Puck Daddy - NHL

In the third period of the New York Rangers' 2-1 victory over the Calgary Flames, Rangers defenseman Marc Staal(notes) laid out Flames center Matt Stajan(notes) with a brutal open-ice hit:

Dave Lozo of NHL.com reports that Staal felt the hit was clean, while Stajan, who didn't return to the game after the hit, wasn't available to comment. (Also not speaking after the game? Brent Sutter.)

Was it clean? No penalty was called on the play. Stajan was more concerned with watching his pass than the defensemen protecting the zone, and Staal didn't appear to be targeting the head. If it was a blindside hit, it's because Stajan turned a blind eye to Staal.

That said: Was this a lateral hit, with the head principal point of contact? This should be a clean hit, but we're all living in a Rule 48 world.

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