Near the end of the first period of the Devils/Habs game in Montreal, Erik Cole hit rookie defenseman Adam Larsson with a hit to the head. Cole was penalized two minutes for an illegal hit to the head, while Larsson headed back to the locker room to recover from the hit. Thankfully, he was able to return to action in the second period.
It certainly looks like Cole caught the vulnerable Larsson with an elbow as he tried to curl around the net. As the announcers mentioned, this was one of those “drive-by” hits that Brendan Shanahan and Rob Blake have been watching closely.
Was the head the principle point of contact? Absolutely. Was the player in a vulnerable position? Check. But Larsson was also bending down as he reached for the puck. Does that mean that Larsson changed the position of his head enough for Cole to escape punishment?
We through this out to the readers: Should Erik Cole be suspended by the NHL for this hit on Adam Larsson? The comment section awaits.