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Breaking: NHL rules on Guentzel head shot to Carlson

Wow… just goes to show that it’s almost impossible to predict NHL Player Safety.

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This just in courtesy of the Washington Post’s Isabelle Khurshudyan, NHL Player Safety will NOT be reviewing Pittsburgh Penguins forward Jake Guentzel’s hit on Washington Capitals defenseman John Carlson from last night’s Game 5 action.

This shouldn’t come as a surprise, but Guentzel won’t have a hearing for his hit on Carlson, which Trotz took exception to. It was considered a full-body hit. 

In case you missed it last night, Carlson missed his final shift of the night in his team’s huge 6-3 victory over the Penguin, courtesy of a big hit from Guentzel.

Late in the third period with the Caps holding a 5-3 advantage, Carlson absorbed what head coach Barry Trotz described as an “unsuspecting, high hit” from Penguins forward Jake Guentzel.

Carlson, who was following a chip in along the boards behind the Capitals’ net, was preparing himself to slap the puck around the boards and out of the defensive zone when a streaking Guentzel came flying down the wing and finished a hard check up high on Carlson. Here’s the play:

It’s clear that the hit is up high and that the unsuspecting Carlson gets rocked, but who’s to blame on this hit? Carlson makes no attempt to protect himself, despite clearly trying to play the puck in a dangers spot. I mean… you gotta keep your head up. Guentzel explodes through the hit, but he doesn’t extend an elbow and doesn’t appear to target Carlson’s head… tough call.

After the game, coach Trotz was NOT happy saying, “John took a high hit. He was unsuspecting, with about a minute left. He's being evaluated right now," he said, according to ESPN's Greg Wyshynski. "I know the standard's been set, so I'm going to leave it up the league. It was a head shot in my opinion."

Trotz calls late game hit on John Carlson an “unexpected high hit” and that Carlson is being evaluated. Said “the standard has been set” and expects the NHL to look at play.

Well.. evidently the NHL did not agree with the veteran head coach. What’s your call? Did Guentzel get away with one here? Or does Carlson just need to do a better job of keeping his head up?