Lightning vs. Stars: Radko Gudas ejected for illegal hit on Antoine Roussel

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sport

Could it have been avoided?

Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Radko Gudas is well-known for his hard (and occasionally dangerous) hits, and it's possible that very reputation is why he hit the showers early on Saturday night.

Gudas was given a match penalty for elbowing Dallas Stars forward Antoine Roussel in the head in the first period. The collision occurred when the Stars got the puck in deep midway through the period. As Roussel charged towards the puck, Gudas violently cut the Stars forward off the play with his shoulder.

It looked like it hurt. A lot.

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Gif via @MyRegularFace

The refs agreed and tossed Gudas out of the game. Roussel remained on the Stars bench for a few minutes before rejoining the action.

The question facing the NHL Department of Player Safety is whether the shoulder-to-head contact was intentional or not. Gudas' argument will be that the hit was inadvertent, as he was trying to gain possession of the puck and Roussel just ran out of room. But this isn't the first time Gudas has been given a game misconduct, so it will be interesting to see whether the league takes that history into account when they look at this play.

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