Blackhawks' Niklas Hjalmarsson Speaks On Monday's Hit On Jason Pominville

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Blackhawks' Niklas Hjalmarsson: 'It Was Too Hard Of A Hit'

Niklas Hjalmarsson of the Blackhawks, suspended for two games by the NHL for his hit on the Sabres’ Jason Pominville Monday night, had these comments on the hit and the suspension:

“If I could turn back time I probably would have acted different,” Hjalmarsson said. “You can’t do that. You have to make decisions fast out there.”

Hjalmarrson had a hearing with NHL on Tuesday to give his take on the incident.

“It was too hard of a hit, I guess,” Hjalmarsson said. "Maybe I should have considered (Pominville) being in a vulnerable position and not hit him as hard. That’s what they said.

“I really didn’t mean to hurt Jason. That’s not the way I play. Maybe I went in too hard. Maybe I didn’t. It’s tough to say. It’s a little bit tough to know what to do or not to do. The bottom line is you have to have respect for the guys you play and maybe I hit him a little bit too hard.”

Let’s hope this is the final word on this and that the Sabres don’t feel they “have” to retaliate — that could escalate this into an ugly war.

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Blackhawks' Hjalmarsson Suspended For Two Games

The NHL today suspended Blackhawks defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson for two games for his hit in last night's game on the Sabres's Jason Pominville:

The hit occurred early in the first period of the Blackhawks’ 4-3 victory over the Sabres on Monday night. Pominville lay motionless for several minutes before being carried off on a stretcher. Pominville is out indefinitely after suffering a concussion and a cut over his eye, which required several stitches. Hjalmarsson was given a five-minute boarding penalty as well as a game misconduct.

CSN Chicago's article linked above says that the Blackhawks may have to watch it in their rematch with the Sabres at the United Center on Saturday:

The Sabres were angry about the hit. Sabres forward Patrick Kaleta told the Buffalo News Tuesday afternoon, prior to the decision, that “it’ll get taken care of either with the league, or I think we play them Saturday so we’ll make it a point that you can’t be taking hits like that against one of our leaders and one of the better players on our team.”

Let's hope it doesn't come to that.

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