Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Finals got off to a scary start as Nathan Horton was leveled after releasing the puck on the edge of the offensive zone. Aaron Rome caught Horton flush while blindsiding him, leaving the Boston Bruins' winger lying motionless on the ice for several minutes. Horton was taken off on a stretcher and Rome was ejected to go along with the major he received for the hit.
Here is the hit, courtesy of Bubba Prog. Note that Horton is not looking and Rome has him sized up for the monster hit after he releases the puck (click to animate).
via gif.mocksession.com. Video can be found here.
I understand the series is chippy and the hits have continued to come at a furious pace. But Rome's hit was dirty and dangerous, and it has no place in the game. Nobody wants to see a player carried off the ice on the stretcher, no matter the magnitude of the game or rivalry. And though the Bruins and Canucks clearly have gotten under each other skin during the Stanley Cup Finals, this is going to far.
Look for the NHL to keep a close eye on the series and examine the above hit closely after the game. Rome should be suspended for at least a game, if not more. The hit was reckless, unnecessary and has no place in hockey, especially at this level.
We'll be back with more on the hit and Horton's injury in our Stanley Cup Finals StoryStream. For more on the game, head over to Nucks Misconduct.