The National Hockey League was witness to a pretty terrible incident on Saturday night when Ottawa Senators forward Scott Sabourin suffered some very serious looking injuries.
Sabourin and his Senators were facing off against the Boston Bruins on Saturday and, as is often the case with Sabourin, the 27 year old forward was looking to set the tone with his physical play early on in the contest. Sabourin lined up Boston Bruins veteran forward David Backes for a big hit following a clearing attempt by Backes, but that hit would turn out to have catastrophic consequences for the man delivering the body check. Backes braced himself for what appeared to be a very clean body check as both men went shoulder to shoulder, however the aftershocks of that initial contact brought all kinds of trouble for Sabourin.
After the initial shoulder on shoulder contact the heads of both men snapped forward and collided with one another, and it was that contact that appeared to completely shut the lights off for Sabourin. To make matters worse for Sabourin he was still in the process of making the hit when he lost consciousness, and as a result of that he went crashing down to the ice face first with nothing to brace his fall. He landed on the ice, his face taking the full impact of that fall, with a sickening thud and it was clear based on the mess left on the ice after the fact that he suffered significant injuries to his face as well. In fact that brings us to our very first update on Sabourin from this evening and I regret to say it is not a good one.
According to the Boston Globe's Kevin Paul Dupont both Sabourin's mouth and nose were in pretty bad shape following the incident. Dupont noted that a "substantial" amount of blood had pooled around both those areas which is of course never a good sign. That does not provide specific details regarding the nature of his injury but it does paint a rather dark picture of what has transpired here this evening.
Thankfully there has been some good news coming out of this incident since then, and we are happy to report that it appears as though Sabourin may have avoided the worst case scenario. Sportsnet insider Chris Johnston is reporting that Scott Sabourin was awake and had movement in his extremities as he left the ice and hopefully that means he has avoided any type of spinal injury in spite of the horrific way he fell to the ice this evening.
Along those lines you can see in the video provided below that Sabourin was able to give a small thumbs up as he left the ice on the stretcher tonight, and at this point we will take all the small positives we can find.
Last but not least we have an update directly from the Ottawa Senators themselves and again there are some positives to take away from this one. According to the Senators Sabourin has been transported to hospital for evaluation, no surprise there, but the good news is that he was conscious and able to communicate with the medical staff on hand at the arena prior to being loaded into the ambulance. Again hopefully this means Sabourin has avoid the worst but we will have to wait and see what updates come out of the hospital, likely at some point during the day tomorrow.
If you missed our original story on this incident you can check that out here, but be warned due to the nature of this incident it is not a pretty sight. It was enough to bring a veteran player like David Backes to tears, this is spite of the fact that Backes plays for the opposing team.