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Reaction on Letang hit

 No morning skate for Isles as they play the second of back-to-back games tonight vs. the Avalanche; John Tavares (concussion) and James Wisniewski (suspension) should both be available for the Islanders tonight.

Just to revisit Kris Letangs's hit on Blake Comeau, here is some reaction to what went down. Letang received a five minute major and game misconduct for hit to the head on the play (Comeau was unavailable for comment after the game). Although the replay showed the contact to be shoulder-to-shoulder, Comeau was caught unsuspecting and appeared dazed after the play.

Penguins Coach Dan Bylsma:
"I got an explanation well after the fact, at the end of the period. The referee was in a situation where he had to make a split-second decision on the ice. That's what it was, a split-second decision. The referee made a decision about protecting a player; he has to make it in a split second."

Islanders coach Scott Gordon:
"I just saw it on the scoreboard briefly, and I obviously didn't see if he was hit head on. I didn't really get a feel from the replay. I didn't see how much of an opportunity the player had not to hit him blindside.

Islanders forward Josh Bailey:
"I saw it on the replay and obviously he blindsided him. [Blake] didn't see it coming. To some degree there is an onus on the player and I'm sure Blake would agree with that, but at the same time we're not going to stand for that," Bailey said.

Penguins defenseman Kris Letang:

“I tried to put my stick on the puck first, that’s how we play defense – then I put my
shoulder on his shoulder,” he said. “With a hit like that right away I was saying (to officials) that I was going for the puck.

“It’s a judgment. Everybody’s got to look at it. It’s a player that I need to step up; otherwise he’s going to be by himself in the scoring slot.”

 

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