The Rangers added more grit ahead of 2021-22 and defenseman Jacob Trouba has been at the forefront of it all, especially since the start of the postseason. The veteran defenseman has steadily become the top physical presence on New York's back-end, and rival players have been paying for it since the first round of these playoffs.
On Monday night, Trouba added another victim to his list during Game 7 vs. Carolina as the defenseman leveled Hurricanes rookie Seth Jarvis, who saw the hit too late and was sent flying to the ice.
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) May 31, 2022
To add insult to injury for the Hurricanes, a visibly shaken up Jarvis attempted to reach the Carolina's bench for a change, resulting in a minor penalty for too many men on the ice as he was to slow getting to the bench after his replacement hopped on the ice.
The Rangers capitalized on the ensuing power play to take a crucial 2-0 in the first period.
The Rangers are ROLLIN' ‼️
Chris Kreider makes it 2-0 😤 pic.twitter.com/AbRdqtQom2
— ESPN (@espn) May 31, 2022
Ironically, had Jarvis stayed down hurt rather than valiantly try to make his way to the bench, Carolina likely wouldn't have been penalized at all. The officials didn't have much say in the matter — just the way the rules are written and a tough break for the Canes.
During the first intermission, ESPN’s Emily Kaplan reported that Jarvis was still being evaluated by the Hurricanes medical staff. Ahead of the second period, the Hurricanes confirmed that Jarvis would not return for the remainder of the contest due to an upper-body injury.
Jarvis logged just 2:27 of ice time prior to suffering the injury. He tallied three assists with 13 shots on goal this series.
Trouba, meanwhile, has been in the middle of a few big — and controversial — hits since these playoffs began. It started off when Trouba caught superstar Sidney Crosby with a high hit in Game 5. Crosby would not return to the contest or for the following one, only to get back for the crucial Game 7, which the Rangers won to reach the second round against the Hurricanes.
In Game 4 of the Eastern Conference semifinals, Trouba caught forward Max Domi with a huge, borderline open-ice hit and then dropped the gloves with Steven Lorentz right afterwards. The latter was handed an instigator penalty that gave the Rangers a power play, which they capitalized on to take a 1-0 lead on the way to their series-tying win.
For what it's worth, Trouba wasn't penalized — or suspended — for any of the three hits.
— The Athletic NHL (@TheAthleticNHL) May 25, 2022
The Hurricanes suffered another colossal injury during Game 7, as goaltender Antti Raanta was also sent to the dressing room after stretching out awkwardly for a save attempt during the second period and did not return. Ryan Strome scored shortly after the goalie switch to put the Rangers up by three heading into the third and New York went on to win 6-2.
The Rangers will face the back-to-back Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning in the Eastern Conference final, with Game 1 set for Wednesday night.
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