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Peter Laviolette
Photo credit: NHL

Peter Laviolette calls out 'vicious' shoulder to the head

Published April 10, 2024 at 8:27

When the New York Rangers face off against the New York Islanders, it's always an exciting game. The two teams share a long-standing feud and are long-time rivals. So when the two teams come together, skating through the neutral zone with your head down is never a good idea.

Well, most of the time it's an opposing player. Looking to deliver a vicious check. Last night was slightly different as Mika Zibanejad put himself in a vulnerable position. However, it wasn't a body check that sent him sprawling to the ice. It was a collision with another much larger player.

During the third period as Zibanejad skated through center ice, he completely unaware of his surroundings, ran directly into the shoulder of Adam Pelech.

It's clear from the video that both players focus was elsewhere. This was no more than a mere collision of two players in the neutral zone with the smaller player getting the worst of the exchange. Neither player received a penalty on the play but while Pelech remained in the game Zibanejad was forced to the locker room.

Zibanejad would return in the final minutes of the game, seemingly being okay. After the game however New York Rangers' Head Coach Peter Laviolette had a unique view of the situation.

He came back at the end. From that vicious hit. From that vicious shoulder elbow to the head. Watch it.

Laviolette went on to say he felt the hit was intentional, telling reporters in attendance to watch it. It will be interesting to see if the NHL Department of player safety feels similarly to Laviolette or if they deem this merely a collision.
April 10   |   145 answers
Peter Laviolette calls out 'vicious' shoulder to the head

Do you think this hit was on purpose?

Yes, it was intentional3121.4 %
No, it was an accident9062.1 %
It was accidentally on purpose2416.6 %
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