Montreal forward Max Pacioretty will have a phone hearing with the NHL Monday morning for this hit on Pittsburgh defenseman Kris Letang during the third period of the Penguins’ overtime win in Montreal Saturday night. Pacioretty broke Letang’s nose on the play, yet wasn’t whistled for a penalty:
Unsurprisingly, the hit is garnering a lot of attention. Pacioretty is one of the NHL’s highest-profile concussion victims (from last season’s stanchion hit by Zdeno Chara) yet seemed to be headhunting Letang intentionally on the play. The Globe and Mail called it a “textbook blindside hit prohibited by rule 48 – Pacioretty coming in from Letang’s right and laying his shoulder and upper arm into Letang’s head.”
Judging by his actions, Pacioretty knew the hit was bad. He apologized to Letang prior to the start of overtime and expressed remorse to the Globe following the game.
“It’s a tough decision for me, it’s a tough decision for him too. He’s coming across the middle, unfortunately his head is down, I feel terrible about what happened,” Pacioretty said. “I didn’t see the replays, so I don’t know what the league will think of it. But if I let him take that shot it could be in the back of our net. It’s a tough decision for me, I thought I tried to keep it within the rules, but I haven’t seen the replay.
“I’ve been down that road, it’s a terrible feeling, I know (the Penguins) are probably going to want something to be done . . . (Letang) said he was good.”
Dubinsky won’t change, and he won’t go easy on Crosby
“Nope,” Dubinsky said. “You know, I’ve played the same way my whole career and I’m not going to change. The next time I have an opportunity to play (Crosby), I’m going to play him hard.”
In case you’re wondering, that next opportunity comes on Dec. 21 in Pittsburgh, assuming that both players are healthy and not suspended.
One can understand Dubinsky’s perspective, although such honesty would be that much more interesting if there’s another incident with Crosby. His initial reaction to the hit was interestingly candid, admitting that his “stick rode up” on his adversary.
Would that stance – which, from a harsher view, might seem flippant to Dubinsky’s critics – open the door for a bigger future bit of a discipline?
Maybe, maybe not … but at least his comments aren’t as inflammatory as what John Tortorella said (at least on the record).
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