Connor Bedard taking the hit from Brendan Smith.
Photo credit: Sportsnet

Blackhawks coach and teammates comment on whether Bedard hit was dirty

Published January 6, 2024 at 7:44
During the first period of last night's matchup between Chicago and New Jersey, the story of the game was already written. As Blackhawks rookie Connor Bedard carried the puck into the offensive zone, Devils' defenceman Brendan Smith stepped up and laid a big open ice hit. Bedard got up quickly, holding his hand in front of his face, and skated off the ice looking stunned. He did not return to the game.

After the game, some Blackhawks teammates and head coach Luke Richardson weighed into what they thought of they hit, and they surprisingly had differing opinions. Richardson said he didn't think the hit was dirty, saying that Bedard ran into Smith more so than the Devils' defenceman trying to make head contact.

Opposite from the coach, Boris Katchouk thought the hit was unquestionably dirty and warranted the level of response the Hawks gave.

So far, there have been no updates on Bedard's condition, other than that the Blackhawks will do further medical evaluation when they return to Chicago.

With a closer look at the hit, it does look like Bedard is reaching in towards Smith, so that when Smith does line up for contact, Bedard takes some contact in the mouth. Still, Smith clearly wasn't trying to make head contact, and didn't even skate into Bedard with force - he mostly just stopped up from skating backwards.

Do you think the hit was dirty? Let us know in the poll below!
January 6   |   498 answers
Blackhawks coach and teammates comment on whether Bedard hit was dirty

Was the hit on Bedard dirty?

Yes11823.7 %
No35070.3 %
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