Nathan Mackinnon exits game early after taking illegal hit to the head

Injury to Nathan MacKinnon. Joachim Blichfeld gets a match penalty for the hit — Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) March 4, 2021

I mean this is the exact kind of hit the NHL is trying to eliminate. A check that comes from the players blind side that clearly targets the head and neck region. It’s an egregious penalty that for sure deserved a game misconduct. Honestly, it deserves a multiple game suspension if you ask me. Did Blichfeld raise his shoulders and body to make contact with Nathan Mackinnon’s head? No. But Blichfeld clearly makes direct contact with the head and jaw while he is leading with his shoulder. It is the exact kind of hit that hurts a player and that the NHL is trying to eliminate.

Luckily Nathan Mackinnon is doing fine. At least he is according to Gabriel Landeskog, the Avalanche team Captain. But there is still no word on whether or not Mackinnon will be available for next game. Hopefully he will be available for the next game, as the Avalanche are still without star defensemen Cale Makar and Erik Johnson. Plus their backup goaltender and other key offensive players. The team really can’t afford any more injuries to key players.

Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog: "Not going to comment on that hit too much. Nate seems like he's doing OK." — Peter Baugh (@Peter_Baugh) March 4, 2021

Even though Nathan Mackinnon is okay, the hit that Blichfeld laid on him is unacceptable. It was absolutely the right call for the player to be ejected in that instance. You absolutely can not hit the head of a player.