Boston Bruins forward Nathan Horton will miss the rest of the Stanley Cup Finals after suffering a severe concussion when he was hit by Aaron Rome of the Vancouver Canucks in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Finals on Monday night.
The Bruins made the announcement this morning. The NHL is expected to hold a hearing today in which it will determine what punishment — if any — is warranted after Rome’s hit sent Horton to Massachusetts General Hospital.
The injury came in the first period, with the Bruins playing their first Stanley Cup Finals home game in 21 years. Horton, who had just passed the puck, was crossing into the Canucks’ zone when he was flattened by Rome with a hit that was, depending on your point of view, late, blindside or merely unfortunate (with Horton’s head bouncing off the ice as he fell). Rule 48 bans blindside hits to the head, but it is not apparent whether Rome’s hit violated the rule. Horton was looking to the side, but Rome’s hit came from straight on. Hockey players call that a “north-south” hit and it is not illegal in the NHL.
Rome was given a game misconduct and would seem likely to receive at least a one-game suspension.
Boston coach Claude Julien stopped short of calling it a dirty hit. “I think what I would call it is it was a blindside hit that we’ve talked about taking out of the game,” Bruins Coach Claude Julien said. “[Horton] made the pass. It was late. [Rome] came from the blindside.”
The Bruins went on to pound the Canucks, 8-1, and cut Vancouver’s series lead to 2-1.
Stanley Cup Finals Gallery: Canucks vs. Bruins