Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Nashville Predators got off to a pretty rough start with opening period featuring several penalties for both sides as well as more questionable officiating.

The worst incident from the first 20 minutes occurred when Chris Kunitz delivered a bad cross-check to the back of P.K. Subban’s neck.

That looks like it hurt. Initially, it wasn’t clear who was called for the penalty, but Kunitz eventually found his way to the box for – believe it or not – cross-checking. Evgeni Malkin was also called for tripping on the play which led to an early 5-on-3 advantage for the Predators. The Preds couldn’t find the back of the net with their advantage, but that shouldn’t take away from this nonsensical play by Kunitz.

Players, especially those competing in the playoffs, need to play the game on an edge by finishing their checks and competing hard for every loose puck. That doesn’t mean giving a player who is already down on the ice a cross-check to the neck. Kunitz may argue that he was just trying to keep Subban down with a cross-check to the back, but it was still pretty high. Kunitz was probably lucky to only sit for two minutes.

Of course, based on recent history, Subban should probably expect to be fined for taking this hit to the neck just as he was earlier in the playoffs when Joel Edmundson hit him in the head.

About David Rogers

Editor for The Comeback and Contributing Editor for Awful Announcing. Lover of hockey, soccer and all things pop culture.