The Detroit Red Wings are already down a man and we have only seen one period of play thus far.
On Tuesday night during a match up between the aforementioned Red Wings and the Boston Bruins, 33-year-old Detroit Red Wings center Frans Nielsen was injured by what initially looked like a relatively harmless hit from 33-year-old Boston Bruins forward David Backes.
The hit occurred in the final seconds of the first period and while it seemed like Backes could have pulled up considering that the puck was long gone, the hit itself didn't seem particularly dirty. The end result however was Nielsen laying down flat on the ice, and it took him several long moments t o get up.
Again while it's true that the hit from Backes came in late his shoulder appeared to catch Nielsen square in the chest but the reaction from Nielsen after the fact was so delayed, and so over the top, that my initial thought was that Nielsen had attempted one of the worst dives of the season in order to draw a penalty on Backes.
Unfortunately once Nielsen remained down on the ice long after the trainer had come to check on his condition, it became readily apparent that he had in fact been genuinely injured on the play and was in no way faking his injury.
Backes was awarded a two minute minor for his actions on the play, while Nielsen would retreat immediately to the Red Wings locker room. Nielsen did not come back out for the second period and Detroit Red Wings insider Helen St. James is reporting that he has been ruled out of the game with an "upper-body injury."
It didn't appear that there was head contact on the hit, but perhaps Nielsen's brain did in fact get rattled given both his reaction to the hit and as well as the fact that he was unable to continue playing.