Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman Dion Phaneuf is known for throwing the occasional big, open-ice hit.
Sometimes he misses. Sometimes he misses big time.
Early in the third period of Tuesday night’s 6-2 loss in San Jose, the Leafs captain lined up Sharks forward Patrick Marleau for a bruising. Unfortunately, Phaneuf missed his target and instead plastered teammate James van Riemsdyk.
Leafs fans collectively held their breath as one of the club’s first-line wingers lay on the ice before retreating to the locker room.
There was legitimate concern about van Riemsdyk’s health — he has suffered concussions before — but he returned to the game shortly afterward.