Winnipeg Jets center Mark Scheifele was injured in the first game of the team’s qualifying series against Calgary when he went down awkwardly and seemed to take a skate to the back of his leg from Flames forward Matthew Tkachuk. The injury is not as bad as it first seemed, but will sideline Scheifele for a while.

The Flames went on to win the best-of-five playoff series, 3-1. Despite Tkachuk ending his season, Scheifele is not holding a grudge. 

He spoke to TSN about the hit and whether he felt it was done on purpose:

“In terms of the hit, I think the first thing is that he was a little out of control. He did reach out to me and talk to me about it. He was out of control and he tried to get a piece of me. Obviously I wish that didn’t happen and I would have been playing in the rest of that series, but that’s the way hockey is … And he talked about being out of control and skating too fast. He took ownership of that.”

He continued saying sometimes in hockey injuries happen.

“It’s one of those things that’s a learning curve for everyone. You try to be in control all the time. I look at it as a knee-on-knee scenario. That’s just the way the game works. It’s a fast-moving game, but I’m thankful it wasn’t as serious as it could have been,” he said. 

“I had a lot of bad thoughts go through my mind that I was going to be out for six months and that my career could be over. That was tough on me, and the worst part was the anticipation of getting some answers. All I could do was thank God that I am on the mend, I didn’t need surgery and I’ll be back better than ever.”

Scheifele noted that his parents raised him to “forgive everyone” and that’s all he can do. 

“You wish the best on every person. Matt’s a great hockey player and has a ton of work ethic. I have no hard feelings. Obviously, I wish it never happened and I played in the rest of that series, but there is nothing you can do about that now,” he said.

This is a different tune than what Jets coach Paul Maurice was singing, as he thought the hit was dirty and intentional. Maurice said that he could have ended Scheifele’s career.

“It was intentional. It was a filthy, dirty kick to the back of the leg. You can’t see it on the program [camera] feed, but you take the blue-line feed and you zoom in,” he said. “He went after the back of his leg. Could have cut his Achilles [tendon]. Could have ended the man’s career. It’s an absolutely filthy, disgusting hit.”

For now, Scheifele is just focused on moving forward. 

“All you can do is wish everyone the best and hope that everyone stays safe and healthy. That’s kind of the only thoughts on my mind,” he said. “In my mind, I’m just trying to get better, trying to get my body back to 100% and that’s all I can worry about.”

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