Palmetto Championship

Congaree Golf Club


The Loop

Stick Tap

The biggest hero of the Mark Scheifele mess is the guy that acted as a human shield for an out-cold Jake Evans

June 03, 2021

Before we make any declarations or spew any not-asked-for opinions, have a look at the Mark Scheifele check on Jake Evans from Game 1 of the Montreal Canadiens-Winnipeg Jets second round series. You may have already seen it, but it's worth watching very closely again, then taking a deep breath, then forming rational thoughts:

The first thing that jumps out is that this is an extremely violent hit, one that, as you can see, knocked Evans out. Had Evans popped right back up, this situation is not even a discussion, and it's just a hard, clean check from Scheifele, who you could argue is trying to deny Evans from scoring on the empty net and thus putting the game out of reach. 

But when you see Evans continue lying face down, and eventually get stretchered off, you begin to wonder if Scheifele's hit was even necessary, and if there was malicious intent behind it. Based off Scheifele's reaction afterward, which was one of surprise that four Canadiens were attacking him, he believed he was just making a hockey play. But to come from the other end of the ice at full speed and blind side Evans the way he did looks very bad, even if it's technically a clean hit. 

Scheifele will be dealt with by the league and/or by the Canadiens on the ice, most likely both. It's unfortunate, because in his mind he made a clean hit, but the only people arguing that with fervor after watching Evans get stretchered off are Jets fans, people who are slow, and Washington Capitals fans, which are basically the same group. 

Believe it or not, a hero did emerge from this whole mess, and that man is Nikolaj Ehlers, who did something that a handful of sharp folks on Twitter were quick to point out in the immediate aftermath of the hit. As Evans laid face down, multiple Canadiens attacked Scheifele just inches away, and a number of Jets stepped in to defend him, too. As the scrum ensued, Ehlers acted as a human shield for Evans, walling off a group of huge dudes that could have very easily fell on top of Evans:

It may seem like a small thing, but it's actually a very big thing when you remember that Ehlers was about to lose Game 1 on home ice and was now in the middle of a very tense situation. For him to have the presence of mind to protect an opposing player from further damage is really incredible stuff. Sports are the best, even when they are simultaneously the worst.