Detroit Red Wings forward Justin Abdelkader, who is doubling as the Team USA captain at the IIHF World Championship, was ejected on Thursday after laying a vicious hit on Czech Republic’s Vladimir Sobotka. The hit came with the game tied 1-1 in the second period. For whatever reason, it took the officials a little time before making the call.
Abdelkader clearly targeted the head area of Sobotka and left his feet. The hit also appeared to be very late, and you can easily argue that it was dangerous. After Sobotka remained down on the ice while play continued, the referees conferred and decided to give Abdelkader a five-minute major and game misconduct for charging. He was hesitant to leave at first.
The dirty hit may have been a turning point for the Czechs, as they went on to score two goals on the ensuing power play and score a total of three times in the second period en route to a 4-3 victory.
As Eye on Hockey noted, Abdelkader is likely to be suspended for the hit. If he is, the suspension would carry over into any future World Championship games he might be invited to participate in.
Sobotka also plays for the St. Louis Blues. Between the dangerous hit from Abdelkader and an injury to Alex Ovechkin that could be serious, NHL owners must be cringing while watching the IIHF tournament.
GIF via @myregularface