Montreal Canada Forward Jake Evans was pulled from the ice on a stretcher after his teammates named a “disgusting” and “dirty” hit from Winnipeg Jets center Mark Scheifele in the last seconds of the playoff series start of the second round on Wednesday evening.
56.9 seconds left in Montreals 5-3 win in game 1 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Evans scored an empty net in an all-round blow behind the net of the Jets. As he did that, Scheifele ran into him at full speed, right arm against his body, and collided with Evans. The Canadiens striker fell hard on the ice with the right side of his head hit first. Evans dropped his stick and lay there while Winnipeg and Montreal players tangled around him.
Evans got off the ice on a stretcher about eight minutes later and gave a thumbs-up sign. Scheifele was given a five-minute major on charges and a gambling offense.
Montreal’s trainer Dominique Ducharme said Evans was not hospitalized but is under investigation.
“I think it’s pretty obvious that they will watch the incident and we are confident that the league will make the right decision,” said Ducharme.
“It was a dirty hit. But the league will take care of it. If he comes back on the show we will make life difficult for him,” said Edmundson.
Winnipeg coach Paul Maurice was reluctant when he was informed of the comment.
“The players will sort things out on the ice,” he said. “Nobody would ever be stupid enough to say something intentionally when it comes to the next game.”
Game 2 of the Best of Seven series is Friday night in Winnipeg.
Evans, 24, had found a place in the Montreal line-up as a center winger during the playoffs Phillip Danault and wingers Brendan Gallagher, a trio that played a pivotal role in the Canadians’ angry victory over Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round.
“It’s tough. It’s a huge win for us but in the end it was emotional out there,” said Canadiens winger Corey Perry said. “We’ll talk to him and see how he’s doing.”