Sports

“Controversial Hits Stir Peter Laviolette Debate in Rangers vs. Islanders Showdown”

New York Rangers coach Peter Laviolette condemned two hits by New York Islanders players as “vicious” following a tense 4-2 defeat at UBS Arena on Tuesday night.

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Peter Laviolette

During the third period with 11:09 remaining, Rangers center Mika Zibanejad collided with Islanders defenseman Adam Pelech at center ice while both focused on play down in the Rangers’ zone.

Zibanejad hit the ice hard and received attention from the Rangers’ training staff. Although he briefly left for the dressing room and did not return for the remainder of the period, Zibanejad later returned to the Rangers’ bench towards the end of the game, Laviolette confirmed.

“He came back towards the end after that vicious hit. He came back. That vicious shoulder, elbow to the head. Watch it,”Peter Laviolette stated.

When questioned whether he perceived the collision as less of an accidental encounter with Pelech and more of an intentional hit, Peter Laviolette expressed, “I do.”

Islanders coach Patrick Roy vehemently asserted that the collision was unintentional. “No, it was accidental. The referee had a clear view of it. I was more concerned about Pelly possibly getting hurt on that play. (Zibanejad) was the one who collided with Pelly. It was entirely accidental. There’s no doubt in my mind,” Roy emphasized.

“I’m not sure why we’re even discussing this, to be honest. I’m a bit surprised. In my mind, it was clearly accidental. We could debate this for hours, but I think it’s a waste of time. It was accidental,” Roy added.

In response to Peter Laviolette remarks, Roy commented, “sometimes, frustration can lead to saying things.”

Later in the third period, with the Rangers’ net empty, forward Vincent Trocheck was forcefully pushed into the end boards from behind by Islanders defenseman Noah Dobson.

Following the Islanders’ Anders Lee sealing the game with an empty-net goal, a furious Trocheck confronted referee Kelly Sutherland.

“Vicious, from behind,” Laviolette criticized the Dobson hit. “It was tough out there tonight dealing with all of that. It was tough, but our guys continued to fight and battle until the end.”

Roy explained that the puck was airborne during the hit and suggested Trocheck should have anticipated it. He stated that Dobson attempted to minimize the impact and make contact from the side.

During the game, the Rangers had three power plays, converting twice, while the Islanders had two opportunities but failed to score.

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