MONTREAL (AP) — Canadiens center Phillip Danault was awake and moving after taking Zdeno Chara’s slap shot to the head. Considering how hard Chara can shoot, many at the silent Bell Centre feared it might have been much worse.
Danault was hospitalized after a frightening play in Montreal’s 4-3 loss to the Boston Bruins on Saturday night, a game that ended with Brad Marchand’s goal in the fourth round of a shootout.
Danault was taken off the ice on a stretcher after he was hit in the head by Chara’s shot — the 6-foot-9 defenseman didn’t wind up fully for the one-timer. The 24-year-old Danault was moving and speaking to medical staff before he departed to an ovation from the Bell Centre crowd.
Canadiens coach Claude Julien said after the game that Danault would remain in a hospital overnight and would be re-evaluated Sunday.
“You never want to see that,” Julien said. “Regardless if it’s your own team or the other team, no one wants to see injuries like that.
“They always make you worry. The players are still worried about him, but the reports are good so far.”
Chara and other players from both teams gathered around Danault while he was down. As Danault was leaving the ice, Chara went over and said something to him.
“I wanted to make sure he was OK,” Chara said. “He was talking to me and responding so that made me feel better that he’s OK and he’s not in a condition where he’s not responding. So I was glad that he was doing OK.”