Jacob Trouba isn’t playing his best hockey right now. The New York Rangers are struggling, and Trouba is one of the players most criticized for his performances.
Trouba is playing with the ”C” on his chest this year, and some suggest he needs to step it up if he’s to earn it again next year. This weekend, Trouba yet again received massive criticism, but this time, from an opponent.
In the matchup between the Chicago Blackhawks and New York Rangers Saturday, Andreas Athanasiou of the Blackhawks was in control of the puck at the Hawks’ blue line.
Coming at him at full force was Jacob Trouba, and the Rangers D-man had no intention of playing the puck. Instead, he absolutely hammered Athanasiou, who somehow managed to get away without a serious injury.
Athanasiou played the rest of the game and Sunday’s game against the Islanders but was absolutely furious with Trouba.
“That guy is known for hitting high, not really worrying about the puck out there and almost trying to hurt people,” Athanasiou said.
“That’s his game; that’s what he does. He’s an $8 million man with zero goals, so he has to figure out how to do something when making that much. If you can’t help the team, I guess you try to hurt guys on the other team.”
The refs didn’t call a penalty on Trouba for the hit. However, he got penalized for fighting with Jonathan Toews in the ensuing scrum.
Toews immediately dropped the gloves to defend Athanasiou. The NHL Department of Player Safety didn’t fine Trouba for the hit.
However, Athanasiou believes Trouba intended to hurt him.
“It was a weird play,” Athanasiou said. “The puck was there. He could’ve made a play on the puck. Instead it’s like [he had] an intent to try to hurt somebody. He’s been known to do that. You have to know when he’s on the ice, and he got me there.”
Jacob Trouba has zero goals and six helpers in 26 games this campaign. He’s on pace for the worst season of his NHL career in scoring.