On a cold, rainy night a few years ago at a nearby restaurant, my wife was backing out of a parking spot when a telephone pole suspiciously appeared out of nowhere. The result to our Toyota Highlander: a dented bumper.
On a chilly night last Saturday in Nashville in the second period, Sabres defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo was guarding the crease near the left faceoff circle when Predators forward Viktor Arvidsson abruptly turned to him and delivered a hard cross-check. The result to Colaiacovo’s throat: a dented trachea.
That’s right… a dented freakin’ trachea.
In an era when players suffer “lower body” injuries and “upper body” injuries, there was no way to mask this one. It wasn’t exactly a neck injury. Nope, you couldn’t even call it a “mid throat” injury. It was just too easy to see.
Colaiacovo spread out in obvious pain on the ice, before being helped off. He did not return. “Carlo was hospitalized with a dented trachea,” according to Sabres coach Dan Bylsma.
During the ensuing five minute power play, the Sabres scored not once, but twice. Goals by Jamie McGinn and Sam Reinhart turned a one-goal deficit into a 2-1 lead and the Sabres rolled to a 4-1 victory over the Predators.
As vicious as it looked, Arvidsson did not receive supplemental discipline from the NHL’s Department of Player Safety. Colaiacovo has been cleared to play Tuesday night when the Sabres face the Detroit Red Wings.
“Thanks for all the support and well wishes,” Colaiacovo wrote on Twitter. “I am doing very well and looking forward to getting back with my teammates.”
By the way, years later, our Highlander’s bumper still sports the dent.