Jake Guentzel was a bloody mess after taking a bone-crushing hit from Buffalo’s Rasmus Ristolainen Tuesday night.
The red-hot Penguins forward was streaking down the wing waiting for the puck to arrive, but instead of being hit with a pass he was met by the backside of the towering Sabres defenseman.
what an atrocious hit by ristolainen, the puck isn't even close to Guentzel, this is just plain stupid & unnecessary pic.twitter.com/l3nRs5ai27
It was a dangerous and boneheaded play by Ristolainen, who had plenty of time to put on the brakes. Surprisingly, nobody followed “the code” and jumped Ristolainen after the fact. And they’ll have to wait to exact revenge, as Ristolainen was handed a five-minute major for interference and a game misconduct.
Guentzel was in a bad place after the hit, stumbling as he tried to get to his feet before being helped off the ice by medical staff. The Penguins announced after the game that he suffered a concussion on the play.
Guentzel needs help to get off. pic.twitter.com/Uc1FneTlsJ
— Aivis Kalniņš (@A_Kalnins) March 21, 2017
Losing Guentzel for a prolonged period of time would be a tough blow to the Penguins. The 22-year-old has been lights out (no pun intended) since joining Sidney Crosby’s wing, with eight points in his last six games.
But if any team can survive an injury to a key player it’s the Penguins, who have plenty of experience in that category.
Buffalo’s Rasmus Ristolainen will have a hearing tomorrow afternoon for interference on Pittsburgh’s Jake Guentzel.
— NHL Player Safety (@NHLPlayerSafety) March 22, 2017