You were probably a little shocked to see a Canada Russia hockey game on TSN last night during the dog days of summer.
You probably got a little excited when you saw Canucks 2014 1st round pick (24th overall) Jared McCann playing on Team Canada's 3rd line alongside highly touted 2016 draft eligible mammoth Julien Brisebois, the 6-foot-4, 212 pound left-winger from the Val'Dor Foreurs who is the only undrafted Canadian in the World Junior Summer Showcase.
You probably swallowed your tongue when you saw McCann take hard hit to the head after McCann's teammate, Jeremy Roy, fed McCann with a suicide pass right in the heart of the neutral zone only to have big Russian defenceman Nikita Zhuldikov step up and absolutely hammer McCann with a questionable, high blow to the head.
If you played minor hockey growing up, the number one rule every coach told you was to keep your head up when taking a pass in the middle of the ice. Have a look for yourself and tell us what you think of the hit in the poll question or the comments below.
Here is the headshot on McCann https://t.co/2jUIK5rV23— Winthagame (@WinThaGame) August 4, 2015
The pass from Roy definitely didn't help McCann out, but if you were the Russian defenceman with a height of 6-foot-3, and saw a much smaller Jared McCann turned around with his head down, his body hunched over as he was aboutt to blindly receive a pass, you'd be putting a little extra pep in your step to take McCann out.
Upon further reviewing the hit several times, in my honest opinion, this is just a solid hit by Zhuldikov that was arguably a little high. The issue I have with the play is not the hit itself, but rather the notion of whether any contact to the head should be legal or not, no matter if the accused is using his shoulder, forearm or elbow to make contact.
It's tough to be objective about this hit, as we've seen numerous Canucks prospects miss Summer camps, rookie evaluations and training camps.
Canucks prospects have had the injury luck of Sami Salo the past 5 years— Rob The Hockey Guy (@RobTheHockeyGuy) August 4, 2015
@Dignooi Cassels and McCann with mono, Hodgson's back, Jensen banged up, on and on and on— Rob The Hockey Guy (@RobTheHockeyGuy) August 4, 2015
McCann appeared to be shaken up from the hit and skated off the ice rather gingerly only :58 seconds into the middle stanza and did not return.
Canadian coach Dave Lowry told TSN 1050 post-game that McCann would be reevaluated on Tuesday.
Lowry was interviewed on TSN 1040 this morning and confirmed what many Canucks fans on Twitter figured. The former Vancouver Canuck and Calgary Flame told Jon Abbott and Blake Price that McCann would miss the remainder of the Summer Showcase for 'precautionary reasons.'
Lowry: Jared McCann being "held out for precautionary reasons". Says Canada is erring on the side of caution. Won't play again this tourney— TSN Radio Vancouver (@TSN1040) August 4, 2015
Here's more footage of the hit:
Another angle of the hit Jared McCann took. pic.twitter.com/JVng45hqnE— Marc Dumont (@MarcPDumont) August 4, 2015
Team Canada won the game 4-1, with Calgary Flames goaltending prospect Mason McDonald stopping 16 shots in Canada's first victory of the Summer Showcase. Detroit Red Wings prospect Joe Hicketts, one of five returning players from last years gold medal winning squad, scored one of the goals. Jared McCann's linemate Spencer Watson potted in another, while Arizona's Coyotes 3rd overall pick in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft and Tampa Bay Lightning prospect Mitchell Stephens had the others.
Highlights of the game can be found below:
Brock Boeser and one the United States split squad teams engaged in a game against Sweden yesterday and Boeser did not disappoint; Boeser contributed a hat trick in the USA's 10-4 romp over Sweden.
Fastforward to 4:49 (one-timer from Columbus Blue Jackets 1st rounder Zack Werenski), 7:09 (another one-time bomb this time from much farther out and holly sh!t can Brock shoot the puck!) and 12:14 (Boeser goes hard to the net after a nice feed from Chicago Blackhawks prospect Nick Schmaltz) to see the goals.
Despite yesterday's hatty, Boeser is in tough to make the United States World Junior team come December, as he's still only 18 and U.S Hockey and head coach Ron Wilson will need to cut 9 more players before the tournament begins. The states play three more games in Lake Placid rotating against Finland and Sweden.
TSN 1040 confirmed that the Canucks 6th overall pick in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft will play tonight against the Czechs. Puck drop is at 4:30 pm PT and can be seen live on TSN.
Virtanen will play alongside Jake DeBrusk centred by Connor Bleackley on Canada's second line.