Eric Staal Injured in Collision with NHL Linesman Dave Brisebois

Officiating News -

Eric Staal Injured in Collision with NHL Linesman Dave Brisebois

Eric Staal Injured in Collision with NHL Linesman Dave Brisebois

During yesterday's game between the Minnesota Wild and the Anaheim Ducks, Wild forward Eric Staal was forced to leave the game after an awkward collision with linesman Dave Brisebois.

As Staal was coming down the left wing boards, he was battling for position with Ducks forward Derek Grant angling him off at the blueline.

With Brisebois caught with nowhere to go, he attempted to jump and avoid the oncoming players at the last minute. 

The result was an awkward collision that left Staal in clear discomfort on the ice.  Staal's helmet seemed to collide with Brisebois' elbow pads.

Staal had to be helped off the ice and did not return to the game.

NHL referee Dean Morton looks on as Eric Staal lays injured on the ice during NHL game

Unlike the collisions that referee Tim Peel and linesman Michel Cormier suffered, this time it was the player that was on the receiving end.

Thoughts on Linesman Positioning

This is one of the toughest, and potentially dangerous, plays for a linesman to read on the ice.

There are a few options for positioning on a play like this.  However, with the size and speed of today's players a linesman really only has a split second to read the play and react.

In the picture below you can see 6:04 on the clock as defenceman Matt Dumba breaks out of the Wild zone.

Matt Dumba passes the puck to Eric Staal during NHL hockey game

With Brisebois positioned on his blueline, Dumba still has multiple passing options across the ice.

Ultimately, a streaking Eric Staal received the pass as headed down the wing towards Brisebois.

In the picture below, you'll see that Staal is about to run into Brisebois with 6:03 on the clock.

Brisebois, the veteran linesman of over 1200 NHL games, quite literally has a split second to read the play and get out of the way of the players barreling towards him!

NHL linesman Dave Brisbois is about to be hit by Eric Staal during a hockey game 

Again, this is one of the toughest plays in today's game.  Brisebois is trying to maintain a position with good sightlines for a potential offside call. 

He doesn't have the benefit of jumping onto the boards, with this playing being on the penalty box side of the ice. 

The players are literally on top of him in a split second, leaving a bump deeper into the zone likely out of the question.

The only other option seems to be an unorthodox, but effective, last minute move towards the centre of the ice.

What do you think?  Take a look at the video below and leave your comments!



Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published