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Steve Downie done for day after accidental high hit

Mar 22, 2014, 1:40 PM EDT


The Philadelphia Flyers lost gritty forward Steve Downie early in this afternoon’s contest against St. Louis. He skated into St. Louis Blues forward Patrik Berglund and appeared to be accidentally hit in the head as a result.

There was no penalty on the play.

Downie fell to the ice and although he was eventually able to skate off on his own strength, he went straight for the locker room. The Flyers have confirmed that he will not return due to what they’re calling an upper-body injury.

The obvious fear is that he might have sustained a concussion after previously suffering one in November.

He’s in his second stint with the Philadelphia Flyers after they acquired him from Colorado in late October in exchange for Maxime Talbot. Downie has 24 points and 106 penalty minutes in 60 games this season.

You can see the collision below:

  1. sjsharks66 - Mar 22, 2014 at 1:47 PM

    Hope Downie is okay. Very bad accident. He has to keep his head up though.

  2. sjsharks66 - Mar 22, 2014 at 1:56 PM

    Watching Flyers intermission. Talking about a blindside hit? How he skated straight into Downie? How he can have a talk with the league? How do you guys watch these commentators? Why can they not say “Downie was staring back at the puck and skated into his shoulder.” Because that is exactly what happened.

    • narfmoo12 - Mar 22, 2014 at 2:49 PM

      I’m shocked! Simply shocked that you are taking the opposite viewpoint about something related to the Flyers!

    • bwayblueshirt - Mar 22, 2014 at 6:38 PM

      All commentators skew towards their own team, some much more so than others (lookin at you, Jack Edwards). However this was clearly a case of Downie not paying attention to where he was going. No penalty, no suspension. Gotta keep your head up out there. Reminds a little of the Eric Gryba/Lars Eller hit last year. If you don’t keep your head up you’re gonna get it knocked off…

  3. clawedjeroo28 - Mar 22, 2014 at 2:06 PM

    As someone who watches most flyers games, I can tell you that john boruk sucks and knows nothing about hockey. I can barely watch the intermission reports sometimes. Play by play announcers during the game are much better

  4. sjsharks66 - Mar 22, 2014 at 2:17 PM

    I agree, sometimes play by play say some dumb things. Then again, what play by play commentators don’t at some point. That intermission was just ridiculous. :-/

  5. imgoingtowichita - Mar 22, 2014 at 2:21 PM

    “Stepped into the lane”?? C’mon Al. You are reaching to help your host out. They both circled and Downie had his head turned. Unfortunate is all that hit is.

  6. phillyphanatic77 - Mar 22, 2014 at 2:57 PM

    This wasn’t a penalty but I’m wondering (again) why there’s such a discrepancy in penalties called? The Blues are supposed to be as physical as the Flyers, if not more, and yet we’re the only team visiting the bin. I’m not saying some of those weren’t legitimate penalties but cmon refs how bout evening it up a little? I mean 4 minors on Giroux? But where are the calls on St. Louis?

    • paperlions - Mar 22, 2014 at 3:17 PM

      What are you talking about? The Flyers had 4 power plays in the first period.

      In general, this game has been horribly officiated. Any time a guy falls down they put someone in the box, at least 3 or 4 phantom calls where nothing happened and a call was made. It is like the refs are trying to prevent the potential for elevated hostilities by annoying both teams by calling penalties that aren’t there.

      • phillyphanatic77 - Mar 22, 2014 at 4:19 PM

        Yes the first period the Flyers got the benefit the advantage with 3 PPs (4th didn’t really count as the Flyers were shorthanded when it happened), but from that point on it was a parade of Flyers to the bench. Like I said I don’t have a problem (with some of) the calls, but most refs usually even it up. And they didn’t in this game. But whatever, huge win by the orange and black… again.

        Where are the idiotic Pens fans who were saying yesterday this team is a joke?

      • paperlions - Mar 22, 2014 at 4:26 PM

        The Flyers had 1 more minor penalty than the Blues before the delay of game for the puck over the glass in the final minute. How much more even did you want them to try to make it?

