There's no doubt that the Eastern Conference Final matchup between the Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Rangers is, like Bobby "The Chief" Taylor said on Tuesday's Beckles & Recher Show, a "dog-eat-dog" series that could turn on one or two plays, or injuries to key players.
Some would say the Rangers have benefitted from some fortuitous injuries, especially to some of the opposing goaltenders, but also to some key players who have suffered injuries at the hands (or shoulder) of Rangers defenseman Jacob Trouba, who now has garnered a reputation as a dirty player for his ability to knock out opposing players with punishing checks.
But for those who want to call him dirty (*cough*ZAC BLOBNER*cough*), Trouba has only been suspended once in 2017 as a member of the Winnipeg Jets for a hit to the head on Ottawa's Mark Stone. He also was fined in 2020 as a member of the Rangers for a slash on Vince Dunn of the St. Louis Blues.
For all other instances where Trouba injured a player, after extensive reviews, the NHL found no reasons to suspend him. And as vicious as the hits look in regular motion, the hits are of the borderline variety, as slowed down, there's shoulder-to-upper-body contact, not exactly direct head contact.
Like many other players in the league, you'd love him as a player on your team, but as an opponent, you'd hate his guts, as Lightning fans are sure to do as this series progresses.
We've posted some of the hits in question below, including the one that concussed Stone in 2017.
Cover Photo: Getty Images