December 6, 2013 Sections
Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
The news went from gruesome to good in a short time Friday night for Jets defenceman Jacob Trouba.
Not three minutes into the second period, the 19-year-old rookie was on his 10th shift of the game and went chasing a puck into the offensive zone. As he neared the end boards, possibly trying to put a bodycheck on St. Louis defender Jordan Leopold, Leopold shifted slightly to his left.
That left Trouba in a sort of no-man's land. Still moving with some velocity, he missed the contact with Leopold and then fell forward to his right, striking the boards with his head in a crooked position.
Play was called immediately and the 2012 first-round draft pick was eventually taken off on a stretcher and in a neck collar.
The team said later Trouba never lost consciousness and that he was alert and communicating, even before he was taken to hospital for X-rays and tests.
"Trouba's still getting evaluated but everything's good," Jets coach Claude Noel said after the comeback 4-3 shootout win over the Blues. "He's got motion and he's got everything good. I think they're just running him through some tests to make sure everything's fine.
"I never really saw the play, but got it through one of the assistants who saw it happen. Then I watched the replay. It was pretty scary. That doesn't look good. Anytime they want to call out stretchers, it's never a good moment."
The rookie did not have a great first period, flubbing a pass that resulted in a turnover for Alex Steen's first of two goals on the night.
The Jets had to finish the game with four defencemen after Mark Stuart, who started out as Trouba's partner, was injured in the third period.
The Trouba incident, however, might have rattled the Jets for awhile.
"That was pretty scary," said left-winger Evander Kane. "I think I was one of the only guys that saw it happen. I was definitely thinking about him throughout the course of the game.
"It was kind of tough to bounce back and get into it pretty quick. Hopefully he's OK. We got a little bit of good news that he was moving and conscious."
Said Jets centre Bryan Little: "You just hope that it's precautionary, that he's going to be alright. There's not much you can do but wait until after the game to hear how he's doing."
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St. Louis forward Maxim Lapierre sat out his second game of what turns out to be a five game-suspension Friday night.
He whacked San Jose defenceman Dan Boyle into the boards from behind on Tuesday and had an in-person hearing on Friday.
Said NHL VP Brendan Shanahan about his decision: "At no point does Lapierre see anything other than Boyle's numbers when he decides to finish him on this check... It's important to note, as the boarding rule also states, 'The circumstances of the check, including whether the opponent put himself in a vulnerable position immediately prior to or simultaneously with the check or whether the check was unavoidable, can be considered.' We considered it."
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Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 19, 2013 0