Wednesday, November 18, 2015
Here's the video of Minnesota Wild forward Nino Niederreiter's hit on Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Olli Maatta. Make no mistake about it, this is a dangerous, reckless hit. That being said, Niederreiter is not a dirty player, not by any stretch of the imagination.
I included the hit by Penguins defenseman Ben Lovejoy on Niederreiter. This play happened right before Nino's hit on Maata. This is a push check, right or wrong, it happens in the game all of the time. Both hits should have been a penalty, but were not.
I have seen fans calling for a suspension on Niederreiter. Personally, this is a hit that needs to be removed from the game of hockey. I don't have a problem with the NHL suspending Niederreiter for this hit, but they won't. Not this time.
“It’s unfortunate the whole situation,” Niederreiter told the media following last night's game. “I pushed him and went for a change and I think he toe-picked the same time and the door was open. You never want to see anything like that. Obviously I feel bad.”