The Flyers got back on track with a 3-0 win over the Sabres on Tuesday night, riding goals from Travis Konecny, Jake Voracek, and Kevin Hayes in the shutout.
One of those goals was scored on backup goaltender Jonas Johansson, because starter Carter Hutton left the game before the third period after taking an elbow to the head from Ivan Provorov.
In two angles of the play here, you can see that the Flyers’ defenseman was knocked into Hutton by Brandon Montour:
Montour then attacks Provorov. No penalty. pic.twitter.com/41aTO75T52
— Ryan Gilbert (@RGilbertSOP) January 20, 2021
Looks inadvertent to us. The second angle especially makes it appear as though Provy was just throwing an arm out to perhaps brace himself for a backwards fall.
Sabres coach Ralph Krueger didn’t see it that way, and had this to say after the game:
“In four games, it’s the third hit to the head (for our team), a violent type. If you look at the way the elbow comes extended, you know what you’re doing, and we will see where this takes us. He’s under assessment here tonight. It was really disappointing in a game the way it was going, to lose midway through the game a very, very strong Carter Hutton. After that, he seemed to or didn’t feel the effects of the hit actually, which can happen sometimes until the intermission when he got in and he sat down. I think his adrenaline kept him going. It was a big hit here tonight.”
Huh? Provorov knew what he was doing? Dude was literally pushed into the goaltender. In real time, you barely have enough time to react, let alone position yourself for an unnecessary cheap shot. There’s not way he did that on purpose.
Here’s the Sabres’ commentary team calling the sequence:
— Buffalo Hockey moments (@SabresPlays) January 20, 2021
“And then Montour just gives him a little hip check and knocks him right into Carter Hutton…”
Yeah, look, it was a bang-bang play. Unfortunate result, but nothing dirty. Nothing nefarious going on here.
Krueger is out of line with this public lobbying for a suspension. He’s “lost the plot,” as they say in England.