Nick Schmaltz leaves Worlds game after questionable hit from Gabriel Landeskog
This one might have caused an injury.
Team USA forward Nick Schmaltz took a brutal hit from Sweden’s Gabriel Landeskog during a game at the 2017 World Championships on Monday. Schmaltz immediately left the game following the play, which surprisingly did not lead to a penalty despite coming late.
Nick Schmaltz looks woozy after taking a hard hit up high by Gabriel Landeskog. Opinions? #Blackhawks #Avs #IIHFWorlds pic.twitter.com/LRvNgqB7hD— Steven Ellis (@StevenEllisNHL) May 8, 2017
Schmaltz released his shot well before Landeskog went to initiate contact, but there was no call on the ice. The Blackhawks forward had been playing well at the tournament with two assists in his first two games with the senior national team.
Dealing with physical play is still an ongoing process for Schmaltz, but it’s not hard to wonder why the referees decided to swallow their whistles for that hit. The replay above slows down near the contact point, which makes the timing look worse, but at full speed it’s still questionable:
Gabriel Landeskog delar ut en rejäl propp på Nick Schmaltz, som tvingades kliva av. #twittpuck #hockeyVM pic.twitter.com/T9FNpW6eUm— C More Sport (@cmoresport) May 8, 2017
Schmaltz’s status isn’t known at this point beyond the fact that he left the game after the hit from the Avalanche winger, but it looks like there’s a chance he’s injured. That would be a disappointing turn after the 21-year-old had done a good job acclimating himself to international hockey thus far.