NHL spotters are great... they had Fleury finish the game, despite being concussed.
Eh, normally I’m not really going to come down on the spotters. It’s a really freaking difficult call, it’s so hard to look at an impact with your eyeballs and know what happened inside someone’s skull and if a guy says he’s fine and passes the protocol at the time like Flower did… it’s all best guess.
Plus - while I’m not saying this is a good thing - it’s probably a bit different when we’re talking about pulling out a goalie than like a winger, you know? If you’re talking the “independent” spotters then there’s always going to be concerns about whether they really are being independent when taking out such a crucial and irreplaceable member of the team.
But idk, my instant, visceral reaction was a hard HE IS HURT. After years of watching him play I’ve seen him react to getting run over a dozen times in a dozen different ways and there are times where he gets up and pokes guys with his stick in irritation or curses and skates it off a little - and then there are times he is hurt…. and that was clearly he was hurt. Absolutely. But these guys probably haven’t spent years watching him. How would they know better enough to argue with what he himself is saying?
Between the coaches and everyone probably feeling (as they said the next game before his start) Malcolm maybe wasn’t really ready to be thrown in the deep end with this team he’s just joined… and the perfect record-making mojo of the team winning (they had the lead still at that point iirc)…. and probably a good portion of Flower in his head going NO NOT AGAIN I CAN’T LOSE MY SPOT FOR THIS AGAIN… everyone collectively just… didn’t pull him / he didn’t let himself be pulled.
Obviously I’d rather he be safe but I’m a big fan of bodily autonomy and I don’t like laying blame wherever there isn’t malice or gross negligence and it’s fundamentally a judgment call that wasn’t up to any of us so. It is what it is.