The Vancouver Canuck’s Aaron Rome will miss the rest of the Stanley Cup Finals. His vicious hit on Boston Bruin Nathan Horton was completely unnecessary, and I’m glad the NHL saw it that way. In clear violation of Rule 48, Rome wound up (watch the replay) and struck Horton with the head as his primary target. Rome could have targeted lower and been just as effective. Now he will pay for his ignorant play. The suspension of Rome was the right call, he will miss 4 games total. If the Finals do not go to seven games Rome will miss the remaining number of games next season. So if the series wraps up in 6 games, he will miss the first game of 2011-12.
The hit was eerily similar to the Mike Richards hit on David Booth, which Horton was on the ice for. Dennis Seidenburg also happened to be playing defense on the ice as well. I think players need to be more aware of whats going on. Players need to target lower and offensive players need to expect to be hit, especially after they have passed the puck.
Rome’s replacement on the blue line will most likely be former Panther Keith Ballard. Ballard has a great hip check that I wish more players would use rather than targeting the upper body. Ballard could be a surprise boost for the Canucks in a pivotal Game 4. The Canucks have so much depth at defense, that they have nothing but gain to take from this injury. Boston should try to win the Cup for Horton, so we are going to be treated to quite a series coming up. I just really wish NBC would not put such an important games on a Premium Cable channel like Versus.
The Canuck’s coach Alain Vigneault has not impressed me. He really should have used a timeout to calm his troops when they fell down 3 goals. And then after 5 goals, I don’t care who is in net, pull him, you need to shake things up to at least have a chance. Maybe I’m missing something here, but I don’t think Vigneault is making the right moves. Vigneault also said this “I mean, that hit was head-on hit, player looking at his pass. It was a little bit late. I don’t think that’s the hit that the League is trying to take out of the game.”
If I was Roberto Luongo I would watch out for the stick of Ballard.