Not all vibes were positive in the Carolina Hurricanes locker room following their 6-1 win over the Washington Capitals on Monday night. The Hurricanes were vocally upset over a hit that Capitals’ winger Lars Eller applied to Hurricanes’ forward Jesperi Kotkaniemi in the closing seconds of Monday night’s contest. Eller was assessed a charging minor on the play.
— Rob Taub (@RTaub_) March 29, 2022
Kotkaniemi was favoring a kneee and helped from the bench to the locker room following the end of the game.
Hurricanes forward Martin Necas had plenty to say about Eller’s hit following the game.
“I don’t know what to say,” Necas said. “For me, that’s just so stupid. I don’t know even who hit him, but whoever it was, it’s a 6-1 game, one second left and (Eller) does that. He tries to be a hero or whatever. I don’t know. I have no words for that. It’s just ridiculous.”
Different sports but comparable stills between Jameis Winston tore ACL and Kotkaniemi injury. Like always, hopefully I’m wrong pic.twitter.com/iB459Uo515
— Dr. Harjas Grewal (@Harjas_Grewal) March 29, 2022
Hurricanes head coach Rod Brind’Amour was less critical of Eller’s specific hit, but didn’t like the timing of the play.
“I don’t know how bad, but he’s (Kotkaniemi) definitely going to be out,” Brind’Amour said. “The game was over. Let’s just get it over with. Two seconds left. I don’t like it. But nothing you can do about it.”
Hurricanes goaltender Frederick Andersen added “I don’t know what he was doing on that play,”
Carolina, which leads the Metropolitan Division, moved one point ahead of Florida in the race for the top seed in the Eastern Conference, which would likely mean an opening round series against the Capitals.
As for the Capitals, they will have a few days to ponder Monday night’s drubbing. The team will be off on Tuesday and Wednesday before they return to practice on Thursday. They next host the Minnesota Wild on Sunday.
By Jon Sorensen