Vigilante style justice is always an underlying feature in the NHL. But it’s rare when it’s star-on-star violence. You saw that Wednesday night as Ottawa’s Mike Hoffman decided to respond to a push to the ice by Logan Couture with a nasty crosscheck to Couture’s head.
Couture left the game and didn’t return. Hoffman also did not return to the game, because he was given a game misconduct.
As nasty as that hit was, and we’ll find out the extent of the hit as we find out more about Couture’s health, I actually think it could have been worse. Maybe two inches lower and it would have been a more solid hit. The Department of Player Safety should really take this into account when coming up with a punishment as the intent was even worse than the actual hit. And the actual hit was bad enough. But the pre-meditated aspect of it shouldn’t be ignored here.