The first period of the Rangers’ 4-2 win over the Blue Jackets was very physical. Players from both sides were finishing checks.
Some were borderline. That included Rene Bourque who was penalized for going high on Ryan McDonagh. One hit which wasn’t detected by the refs was Chris Kreider catching Jackets forward Alex Wennberg after he released the puck. It was late and caught a prone Wennberg high knocking him out of the game. It would later be revealed that he suffered a concussion.
Following the game, the Jackets weren’t pleased with Kreider. A third-year player who has had some run ins with goalies and a couple of questionable hits, the 24-year old has never faced any NHL discipline. Even for this hit from behind on Jonas Brodin that got him ejected from a game against the Wild last Oct. 27.
“It was late, yeah,” Scott Hartnell told Rick Gethin of Today’s Slapshot. “It was real late and high. I saw it on the tape right afterwards. (Kreider) did three crossovers, four crossovers and then he got hit, high.”
“Hopefully the league can address that because if that’s the case, I know (Wennberg) didn’t come back and you want to protect our players,” Blue Jackets captain Nick Foligno added.
Somewhat curiously, MSG didn’t show a replay. Normally, they do. The only video was posted by Stephanie Vail on Twitter below:
You be the judge. It doesn’t look good. No matter how you slice it, Kreider went for a big hit and caught Wennberg with the right shoulder making head contact. That is grounds for league discipline which could mean a hearing for Kreider. The Rangers host the Jackets in a rematch at MSG Saturday night.