Friday, 16 October 2015

Yup, That's A Suspension

Normally, a Dallas Stars-Tampa Bay Lightning game is all about the scorers. Tyler Seguin, Jamie Benn, Jason Spezza, and Patrick Sharp on one side versus Steven Stamkos, Tyler Johnson, Ryan Callahan, and Jonathan Drouin on the other side. There might be a few solid hits, and there's probably an acrobatic save or two on the highlight reel. However, tonight's game featured a hit no one ever wants to see, and the result didn't look good when the player who was hit was finally on his feet. Tampa Bay's Nikita Nesterov will probably even get a little extra time to think about the sin he committed as Curtis McKenzie was helped off the ice.

With four minutes to play in the second period, Nesterov was given a five-minute major and a game misconduct for a hit from behind that McKenzie never saw coming. Here's the video. Judge for yourself.
Yikes. That's a dangerous hit as Nesterov got McKenzie square on the numbers, sending McKenzie into the boards at an awkward angle with little chance of protecting himself. I don't think anyone can argue that this wasn't a dangerous hit as McKenzie was accepting a pass and Nesterov simply stepped into his back.

McKenzie, as you saw on the video, was favoring his leg, so I'm hoping there isn't some sort of major injury. Any time the neck or back takes a jolt like McKenzie's did, there's a chance that there could be a worse injury. Nesterov, for his part, didn't seem to protest much, so I assume he knew he did wrong. The only question is how long he'll sit for as I'm almost certain the Department of Player Safety will review this hit.

Here's hoping that Curtis McKenzie isn't seriously injured.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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