BOSTON (CBS) — In the NHL, players who deliver bad hits have to answer for their actions on a regular basis. Sometimes, that’s the case for players who deliver clean hits, too.
Such was the case for Bruins winger Taylor Hall on Wednesday night in Denver. Just 2:22 into the game, Hall delivered a hit to Nathan MacKinnon as the Avalanche star tried to exit the Colorado zone. At first glance, it looked like a devastating head shot. Replay, though, showed that Hall had hit MacKinnon’s hands, which caused MacKinnon to hit himself in the face with his own stick.
It was an unfortunate result on a clean hit.
MacKinnon down the tunnel after this hit from Hall pic.twitter.com/jXq8E6urab
— Spittin' Chiclets (@spittinchiclets) January 27, 2022
Despite the fact that it wasn’t a dirty or illegal hit, Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog made it a point to badger Hall — both immediately after the hit, and in the second period, after Landeskog had seen the replay.
Gabriel Landeskog – not a fan of Taylor Hall:
— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) January 27, 2022
Hall refused to answer Landeskog’s challenge and ended up drawing a penalty after Erik Johnson delivered three cross-checks behind the Colorado net.
— NHLonTNT (@NHL_On_TNT) January 27, 2022
After the game — which Colorado rallied to tie in the final seconds of regulation before winning in overtime — Landedskog explained his reasoning.
“Well, the hit in itself, I looked at it at intermission, I don’t think it’s that bad. It’s unfortunate the way it happens where Nate kind of crosses over into him, gets his stick up and I think it’s obviously his stick that cuts himself,” Landeskog said. “But at the end of the day, when one of your best friends and teammates and ultimately your best player gets hit like that in the neutral zone, you’ve just gotta make sure that next time anybody thinks about doing that, they have to pay a price and that there’s going to be some consequences with that. And that’s not — it doesn’t have to be a dirty play for that to … for us to feel that way. It’s just the way it is. And Hall didn’t want to answer for it, and that’s unfortunate.”
Landeskog said he felt a little bit responsible for what happened, considering it was his pass to his teammate that preceded MacKinnon suffering the injury.
“But, you know, stuff happens and it happens quick,” Landeskog said. “And unfortunately, Nate’s hurt now and we don’t know for how long but we just hope he’s OK.”