Saturday night was a tough night to be a Colorado Avalanche fan as not only did you have to watch your team go down 1 - 0 in their second round Stanley Cup playoff series against the Dallas Stars, but the team also lost goaltender Philipp Grubauer to a serious looking injury and lost defenseman Erik Johnson after he banged up his leg at several different points in the game.
The Johnson injury is more complicated because it occurred over the course of the game's first two periods and seemed to get progressively worse as the game wore on, but a new replay that has been brought to light by the Colorado Avalanche's broadcast team provides some insight on how things may have gotten worse for Johnson during the course of the game.
First let's take a look at how the injury originally occurred. Johnson's leg was effectively chopped down by what would be considered a "chop block" in the National Football League, a tackle that targets a players leg and/or knee while he is previously engaged with another individual. The man delivering the chop block to Johnson was Dallas Stars forward Blake Comeau, although to be clear this appeared to be entirely unintentional on the part of Comeau. Comeau was off balance on the play and it was the momentum of his fall that propelled him into Johnson's leg in that chop block style motion. As you can see here in the replay it looked rather painful.
Johnson would return to the game in the second period however and this is where the new replay from the Avalanche broadcast comes in. The Stars of course knew Johnson's leg had been injured, and the new video provided here does appear to show Stars captain Jamie Benn deliberately going after Johnson's injury on the play.
It will certainly be interesting to see how the National Hockey League's Department of Player Safety reacts to this one given the fact that it appears to be both the blatant targeting of an opponent's injured body part and and obvious violations of the NHL's rules as well. To be clear here this is not what led to Johnson leaving for a second time, that came after a fall in the second period which you can also see here.
Should Benn feel the wrath of NHL Player Safety? Let us know your thoughts in the comments. Here is the play in real time: