Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Mike Kostka was on the receiving end of a nasty headshot last night, and the effect of the check is reportedly a concussion. After laying on his back for several moments following the hit from Montreal Canadiens defender Douglas Murray, Kostka was able to skate off of the ice under his own power. A stretcher was called for, but eventually was not needed.
Beat writer Damian Cristodero reported last night that Kostka was seen up and walking around following the hit, but added that he would be evaluated this morning.
Saw Kostka at a distance walking around the Lightning locker room. Official word is he is being evaluated. WIll know more tomorrow.— Damian Cristodero (@LightningTimes) April 2, 2014
That evaluation is complete, and Kostka has been diagnosed with a concussion.
Lightning reports Kostka sustained a concussion last night. No timetable for his return.— Damian Cristodero (@LightningTimes) April 2, 2014
Murray will have a phone hearing with the Department of Player Safety for the hit. He was ejected and given a match penalty for the brutal shot, which can be seen here in case you missed it.
Kostka averages more than 15 minutes a night for the Lightning according to ESPN.com, and is a steady presence on the backend in Tampa. Despite the fact that this was clearly a head shot, the NHL won't be able to suspend Murray for more than five games since his hearing is not in person.
Despite being a large and solid defender, Murray doesn't have a history of headshots or dirty play. That might be his saving grace in this instance. Stay tuned for more details concerning his suspension length and the reasoning behind it.