunch. Hopefully the Canucks just call up the best player and don’t over-think it.