After hours to digest what happened when Aaron Rome collided with Nathan Horton as the two were entering the Boston Bruins offensive zone during Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Finals, it's clear just how dirty the hit was. Horton had gotten rid of the puck and was skating up ice when Rome caught him from the blindside, left his feet and left Horton unconscious on the ice. Horton was leveled, but in no way was it a clean hit or "just part of the game."
The video of the hit below illustrates just how bad it was. Yes, Horton had his head down, but the puck was well-gone and Rome leaves his feet after sizing him up. The hush that came over the crowd was eerie and it left a bad taste in the mouths of many.
If there were ever a hit that was a picture of suspension-worthy, this is it. We can hide behind the guise of hockey being a rough sport and a man's game, but Rome's hit was above and beyond the typical checks that occur. It was dirty, and very clearly so. He laid-out a defenseless opponent and poured more fuel on a series that was already boiling over.
And, most importantly, he sent a man to the hospital and may have ended his season. Concussions are serious business and in a situation like this, when a head could've been easily prevented, it's senseless. I love hits as much as the next guy, but this was not a hit that should ever be praise, and it should only be condemned.
The NHL will take action on Tuesday, and it's likely Rome will be suspended -- perhaps for a significant amount of time. In a series that's already bordering on out-of-control, it's at the point that the NHL's hand has been forced after Rome put Horton in the hospital. While it was fun to make fun of Alex Burrows antics and the back-and-forth between the Bruins and Canucks, this is far more serious, and action needs to be taken.