Monday night gave us the final game of the first round, Game 7 between the New Jersey Devils and New York Rangers. The Devils gave Rangers nothing to work with and as a result won the game 4-0 and advanced to the second round.
But perhaps the biggest talking point of this game was Trouba’s thunderous blow to Timo Meier in the third period that left him on the ice in pain for a while, even forcing Meier out of the game. A little. It was reminiscent of a Scott Stevens hit, in that it wasn’t dirty by NHL rulebook standards, but looked like it should be, and low and behold, the majority of the biggest hits of Stevens are now illegal in the NHL.
Which begs the question, should the NHL consider changing the rules around hitting defenseless players like they do in other sports, or is there nothing wrong with that very hit? with the head trauma he may have caused Meier? Frank Seravalli and Mike McKenna answered this question on Daily Faceoff Live.
Mike McKenna: I’m so torn. My head says no because I know what it can do to players and what it does to my friends, but my heart also says it’s hockey, and hitting is allowed, and you’re supposed to hit to separate the player of the washer. It’s a crushing blow, but it separates the player from the puck.
I am so divided. I think my head says these types of punches really shouldn’t be allowed because they know the damage it can do but again if you look at the handshake line Trouba and Meier are both holding each other there, shaking his head, and I think Meier accepted his fate of having his head down while carrying the puck.
So it’s really a wishful answer. I don’t know how you can legislate when verification is allowed, but I would like the primary contact to be removed from the game.
Frank Seravalli: Of course, you can remove it. You can’t hit a defenseless player like that. Someone with their head down, you can’t do it.
Mike McKenna: What will keep players from keeping their heads down all the time? It’s a fast game.
Frank Seravalli: But what is my question for? What is the benefit of keeping this move in play? There are not any. Because fans like violence?
Mike McKenna: Yeah exactly, it’s a blood sport. Why will fights never leave the game?
Frank Seravalli: But look at the poll! More people than not say they don’t want to see this anymore. Nearly 54% say « we’re tired of seeing players get headaches ». It prevents the arrival of new children, it prevents parents from wanting their children to practice this sport. It just seems pointless. And look, no snowflake here, I get the violence and the tough side of the game, that’s why we love it. But we know too much now to allow that to continue.
And by the way, completely aside, I thought it was absolutely disgusting that Timo Meier was on the bench and in uniform after that hit. It’s an automatic concussion, you can see the way he grabbed his head immediately. There are all the telltale signs. You can’t tell me for millions of dollars that within five or seven minutes of that hit, you decided he didn’t have a concussion. No chance on Earth.
Mike McKenna: Yes, it should have been closed for the game. I agree.
Frank Seravalli: I don’t care if they win the game or not. Put on your costume, take a shower, leave and go home.
You can watch the full episode here…