Stars defenseman Roman Polak stretchered off, hospitalized after going head-first into boards

NHL: Boston Bruins at Dallas Stars
Dallas Stars defenseman Roman Polak is carted off the ice after being injured during the second period against the Boston Bruins at the American Airlines Center. Jerome Miron / USA TODAY Sports

Roman Polak had to be stretchered off the ice and taken to a local hospital following a scary crash into the boards during Thursday's season opener in Dallas. 

During the second period of the Bruins-Stars contest at American Airlines Center, the Stars defenseman went after a loose puck in the corner of the Dallas zone and whiffed as he braced for contact with Boston's Chris Wager. Polak wound up tumbling hard and awkwardly into the corner boards, taking most of the impact with his head and shoulder. 

The collision was ugly, and concerns escalated when Polak laid flat on the ice without movement in the aftermath. Play was halted as the defenseman remained face-down and motionless on the playing surface. 

Medical personnel quickly came to the player's side and Polak was eventually stabilized and taken off the ice on a stretcher, then transported to a local hospital for further evaluation. 

Polak, 33, didn't acknowledge the crowd or show movement in his arms prior to leaving the ice, which was unsettling. But Stars coach Jim Montgomery provided a positive update after the game, saying that Polak had movement in his extremities and was recovering.

It's always scary to see these kinds of plays in the corner, especially when a player's head or neck gets put in a vulnerable and awkward position. This incident left many players on the ice visibly shaken, including several Bruins who formed a prayer circle as the defenseman was being put on the stretcher, but Polak seems to have avoided a worst-case scenario and we can all be thankful for that.

Pete Blackburn is from Boston, so there's a good chance you don't like him already. He has been a writer at CBS Sports since 2017 and usually aims to take a humorous and light-hearted approach to the often... Full Bio

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