The St. Louis Blues came into their third game of the season against the Anaheim Ducks knowing they needed to pick up a victory. However, hockey became of lesser concern early in the contest.
The St. Louis Blues came into Anaheim hoping for a victory over the Ducks. As far as the hockey went, it did not start all that well.
The Blues lucked out that they did not give up the lead in the first handful of minutes. The Ducks hit a double-post in their very first shot on goal.
After that, the Ducks would eventually score on a tipped shot a little over five minutes into the game. The Blues, as is their way, responded with Ivan Barbashev scoring after a turnover just about two minutes later.
Unfortunately, that was where the hockey stopped. As far as the clock went, the game continued for about another five minutes or so, but everyone forgot about anything on the ice after those moments.
Sadly, Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester, had an incident on the team bench after his shift. During the television timeout, Bouwmeester appeared to pass out and slumped forward against the boards in front of him.
The only positive about the situation is that Bouwmeester was seated at the time, lessening any potential blow to the head. The other good thing was that, just like every other NHL arena, the doctors were only a few rows away from the action, able to spring down to help out the training staff of both teams.
The scary part was not knowing what happened initially. When the Blues telecast came back on the air, they did not even know if it was a player or member of the arena staff or coaching staff or who.
We did not officially know it was a player until we saw the gurney raised and the skates were visible. Moments after that, they released a close-up replay of the bench where you could tell it was Bouwmeester.
They immediately knew it was something serious as they were flailing and yelling for the medical staff to get down there.
As a fan, the entire thing was disturbing and scary to witness. Clearly family would be even more distressed, but it was the not knowing that made everything that much more heightened.
When Fox Sports Midwest sent it back to Darren Pang for a report, he looked as though he was about to cry. Stomachs had to turn in knots thinking he was about to deliver a terrible message about the health of our own player.
Thankfully, all he knew was the players and coaches were saying there was no way they would retake the ice. The only remaining thing was for the league to come up with an official statement.
The last word before the broadcast ended was that Bouwmeester was conscious as he was loaded into an ambulance and taken to the hospital.
The fact he is responding is a good sign. However, we still don’t know what caused any of this. Bouwmeester’s last shift had absolutely no contact other than an opponent tugging on his arm.
All we can do is pray, if you are inclined, and hope for the best. We all hope to see big Bouw back on the ice soon, but right now his health and family are the first concern.
*UPDATE – According to Chris Kerber, via Alex Ferrario, they did have to use the defibrillator on Bouwmeester. This occurred at the arena, but he was responsive before leaving.
*UPDATE 2 – According to Jim Thomas of the Post-Dispatch, the team is calling it a “cardiac event” and Bouwmeester was stabalized and undergoing further tests to root out the cause last night. Doug Armstrong is expected to provide a further update when the team arrives in Vegas Wednesday afternoon.