This is the hit that I watched on a loop and that sparked this post.
In 2016, for the first time in 23 years, the New York Islanders made it to the second round of the playoffs after dispatching the Florida Panthers in the opening round.
After winning game one against the Tampa Bay Lightning by a score of 5-3, the Isles fell in game two to the Bolts 4-1.
With the series transitioning to New York, the Islanders were looking to re-take a lead in the series against the Lightning. Six minutes into the second period and the score tied at 1-1, Jonathan Drouin was racing through the neutral zone to establish some offensive zone pressure.
Thomas Hickey though, had Drouin lined up the second he crossed the red line. When Drouin entered the Islanders zone Hickey unloaded on the Lightning forward with a devastating hit.
The Barclays Center erupted after the hit. You can certainly argue that the hit was high. But you can also argue that Drouin’s head was down. Either way, the officials didn’t see anything wrong with the hit and didn’t give Hickey a penalty for the play.
Drouin would leave the ice and wouldn’t return until much later. Losing Drouin was a huge loss for the Lightning (even if he was just out for a bit).
You better believe that Drouin has nightmares of Thomas Hickey and now keeps his head up when he crosses the blueline.