New York Rangers defenseman Jacob Trouba’s crushing hit on Tuesday was deemed legal by the NHL, even as the New York Islanders disagree.
In the third period of the Rangers’ 4-3 overtime win over the Islanders, Trouba hit Dal Colle with a devastating open-ice body check. It appeared to be a clean hard hit, but Islanders newly-acquired forward Jean-Gabriel Pageau took exception to the hit and attacked Trouba.
“I think it’s a hell of a hockey hit and it’s a clean hit,” head coach David Quinn said via Greg Joyce of the New York Post. “If you watch what [Trouba] does, he actually pulls his shoulder in tight to his body. It literally is a textbook check. It’s unfortunate that maybe the head is a little bit impacted by it, but it’s a textbook check.”
Barry Trotz, head coach of the Islanders, has a different view of the hit. He called it a “headshot.”
The National Hockey League agreed with the Rangers’ position. The hit won’t result in a hearing, fine, or suspension.
Sometimes a vicious hit can be a clean one. A lot goes on when a hit of this magnitude takes place. The impact of a hard collision can make things appear worse. The speed and force of the hit naturally caused Dal Colle’s head to jerk backward on impact, but that does not mean he was hit in the head at the initial point of contact.
This hit was simply a hockey play. It was hard, aggressive and in real-time, a devasting impact to absorb for the Islanders winger.
The way the hit was applied was clean and should be used to demonstrate how a hard body check should be executed.