Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang was released from a hospital Sunday but has been diagnosed with a concussion as a result of a scary hit he received Saturday from Arizona Coyotes captain Shane Doan.
“Like anything else, we’ll just take it as a day-to-day thing and we’ll see how he reacts and recovers from it,” coach Mike Johnston said.
Letang, third among NHL defensemen in scoring with 54 points, left with 4:45 to play in the second period after the hit from Doan. Letang, in the corner behind his net, was shoved backward by Doan after flipping the puck out of the zone.
“I just went to make sure I got a piece of him so he couldn’t jump by me and he obviously went into the boards awkward,” Doan said. “You never ever want to see anyone like that, especially a guy with his caliber and everything he’s went through in the past couple years.
The HockeyFanLand Insight:
First off, I feel really bad for Letang. Consensus is he should probably hang up the skates, due to the fact serious injuries and health concerns have followed him around the past number of years. You never like to say this about a guy as skilled as this player is. However, it would be the smartest thing for him to do.
Secondly, I think Shane Doan should have been suspended. The puck was long gone from the play, resulting in a late hit.
Boarding in ice hockey is a penalty called when an offending player pushes, trips or checks an opposing player violently into the boards of the hockey rink. The boarding call is quite often a major penalty due to the likelihood of injury sustained by the player who was boarded, and officials have the discretion to call a game misconduct or a match penalty.
This is a clear cut case of boarding: Nowhere in the definition does it imply the player whom is hit has to be facing the boards. There is no way you can tell me Doan did not expect him to fall backwards into the boards like that. If you are hitting somebody towards the boards from over a few feet out, they typically fall into the boards and not against them. Seeing as Letang sustained a head injury, this should have been a guaranteed misconduct and suspension.