Just when you thought the World Championships weren't worth paying attention to... bad news comes for Nashville Predators fans. While playing for the Czech Republic in a 3-1 semifinal loss to Slovakia, Martin Erat suffered a concussion on a 1st-period hit and left the game.
This, from the IIHF's game report:
Early in the first, Martin Erat had his head snapped back with a shoulder check and didn't return.
In the second, Petr Prucha gave Tomas Starosta a dangerous little shove as they chased a puck down in the end boards. Starosta lost his balance, smashed awkwardly into the boards, and fell in a heap clutching his right shoulder. He didn't return either.
A short time later Slovak defenceman Mario Bliznak stepped up into the centre-ice area and delivered what looked like an elbow to the head of Frolik. The Czech sported a cut on his cheeckbone and skated woozily off to the dressing room but came back for the final period.
It was decided after the game that none of these incidents will be reviewed by the Disciplinary Panel. Erat, however, has a concussion, according to Czech GM Slava Lener and won't play in the bronze game tomorrow.
Thanks to the vague nature of NHL injury reporting, we're not sure about Erat's history with concussions, but the one previous incident that does come to mind here is the hit which Tuomo Ruutu put on him during last year's playoff series against Anaheim.
Here's to hoping that a summer of rest can allow Marty the time to heal properly.
UPDATE: Video of the hit, as found at Puck Daddy, follows: