In late October, Matt Luff took a slapshot to the chin in a matchup against the Minnesota Wild. He lost several teeth and needed 16 stitches to repair the damage to his face.
Luff was back for practice the morning after but with a face shield. He played games with the shield, but heading into Tuesday’s matchup against the Montreal Canadiens; he had taken it off. And as it turns out, it would cost him.
For the second time in two games, the Canadiens had one of their forwards assessed a major penalty for boarding. And this time, it was from the Nr. 1 Draft pick Juraj Slafkovsky.
Slafkovsky absolutely steamrolled Matt Luff, who slammed into the boards face-first. Luff had trouble getting up from the ice, and Slafkovsky was thrown out of the game.
Slafkovsky is a bigger guy than Luff, and the hit was a dangerous one, and many are sure that Slafkovsky can prepare for a meeting with the Department of Player Safety.
Matt Luff didn’t return to the game, and Red Wings head coach Derek Lalonde said post-game he will be out long-term.
“As far as the hit, the right call was made. It’s unfortunate,” Lalonde said.
“It’s the exact hit you want to try to avoid, because of exactly what happened. A player got seriously injured. It is what it is. The right call was made. And we move on.”
Slafkovsky was assessed a major and game misconduct just days after Montreal forward Josh Anderson was assessed a major penalty for boarding against the Vegas Golden Knights.