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NHL goaltenders getting concussions at an alarming rate

FILE - In this Jan. 19, 2019, file photo, New York Rangers center Filip Chytil (72) collides with Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask (40) as he scores a goal during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Boston. The goal counted, Chytil faced no repercussions and Rask was concussed. Those kinds of collisions are happening at an alarming rate over the past couple of seasons, leading to an increase in goaltender concussions. (AP Photo/Mary Schwalm, File)

Goaltenders in the National Hockey League are seeing a recent increase in head injuries.

Just two NHL goalies were concussed in 2016-17, missing a total of 15 games. Over the past two seasons, 14 different goalies missed a total of 276 games with a concussion or head injury caused by everything from elbows and knees to pucks off their helmets.

Players are crashing the net more than ever and there is little vulnerable goalies can do to avoid contact. Washington goalie Braden Holtby says it is how players are taught from a young age now.

The NHL has taken steps to penalize contact to the head, but goalies say they are not seeing any kind of deterrence among players trying to score goals.


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Stephen Whyno, The Associated Press