tavares injury

People are praying for John Tavares after brutal injury in Leafs playoff game

Regardless of which team you're a fan of, anyone who watched the Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Montreal Canadiens game on Thursday night is feeling for John Tavares and his family right now after a brutal injury that left the Leafs captain drifting in and out of consciousness before being carried off of the ice on a gurney.

Though run-ins, fist fights and all types of injuries are par for the course in Canada's national winter sport, the incident that led to Tavares being transported to hospital last night was a freak accident that was admittedly far more difficult to watch than others.

About 10 minutes into the first period of the first game of round 1, the star player was checked by Habs defenseman Ben Chiarot and fell to the ground in a pretty standard encounter.

But then, he was inadvertently kneed directly in the head by Montreal's Cory Perry, who was travelling down the ice, eyes on the puck, at a speed fast enough to send him flying after contact.

The series of unfortunate events happened in extremely quick succession, with viewers perhaps not realizing at first how serious the hit was.

But when a clearly dazed Tavares failed to get up — or move much at all — after a few seconds, it became obvious that the injury was severe.

Medics arrived on the ice and quickly strapped the 30-year-old to a gurney and wheeled him off the ice as his team members surrounded him and Perry gave him an encouraging pat on the leg.

He responded with a thumbs up, which fans were relieved to see, to say the least.

Naturally, there has been an outpouring of support online, with hockey fans of all stripes putting aside their team loyalties to wish him a speedy recovery (at least, for the most part).

According to reports, Tavares was conscious and "communicating well" after the hit, and underwent an array of medical tests, which all came back clear.

He spent the night at a hospital in Toronto and was discharged on Friday morning.

The ordeal also led to a scuffle between Perry and Toronto's Nick Foligno before play resumed and the Canadiens won 2-1.

Lead photo by

Toronto Maple Leafs

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