December 12, 2019

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Beaulieu, Ehlers cringe after watching Ottawa rookie's frightening collision

Ottawa Senators and Boston Bruins players watch as medical workers attend to Scott Sabourin, who was injured on a play with David Backes during the first period Saturday ion Boston. (Charles Krupa /  Asspociated Press files)

Ottawa Senators and Boston Bruins players watch as medical workers attend to Scott Sabourin, who was injured on a play with David Backes during the first period Saturday ion Boston. (Charles Krupa / Asspociated Press files)

Nathan Beaulieu watched video of the Scott Sabourin injury in Boston over the weekend and now wishes he hadn't.

The Winnipeg Jets defenceman was distressed by the frightening scene at Boston's TD Garden on Saturday night that left the Ottawa Senators forward motionless on the ice and Bruins forward David Backes visibly upset after a head-to-head collision between the two players.

Sabourin fell to the ice and appeared to be unconscious, and was later taken off the ice by stretcher as players from both sides left their benches to stand side by side as he was wheeled to a waiting ambulance. He was conscious and gave a thumbs-up on his way off before spending the night in hospital for observation, and has a broken nose and a suspected concussion.

Backes, too, could miss time with a concussion. The two came together at full speed early in the first period of Boston's 5-2 win on Saturday night.

"I watched it once and I couldn't watch it again. You obviously really feel for the kid," Beaulieu said, following practice Monday at Bell MTS Place. After suffering an upper body injury in the club's final pre-season contest, Beaulieu might finally make his regular-season debut Tuesday when the New Jersey Devils visit Winnipeg.

"It's sad to see. You don't wish that on anyone. We're all in this dogfight together. We don't hate anyone... just glad to see (Sabourin) is OK," Beaulieu said.

A crowd pushing nearly 18,000 was in the Garden but there wasn't a peep as training staff from both teams rushed out to help Sabourin, the 27-year Sens rookie. Beaulieu said he's experienced that kind of hush falling over a horrified building at least twice before.

"I watched it once and I couldn't watch it again. You obviously really feel for the kid," Nathan Beaulieu said. (Daniel Crump / Free Press files)</p>

"I watched it once and I couldn't watch it again. You obviously really feel for the kid," Nathan Beaulieu said. (Daniel Crump / Free Press files)

"I've seen a couple of bad ones, actually. Lars Eller got hit in the playoffs, I don't remember who hit him but he was unconscious on the ice," said Beaulieu, who was on the Montreal blue line in early May 2013 when his Habs teammate was flattened after taking a big hit from Ottawa defenceman Eric Gryba.

The following season, Beaulieu watched as another teammate, George Parros, lay unconscious after a fight with Toronto forward Colton Orr. Parros lost his balance while swinging at Orr and tumbled face first.

"It's obviously extremely scary, and when you're at the Bell Centre and you can hear a pin drop you know something's wrong," he recalled.

Jets forward Nikolaj Ehlers said he hasn't yet experienced the sickening feeling of watching a fellow player struggle like that in the stunned silence of an arena.

"I don't remember being in that situation. I hope I never will be. You could feel how quiet that rink got and how everyone was in shock. Luckily, it doesn't happen too much," said Ehlers, who watched the Boston highlights with his teammates in Vegas.

"We're opponents, we're not friends on the ice, but in a sense we're still brothers all around."


 

Jack Roslovic, who has a pair of goals and four assists this year, said he's received poor reviews from his boss in the past, adding the constructive criticism only fuels him to improve. (Mike Deal / Free Press files)</p></p>

Jack Roslovic, who has a pair of goals and four assists this year, said he's received poor reviews from his boss in the past, adding the constructive criticism only fuels him to improve. (Mike Deal / Free Press files)

Jack Roslovic was called out publicly by his coach the other night but hasn't lost any sleep over it.

The Jets winger made a nifty play to set up Nikolaj Ehlers' game-winner in San Jose with just 1:24 left in the third period, propelling the Jets to a 3-2 victory despite having being outshot 53-19. While Maurice offered post-game kudos for that particular play, he also took a shot at Roslovic's overall performance against the Sharks.

"Jack Roslovic created that goal, and he needed to, because he was so bad through two-and-a-half (periods). But you know what? Good for him. That’s important. Because you play 82 games and you’re going to have a night where you just can’t get it done and it’s not going for you. But he didn’t sulk, he didn’t sit on the bench. He went out, he and Nik Ehlers win us the game, along with our goaltender, after a real, real tough night," Maurice said.

Roslovic, who has a pair of goals and four assists this year, said he's received poor reviews from his boss in the past, adding the constructive criticism only fuels him to improve.

"Maybe he’s giving you guys a look of what happens inside the locker room. It’s not a pat-on-the-back business, and constructive criticism coaches use and even players use. I’m fine with," he said. "I had a good stretch of games, and I said in Vegas you don’t ever play as bad as you think you did or as good as you think you did.

"I looked back at it and it wasn’t my strongest (game) and the criticism I take to heart to get better."


C.J. Suess suited up for the Jets in California but is back in the American Hockey League after being assigned Monday to the Manitoba Moose.

Suess played six minutes and 26 seconds in his NHL debut in San Jose on Friday night as the Jets defeated the Sharks 3-2. He was credited with one hit and finished a minus-1.

The 25-year-old from St. Paul, Minn., filled in while Adam Lowry served the second game of his suspension and Patrik Laine sat out with a minor injury.


Some crucial assistance from Jansen Harkins was impossible to ignore this week.

The Manitoba Moose forward was named the American Hockey League's player of the week after he helped guide his squad to a pair of weekend victories over the Grand Rapids Griffins.

He assisted on all five goals Saturday in Manitoba's 5-3 win over visiting Grand Rapids, tying a franchise record for most helpers in a game. On Sunday, he followed up with a goal and two assists as the Moose earned a 7-4 win over the Griffins.

The Moose head out this week on a three-game road swing — with stops in Milwaukee, Rockford and Chicago — before returning home to face the Texas Stars on Monday, Remembrance Day. The game is being dubbed Military Appreciation Night.

The Jets will host their Canadian Armed Forces Night a day later (Nov. 12) when the Colorado Avalanche are in town.

 

jason.bell@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter: @WFPJasonBell

Jason Bell

Jason Bell
Assistant sports editor

Jason Bell wanted to be a lawyer when he was a kid. The movie The Paper Chase got him hooked on the idea of law school and, possibly, falling in love with someone exactly like Lindsay Wagner (before she went all bionic).

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