Rangers’ Vigneault: NHL ‘better do something’ about Eakin hit

Courtesy of MSG New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault comments on what the league should do about the hit Cody Eakin threw on Henrik Lundqvist.

New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault expects the NHL to take action after a scary hit occurred during Thursday night’s game between his club and the Dallas Stars.

Midway through the first period, goaltender Henrik Lundqvist was bowled over by Stars forward Cody Eakin while playing the puck behind the Rangers’ net.

Eakin was called for charging and was ejected from the game, leading some to speculate as to whether or not he’ll be dealt a suspension.

“The league better do something about that hit,” Vigneault told reporters after the game. “It’s everything that you want to take away from the game — hit to the head, forward motion, and it’s a goaltender.”

Eakin showed no signs of slowing down as he approached the netminder, making contact with Lundqvist’s head — even sending the goalie’s helmet flying.

“That happens in the playoffs, and your goaltender’s gotta go out of the net, they better do something about that and they better take care of business,” Vigneault continued. “As far as Hank’s play tonight, there’s no doubt that he played extremely well.”

Lundqvist was visibly shaken on the play and left temporarily but was able to return to the game a few minutes later and even made 27 saves to keep the Stars scoreless for a 2-0 win.

“I didn’t see him coming at all,” Lundqvist told reporters of the hit following the game.

The netminder explained that he knew right away he’d need to leave the game for concussion protocol but explained that he “felt pretty good.

“I did a quick test and tried to rush to come back out there because I really wanted to play,” he said.

“I knew what to look for when I came into the locker room and we did this quick test and just tried to get my focus where it needed to be.”

Stars head coach Lindy Ruff commented on the play after the game, defending his players’ actions.

“I understand the call,” Ruff said. “There was no intent. As a penalty killer he’s trying to gain speed so he can get back. He chose the route — I watched the play — Henrik was off the wall originally, mishandled it, and when he went to play it, he went into the wall. Cody said he was just trying to jump by him, I know [pause] it doesn’t look that way, but there was no intent on his part.”

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