Jacob Trouba has been heavily criticized for his hit on Andreas Athanasiou in the Chicago Blackhawks and New York Rangers matchup this weekend. Athanasiou was absolutely flattened by Trouba as he skated into the neutral zone.
Although Trouba wasn’t penalized on the play or fined by the NHL Department of Player Safety, Athanasiou was outraged with Trouba.
Trouba has had a tough start to the season and has zero goals scored. Athanasiou called out Trouba for wanting to hurt his opponent.
“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.”
But not everyone agrees with Athanasiou. Trouba was only penalized for fighting with Jonathan Toews, who wanted to defend his teammate, after the hit.
NHL icon Chris Pronger now defends Trouba, claiming the hit was legal and good.
”Last time I checked hitting was still legal in the NHL,” said Chris Pronger.
”Maybe he should get his head up instead of whining to reporters and go out and do something about it. If he doesn’t want to, then play better. It’s a huge part of the game for Jacob Trouba playing physical and being a competitor, and I think we saw a little of it last year with Sidney Crosby in the playoffs.
”He makes player pay a price. He’s on the edge at times, but most often than not, he’s within the rulebook, and has great open ice hits. Just like we just saw. A little bit frustration maybe kicking in with the season that Rangers are having, but he’s probably trying to send a message to his teammates and his team that he’s there to play each and every night. He’s playing hard and you love to see kids doing that.”
Later, Chris Pronger also wrote the following on Twitter.
”Legal check to a player who is skating with his head down up the middle of the ice! Get your head up young man or be ready to pay the price! Physical play is still part of the game and still allowed in the NHL rule book.”
Do you agree?