It may just be the preseason and exhibition games right now, the level of intensity is there no matter what across the National Hockey League. And referees are already quite busy with the action. During Monday’s contest between the New York Rangers and the New Jersey Devils, a harsh head shot took place and it sure got someone talking…
But it may not be who you expected.
Rangers’ Boo Nieves suffered a concussion on the blow to the head he received from Eric Gryba midway through the third period of Monday preseason game and head coach David Quinn wasn’t happy that the rest of his players did not respond to the aggression.
“It happened so fast, I don’t know if guys saw it, and we responded by winning the game, obviously, but there are other ways you can respond,” the coach said to the New York Post when asked about the absence of retaliation. “It’s been discussed [with the team].”
“I’ll let the league handle that.”
The Department of Player Safety did not reprimand the Devils’ defenseman: no retaliation what so ever. Which it seems, is be something Quinn has addressed in his dressing room and will make sure his players won’t do it again in the future.
The good news is that the Rangers ended up winning the game 4-3 in overtime, which sure looks like a good answer to Nieves’ injury. However, you bet Quinn will want more next time.
As for Nieves, the poor guy will be out indefinitely it seems. He not only left the game and did not return, but it isn’t the first head injury of his career.
“And now he is dealing with the aftermath of another brain injury. Too late for him and probably no deterrent at all, but if it happens again (as it surely will), the Rangers aren’t at all likely simply to stand around and feel bad for their teammate,” wrote Larry Brooks of the New York Post.
We guess we will see more aggressive and revengeful Rangers from now on…
The same situation took place in the lineup of the Montreal Canadiens rookies when Jake Evans was brutally hit during one of the tournament’s games. A clear head shot. While there were no penalties on the play, none of Evans’ teammates retaliated for him, which was criticized quite a bit in Montreal and in local media.