In what became the collision of the weekend, when Washington Capitals Alex Ovechkin ran into Roberto Luongo of the Florida Panthers may not have left Luongo as healthy as he alluded after the game. Today Dale Tallon, General Manager and Executive Vice President of the Florida Panthers announced the recall of goalie Sam Brittain from their ECHL affiliate, the Cincinnati Cyclones.

Sam Brittain

Sam Brittain

Brittain, a native of Calgary, Alberta, and now 22 was selected by Florida in the fourth round (92nd overallI) in the 2010 NHL Draft. The 6’3”, 229 pound netminder, signed an entry level contract with Florida on July 2, 2014.

Since joining the Cyclones this season, he has played twelve games, posting a 6-5-1 record. He earned his first professional shutout during the December 6, 2014 game against the Kalamazoo Wings, where he stopped a career-high 36 saves. During the week of December 22, 2014, he was named the CCM ECHL Goaltender of the Week earning a 1-0-0 mark, a 0.97 GAA and a .970 save percentage.

The Florida Panthers are on a six-game road trip, of which their visit to the Verizon Center to take on the Washington Capitals was the second. The collision between Luongo and Ovechkin took place during the first period. Despite laying on the ice for a few minutes, Luongo remained in the game through the second period. Back up goaltender Al Montoya was put in for the third.

Replays of the collision, on which there was no penalty called, clearly show that Ovechkin accidentally caught Luongo’s head. The incident was a result of Luongo coming far out of his crease—in fact he was between the hash marks of the face off circle to his right. He was trying to move the puck, Ovechkin was trying to get the puck and the interaction was unavoidable.

There has been some question as to why the concussion protocol was not initiated after the hit, but given how quickly everything happened it is possible that no one noticed that Luongo had taken the hit to the head.

All eyes will be on the Panthers as they take on the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday, January 6, to see who starts in net and who is sitting as back up. Given that this was Luongo’s former team, it is likely that he was looking forward to playing against them. Regardless, it is hoped that if Luongo is hurt that it is nothing major and that he will return to his post between the pipes quickly.

A family historian by profession, Rhonda R. McClure has loved hockey since she was a child in New Hampshire. Any opportunity to combine her love of writing, hockey and research is something she looks forward to with much enthusiasm. She's been accused of seeking out shinny games when there are no other hockey events taking place. She is a member of the Society for International Hockey Research. Follow her on Twitter at @HockeyMaven1917.


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