Since the NHL adopted a new ‘rule’ that allows the league to assign punishment for blindside hits to the head, which previously were legal, we’ve yet to see a play that tested the change.
Atlanta’s Colby Armstrong rocked Washington’s Matthieu Perreault, with a hit that should break about three rules on his way to what in theory will be an NHL suspension.
As Perreault skated with the puck up the ice and out of Washington’s defensive zone, Armstrong caught Perreault with an elbow to the jaw. Not only that, but he appeared to leave his feet while doing so.
So, it’s a blind side elbow to the head while leaving his feet. Could be the perfect trifecta for Armstrong.
[Update] There is some debate as to whether the hit was blind sided or not. Armstrong did come at Perreault from the front, but it was as he was turning up ice. I’m still waiting on the replay to show up online.
Armstrong was awarded a two-minute minor for interference (or roughing, as was announced in the arena. NHL.com lists it as holding, which it wasn’t), since I guess the refs missed the elbow. Should be interesting to see how the NHL responds.