When Vancouver Canucks 6-foot-5, 220-pound player Nikita Zadorov delivered a blow to the head of Red Wings forward Lucas Raymond Saturday it wasn’t the first time that he angered Detroit fans.
Zadorov received a match penalty for the Raymond shot in Detroit’s 4-3 overtime win. Raymond had scored 45 seconds into a game with a nifty deke on goalie Casey DeSmith.
Later in the evening, the NHL Department of Player Safety handed Zadorov a two-game suspension. The big Russian defenseman will sit out today’s matinee game against the Washington Capitals and then Vancouver’s Tuesday game in Chicago. That wraps up their five-game road trip.
That means Zadorov will return to the Vancouver lineup for a Thursday game (10 p.m.) at home against the Red Wings.
Zadorov has been suspended 2 games for this hit on Lucas Raymond pic.twitter.com/n7rQhvoSz5
— Spittin' Chiclets (@spittinchiclets) February 11, 2024
The Zadorov hit on Raymond happened at 4:11 of the second period. Raymond entered concussion protocol, but was able to return to the game.
“I don’t like that hit,” Lalonde said. “That’s the classic blindside that the league has been trying to get out of the league for an awful long time.”
Raymond was able to practice with the Red Wings on Sunday.
“He seemed good,” Lalonde said. “He had a good practice today. Obviously a scary hit.”
— Taranjot Vining (@Str8OuttaCGY) February 10, 2023
Last season, Zadorov, then with Calgary, caught Detroit defenseman Jake Walman with a clean hit to the upper body that rocked him. He had to be helped off the ice. The concern at the time was that Walman had offseason shoulder surgery.
Walman was able to play at the start of the next period, but then missed the next three games. That hit came on Feb. 9, 2023, a year and a day before the hit on Raymond.
When Detroit rallied from a 3-1 deficit to beat Vancouver 4-3 on Walman’s overtime tally, it marked the first time this season the surprising Canucks had lost two games in a row. The game with Detroit this week in Vancouver should be an entertaining encounter.