VIDEO: John Tavares checked into linesman's crotch by Nikolai Kulemin

By Brian Stubits | CBSSports.com

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The New York Islanders had a scare on Tuesday night when the Maple Leafs' Nikolai Kulemin checked Isles star and captain John Tavares into the boards right in front of the Islanders bench. Their scare was likely nothing compared to the horror of the linesman.

The play looked like it could have been very dangerous with Tavares losing his balance and starting to go head first into the boards. Perhaps luckily for him, there was a linesman in the way and instead of the boards it was the officials ummm, errr ... mid-section in the way.

Here's the crucial moment of impact.

Take that, Chi-Chi Rodriguez!

Notice how the linesman isn't even flinching. The players on the bench can barely keep their heads looking forward but the linesman absorbs the hit like a champ.

Tavares was understandably shaken because the hit was punishing. However he stayed on the bench and was back on the ice for his next shift. It was probably as much uncomfortable as it was painful.

Except for the linesman, that is.

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