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Lars Eller on Montreal bloodied by Eric Gryba hit in gruesome scene; suspension worthy? (Video)

Sean Leahy
Puck Daddy

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The Bell Centre crowd was still celebrating Rene Bourque's goal 13:09 into the second period when they soon went quiet after seeing Lars Eller land face first onto the ice after this hit by Ottawa Senators defenseman Eric Gryba:

(Warning: There's a lot of blood)

The mix of the blood and the face-first landing almost brings back memories of Kevin Stevens from 1993.

Gryba was assessed five minutes for interference and given a game misconduct. Brendan Gallagher would score on the ensuing five minute power play as the Canadiens took a 2-1 lead into the third period. Eller left the ice on a stretcher and appeared to be conscious.

The Canadiens say Eller suffered a "head and facial" injury and is alert at hospital. Hockey Night in Canada reported that Eller suffered a broken nose and a concussion.

This play was a recipe for disaster, beginning with Diaz sending a suicide pass Eller's way. His head is looking for the pass as Gryba is skating in to separate Eller from the puck. Like we saw in the Ryan White suspension, Gryba could have lined up his hit better with Eller's body, not his head, taking the brunt of the blow. The moment of impact appears to be the back of Gryba's shoulder with Eller's chest/head. That's how far off line he was on the hit.

Game 2 for Ottawa/Montreal is Friday night, so a quick decision will be made, one way or another. And the more you watch the hit, the more you have to believe Gryba won't be taking part.

UPDATE: According to CBC's Elliotte Friedman, Gryba will have a hearing with the NHL on Friday at 12pm ET.

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