The Vancouver Canucks announced that rookie forward Elias Pettersson has been put into concussion protocol after a head injury he suffered on Saturday night against the Florida Panthers. There’s no timetable on Pettersson’s return to the lineup.
Elias Pettersson in Concussion Protocol
The 19-year-old forward was dazed after being slammed down by Mike Matheson early in the third period. Matheson took exception to Petterson being able to create space with some slick skating. The Panthers defenceman hit Petterson into the boards and slammed him to the ice.
He did not return to the game after the injury. Officials did not call Matheson for interference and unsportsmanlike conduct penalties on the play. Matheson will have a phone hearing with the Department of Player Safety over the incident..
The young Swede has totaled five goals and three assists for eight points in five games in his first NHL season. He also added two penalty minutes so far. His possession numbers were 49.5 percent Corsi and a relative Corsi of 13.5.
Petterson’s eight points through the first five games is second-most points for a rookie since the 1997-98 season. Only Evgeni Malkin has posted more during that stretch. The Vancouver Canucks originally drafted Petterson in the first round, fifth overall of the 2017 NHL draft.
Cancuks head coach Travis Green was displeased with the hit when he addressed the media after the game. Sven Baertschi said the play “looked like WWE.” However, the Canucks did not seek any physical retribution on Matheson during the game. Vancouver did win the game over Florida, 3-2.
What This Means for the Future
Pettersson has been instrumental to the Canucks’ 3-2-0 start. Vancouver swept both the Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida during the Sunshine State swing to become one of the more surprising teams so far.
There are some that wanted the Canucks to step up and protect Pettersson. They did get the win, but some wanted there to be some physical altercations. The rematch on Jan. 13 in Vancouver might provide those fireworks.
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