Clean or dirty? Phaneuf's huge hit on Rust sparks debate
Pittsburgh forward forced to leave Game 2 after hit from Senators defenceman
There was a time when Dion Phaneuf's name was synonymous with bone-shaking hits.
On Monday night, that time returned.
Phaneuf laid a thunderous open-ice hit on Bryan Rust early in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference final.
phaneuf with a huge open ice hit on rust <a href="https://t.co/Y0AK7ybpWV">pic.twitter.com/Y0AK7ybpWV</a>—@EvgeniMaIkinEgo
Rust was slow to get up and was eventually taken to the Penguins dressing room. There was no call on the play and Rust did not return to the game.
So was it a clean hit?
There were those who said yes.
I don't know that you could draw up a cleaner hit. Rust had the puck. Phaneuf's skates were on the ice. Shoulder down. Elbow down. Carnage.—@frank_seravalli
Vintage Phaneuf. Unfortunate for Rust but damn. Clean. <a href="https://t.co/BNkMGQk9L7">https://t.co/BNkMGQk9L7</a>—@Steve_Dangle
And those who said no.
That hit by Phaneuf was a classic headshot. He should have been penalized and Rust should be getting checked out.—@THNKenCampbell
I'd hate to be the lawyer in the CTE lawsuit who has to explain to a judge or jury why that Phaneuf hit on Rust was "clean"—@BombulieTrib
Penguins defenceman Justin Schultz also left the game after falling awkwardly into the boards after a hit from the Senators' Mike Hoffman.
Yikes, Schultz. <a href="https://t.co/aVi9a93O6D">pic.twitter.com/aVi9a93O6D</a>—@SensProspects
It's just the latest in an injury-riddled post-season for the Penguins. Already down top defenceman Kris Letang, the team has also lost Sidney Crosby, Conor Sheary, Trevor Daley and Patric Hornqvist at various points in the playoffs.
And if Phaneuf wasn't already public enemy No. 1 in Pittsburgh, his hit on Jake Guentzel later in Game 2 sealed the deal.
GIF: Phaneuf hit on Guentzel <a href="https://t.co/C0XCVg4Ruy">pic.twitter.com/C0XCVg4Ruy</a>—@Benstonium
Guentzel, who leads the Penguins with nine playoff goals this season, stayed in the game after the hit.
Almost lost in the noise was Pittsburgh's 1-0 win that evened the best-of-seven series 1-1.
Game 3 is Wednesday in Ottawa.