It’s far from being easy. It’s a nightmare. Even on the other side, there’s rivalries, we’re all competitors but at the same time, we never want injuries during games. - Bob Hartley
EDMONTON, AB -- There was plenty from Saturday’s 2-1 overtime win over the Edmonton Oilers that Calgary Flames coach Bob Hartley enjoyed seeing.
Kevin Westgarth motionless on the ice after squaring off with Luke Gazdik wasn’t one of them.
At the end of a lengthy scrap between the two heavyweights midway through the first period, Gazdik connected with a fist that caught Westgarth square in the face, buckling the Flames forward before he fell and hit his head on the ice.
“It’s far from being easy. It’s a nightmare,” Hartley said. “Even on the other side, there’s rivalries, we’re all competitors but at the same time, we never want injuries during games.
“Two tough guys and suddenly I looked at center ice and they were both squaring off. They’re two willing combatants and unfortunately he got hit. That kid’s a tough kid.”
Westgarth fell and officials immediately signaled for Flames trainers before the 6-foot-4, 234-pound winger was helped off the ice by teammates. He did not return to the game.
Mark Giordano said Westgarth was feeling better after the contest.
“Both guys were throwing good punches and I thought it started out Westy got the better of him at the start and towards the end of it, he got caught with one I think,” Giordano said. “Everyone saw what happened. It’s a tough job to stick up for us like that and I thought he did a great job. He’s feeling alright now so it’s good to see.
“The bottom line at the end of the day, you care more about the person. When you see something like that, you just hope he recovers quickly and can get back into the lineup.”
Westgarth is expected to return to Calgary for further observation.
The Flames travel to Minnesota on Sunday to take on the Wild on Monday.