The hit Chicago defenseman Michael Kostka took on Tuesday has kept him off the ice for a few days. The player who hit him will be absent a while himself.
Detroit Red Wings forward Teemu Pulkkinen was suspended four preseason games for boarding Kostka during the Blackhawks’ 2-0 victory over Detroit on Tuesday night. The hit came just 2:16 into the game and on Pulkkinen’s first NHL shift.
In his video explanation, Brendan Shanahan said Pulkkinen saw Kostka’s back the entire play “and tracks his opponent for some distance. Although Kostka peeks up and may see him coming, at no point is he facing (Pulkkinen) or eligible to be hit at this dangerous distance from the boards. While Pulkkinen doesn’t explode through the check or finish with great force, he still delivers a dangerous check that could’ve and should’ve been avoided.”
Coach Joel Quenneville said today that Kostka, who was not on the ice, is “OK. He’s better than the other day, but he’s day to day.”
Asked if he thought the hit was suspendable this morning, prior to the ruling, Quenneville said, “It was a very dangerous hit. That’s their deal, but it was an interesting shift for the kid.”