Sometimes you see a hit and you immediately know it’s going to get a player suspended. That was the case in New York tonight.
Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist was playing the puck behind New York’s net when Dallas Stars forward Cody Eakin absolutely trucked him with a hit.
Lundqvist immediately left the game, while Eakin was given a major penalty and was ejected from the contest. Lundqvist would return to action.
The hit will draw extra attention because it happened to Lundqvist, one of the league’s premiere goaltenders, but even if it was a backup, the hit deserves the attention of the NHL. It’s aggressively bad. Eakin not only had the chance to get out of the way, but he chose to lift up and make contact with Lundqvist’s head. It’s a deliberate attempt to injure. Eakin should see a lengthy suspension. If I’m a betting man, I’d put down between 5-10 games – possibly more if the NHL wants to set an example. Hitting a star goalie like that shouldn’t be tolerated. Hitting anybody like that shouldn’t be tolerated. There’s no excuse.
If Lundqvist is concussed, the Rangers will be put in a tough spot without their best player. As for Eakins, he deserves whatever punishment sent his way. What an unacceptably dumb thing to do.