"On the first thought, it was a bad hit or somebody blind-sided him," said Montreal coach Guy Carbonneau. "I came down. I looked at it on the tape. The timing was there. Mathieu had his head down a little bit. Kopecky came across, he wasn't trying to gain speed, he was trying to make contact with Mathieu. The shoulder just hit the head."
Carle released a neutral-zone pass and continued skating towards the offensive blue line. A backchecking Kopecky came from behind Carle on the left and put his shoulder into the defenseman. The hit was a tad late and Carle was way too long in admiring his pass. The result was a check that knocked Carle unconscious. The rookie was conscious before leaving the ice and returned from hospital in time to leave Detroit with the Habs.
"You never want to see anyone get hurt," said Kopecky.