The greater Manhattan area held their collective breath Thursday night as Henrik Lundqvist was down on all fours on the ice.
Lundqvist, in his first game back after sitting the last four, was puck handling in the trapezoid. With his head down, King Henrik had no idea that Cody Eakin was about to shake his brain in his skull.
Eakin’s shoulder makes direct contact with Lundqvist’s head and blasts the helmet off the netminder.
It was a violent collision and one that would probably get Eakin assaulted if he remained in the game. Somewhat mercifully, the officials kicked Eakin out of the contest and tacked on a five minute major.
Lundqvist stayed on the ice until he was able to skate off with the trainer at his side. He went immediately to the locker room and Antti Raanta took his place in net.
The Rangers did not score on the major penalty.
Missing only 5:11 of game play (to go through the concussion protocol, we assume) Hank emerged from the locker room and took his place back in the net. Maybe it’s just us, but that seemed quick given Lundqvist’s reaction to the hit.
The question now is not IF Eakin will be suspended; it’s for how long will Eakin be suspended?
The Department of Player Safety will have to turn this around relatively quickly. Dallas next plays on Saturday at 2:00pm ET in Philadelphia.
Dallas’ Cody Eakin will have a hearing this afternoon for charging NY Rangers’ Henrik Lundqvist.
— NHL Player Safety (@NHLPlayerSafety) December 16, 2016