  7. flyboystransport - Mar 22, 2014 at 3:42 PM

    Neither player were looking at each other

  8. timmons94 - Mar 22, 2014 at 4:11 PM

    Hope he is ok. Don’t like anyone getting hurt, even flyers. That chapman line drive other day off his head was awful.. Hate seeing guys down like that. Flyers. Bruins are scorching hot…

  9. muckleflugga - Mar 22, 2014 at 5:44 PM


    it is naïve to suggest keeping one’s head up is the remedy for damaging contact in hockey

    it’s the sort of time-worn maxim that has no place in real-world human factors … it has however become part of hockey vocabulary for people rationalizing violent contact in the game … deliberate or incidental

    forgetting fractions in moments encompassing time where collisions occur versus actual ability to react, the human arc of vision is in the range of 120 degrees … most of that is low resolution peripheral vision where sense of movement and bearing rather than high resolution perception occurs

    the macula, where the highest concentration of cones reside and where resolution is greatest encompasses an arc of some six degrees in the field of vision

    while the brain moves the eye to scan back and forth in small measures creating a broader range of high resolution, there remain some 112 degrees in the arc of vision that are low resolution –the best example is reading where typically a reader can only read a word while fixing the eye within three or four characters each side

    movement in the 112 degrees outside the six to eight degrees of the high resolution arc is largely blurred … compelling the human brain to rationalize all blurring movements in that 112 degree range as passive or threatening

    in a game such as hockey the brain cannot separate images in the fractions of moments collisions occur … our reaction time is lightning fast but it is limited by bio-mechanics responding to what the brains sees

    it can be argued the reaction time of concussed players is further impaired which helps to explain why damaged players are susceptible to further damage in the same milieu while brain function is less able to react

    the term having one’s head on a swivel might be more apt were it not for the fact the cervical spine has an arc if some 135 to 145 degrees …

    were the brain able to separate passive movement from threatening movement in the periphery in sufficient time while an opposing force closes, bio mechanical function in the neck turning to bring that force into resolution permitting reading, reacting and adjusting to brace or initiate evasive action causes further delay … in the meantime

    bluuuuuuuur bzzzzzzzt thuuuuuump ooooooooooooooof

    short of regan macneil benefitting from the less than divine intervention of pazazu, no one plays who can have their head on a swivel

    keeping one’s head up is fallacy and known by players as fail safe barrier to violent collisions to be


  10. mikedoc315 - Mar 22, 2014 at 6:18 PM

    muckleflugga what are you a doctor, what are you crazy you say it’s naive that keeping your head up is a remedy for damage in hockey. If Downey had his head up he would have skated right around Berglund. But how about them Flyers huh, talk about HOT. I want to hear it from all the Flyers haters about what a crappy team this is. Ask the Penquins,the Blackhawks and now The St.Louis Blues all three teams are top shelf teams and all three were supposed to beat the snot out of the Flyers. I love this Flyers teamand it’s never quit attitude. Go FLYERS!!!!!!!!

  11. muckleflugga - Mar 22, 2014 at 6:52 PM


    architecture and industrial design since you asked …

    downie had his head up

    he was not in a position to see the threat which came to him in an instant as paths converged in the same instant regardless …

    downie did not have time to react as the threat emerged in his periphery … short of being on the wall, collisions come at hockey players in a 360 degree arc against a visual arc significantly less …

    while the visual arc is augmented by a three dimensional aural faculty, ambient noise in arenas suppresses and even confuse that input

    thinking that keeping one’s head up prevents collisions outright is accordingly naïve …

    while keeping one’s head up is necessary to mitigate risk, limitations in our physical makeup prevent the practice from creating a fail-safe environment on a hockey rink

    it all comes down to spatial awareness … eyes, ears, touch and brain read and process all movement on the ice and on a subliminal level guide the body safely through space

    the real issue is the extent to which players are possessed of spatial awareness … a confluence of the senses … consciously through training or naturally through genetics carried in their very dna

    wayne gretzky had a hyper sense of spatial awareness … almost functioning in an extra dimension … others like nick lidstrom were equally gifted

    in sports and other endeavor there is a strong correlation between health, talent, success and spatial awaeness

    seeing before others see … understanding before others understand

    driving a bentley or driving a clapped-out 1992 torino

  12. bobc74 - Mar 22, 2014 at 9:00 PM

    If that hit had occurred in the Pens/Flyers games last weekend, I doubt PHT would be calling it an accident. They’d probably be calling for at least a 5-game suspension.

    • matthewmacisaac - Mar 23, 2014 at 8:55 AM

      Here’s the douchey penguins fan you guys have been asking about.

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