(Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Washington Capitals defenseman Matt Niskanen absolutely trucked Philadelphia Flyers rookie Scott Laughton during Wednesday night’s game. The hit was as clean as they come. Unfortunately, Laughton was forced to leave the game.
Washington Capitals defenseman Matt Niskanen isn’t exactly known as a big hitter, but on Wednesday night, he lined up Philadelphia Flyers center Scott Laughton and delivered a hit so big one could have sworn it was a young Scott Stevens lowering the boom.
The hit comes out of nowhere, too. One second Niskanen is pinned against the boards by Wayne Simmonds, the next he’s destroying Laughton as the rookie center cuts into the middle of the ice.
Unfortunately for Laughton, he was quite shaken up on the hit and had to leave the game. In all likelihood, he was given the concussion protocol tests and held out of the game to protect him from any further blows.
The hit by Niskanen, however, was about as textbook as they come. The Capitals rearguard drives through Laughton’s chest with his shoulder, doesn’t leave his feet, and it’s not a blindside hit whatsoever. If anything, it’s a lesson not to cut into the middle on Niskanen, because who knew he could throw this kind of weight around?
Though he may not be right all the time, Don Cherry is certainly correct when it comes to keeping your head up if you’re going to cut into the middle of the ice.