With less than a minute left in the series opener between the Canadiens and Jets, Winnipeg center Mark Scheifele delivered one of the dirtier hits you’ll see in an NHL game – let alone a playoff game.
Montreal had just secured a Game 1 victory with an empty-net goal courtesy of Jake Evans, who wrapped a puck around the goal and into the net to increase his team’s lead to 5-3. At nearly the exact instant the goal was scored, Scheifele came charging at Evans and hit him with full force, leveling the 25-year-old center.
Evans fell hard to the ice and hit his head, remaining down for several minutes as players tussled around him. He eventually had to be taken off the ice on a stretcher, flashing a thumbs-up as he left.
His Canadiens teammates were not thrilled. Jesperi Kotkaniemi called the hit “disgusting,” according to ESPN.
“It was a dirty hit,” added Joel Edmunson. “But the league’s going to take care of it. If he gets back in the series, we’re going to make his life miserable.”
Montreal head coach Dominique Ducharme said Evans had not been taken to the hospital, and that he is “confident the league is going to make the right decision” when it comes to Scheifele.
Montreal took a 1-0 series lead with the victory and it appears possible that Winnipeg will see Scheifele, their leading points-scorer from the regular season, miss some time.
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