Detroit Red Wings winger Teemu Pulkkinen was knocked out of Thursday’s game against the Arizona Coyotes following a dangerous hit by Martin Hanzal. Hanzal got his stick into Pulkkinen’s skates before crunching him into the boards. Hanzal was handed a boarding penalty.
Following a Coyotes turnover in their defensive zone, Pulkkinen was chasing down a loose puck into the left wing corner with Hanzal giving chase. As Pulkkinen went to pick up the puck, Hanzal’s stick made contact with Pulkkinen’s skate, causing the Red Wings sophomore to lose his balance. Hanzal then went to throw a hit as Pulkkinen fell, causing him to crash awkwardly into the boards:
Considering the size difference, it’s no wonder the hit rattled Pulkkinen as much as it did. The 5-foot-11, 183-pound winger gives up more than six inches and 40 pounds to Hanzal. Pulkkinen headed for the dressing room immediately upon returning to the bench and was ruled out for the remainder of the contest shortly thereafter. For his part in the play, Hanzal was handed a minor penalty for boarding.
It’s hard to say if any supplemental discipline will be coming to Hanzal. He did poke Pulkkinen’s skates out from under him, which was easily worth a tripping call, and that put Pulkkinen in a vulnerable position. Hanzal finished the check with Pulkkinen falling, and the boarding call was warranted, but it’s hard to say whether there’s enough here to make it a suspendable play.