The incident, which occurred late in the first period of Philly’s 4-3 OT win on Monday night, earned Gudas a five-minute boarding major and game misconduct. Gudas was also slapped with a five-minute fighting major for a scrap with big Rangers blueliner Dylan McIlrath.
Vesey was shaken up on the hit, but returned and finished the game with 15:10 of ice time, scoring his first professional goal in the process.
Unsurprisingly, each coach had a decidedly different view of the Gudas hit.
“I look at the play and it’s such a hard play for a defenseman,” Flyers bench boss Dave Hakstol said, per CSN Philly. “You’re going in with full momentum. A player holds, pulls up, slows up, turns, it’s a very difficult situation for a defenseman in that situation.”
As for Hakstol’s counterpart, Rangers coach Alain Vigneault?
“I’ve seen that hit many times before from that player,” Vigneault said. “I’ll just leave it at that.”
As mentioned above, Gudas is a very polarizing player and one with a history of questionable hits. Known as one of the league’s most notorious checkers, he’s been in frequent meetings with the NHL’s Department of Player Safety — including last season, when he was suspended three games for an illegal check to the head of Mika Zibanejad.