The Pittsburgh Penguins won their last game before the NHL All-Star break, and they also won their first one after the bye week.
The Pens shut out the Winnipeg Jets in a 3-0 win, but they still had something to worry about afterward.
The center Noel Acciari had to be helped off the ice after a high hit from Brenden Dillon, with an impact straight to the head.
It was in the second period of Tuesday’s game that Acciari skated through the neutral zone, along the boards, when Dillon delivered the scary hit.
His shoulder made contact with Acciari’s head, knocking the Pens center to the ice. The collision even had Acciari’s helmet flying.
Acciari had a tough time getting up from the ice and later needed four teammates to help him off the ice, and he didn’t return to the game.
Dillon was assessed a five-minute major penalty and ejection from the game, but on social media, fans thought Acciari had some responsibility for the collision.
”Maybe get your head up! What’s the definition of a good hit nowadays,” one user said on social media.
”I usually don’t blame the guy getting hit, but holy hell, Noel. Way to lead with your head,” another said.
”Dillon got a rough deal here. Already committed to stepping up and hitting when acciari lowers his head. Impossible to avoid contact at this point, keeps his elbow tucked, doesn’t elevate. Should’ve been 2 since any head contact is but there’s no intent here,” a third added.
Many thought, however, that it was a dirty hit from Dillon. Postgame, head coach Mike Sullivan gave an injury update on Acciari.
”He’s doing OK but being evaluated right now,” he said. ”We’ll allow the league to go through their process like they always do. At the end of the day, our opinions don’t really matter. Our major concern is Noel and his health.”