Canadiens' Kotkaniemi will not travel with team after suffering dirty hit

Arun Srinivasan
Montreal Canadiens forward Jesperi Kotkaniemi left Thursday's game against the Colorado Avalanche in a frightening moment. (Vincent Ethier/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The Montreal Canadiens are amid a disastrous stretch and things took a turn for the worse on Thursday night against the Colorado Avalanche.

Montreal’s Jesperi Kotkaniemi made a routine play in the offensive end, attempting to set up Artturi Lehkonen in front of the net during the first period. Colorado’s Nikita Zadorov had other ideas, however, laying Kotkaniemi out with a very questionable hit.

Kotkaniemi crashed to the ice, hit his head with a thud, leaving the game immediately, and Montreal quickly ruled him out of the contest with an upper body injury.

After the game, Montreal revealed that Kotkaniemi will not travel with the team ahead of its Friday game against the New York Rangers.

Was this a slewfoot? We certainly believe so, but we’ll let you - and the NHL Department of Player Safety - be the judge.

“To me, that’s a dirty hit,” Canadiens head coach Claude Julien said post-game, according to Arpon Basu of The Athletic.

Julien also noted that he, along with Montreal’s upper management, believe that Zadorov ought to be suspended for the play.

Selected third overall in 2018, Kotkaniemi is an important part of both Montreal’s present and future, recording three goals and five points in 21 games this season.

Everything that could go wrong, is going wrong for Montreal.

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