The two points that were up for grabs between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Chicago Blackhawks Sunday night didn’t really matter too much statistically. Sure, both teams are fighting for seeding in their respective conferences, but both teams also already have locked up a spot in the postseason. There is also the budding rivalry that is starting to form between these two clubs, but all-in-all the points weren’t going to drastically affect the standings.
The Penguins won 4-1 mainly thanks to two goals from Sidney Crosby, who is now just one point shy of his fifth career 100-point season, and miraculous play in net from Marc-Andre Fleury.
But the one moment of the game that still has people talking is the enormous hit that Brooks Orpik put on Jonathan Toews, the Blackhawks’ captain. Toews would leave the ice and didn’t return, but he is currently listed as day-to-day so thankfully the injury wasn’t too serious.
The hit was completely legal and will be a good lesson for kids out there as to why you should keep your head up. As the puck wrapped around the boards, Toews used his feet to kick the puck back into the zone, as he did so he began to turn toward the middle of the ice which is where he met Orpik.
Orpik read the play perfectly, stepped into Toews with his shoulder and planted him in the corner with no one to blame but himself. After viewing numerous replays, it’s pretty clear that the hit was completely legal and Orpik shouldn’t be worried about any kind of fine or suspension.
The Penguins may have needed the two points to make up for their embarrassing showing against the Blackhawks in their Stadium Series game earlier this year, but it’s Orpik’s hit on Toews that is still echoing around the league.