Rangers rookie forward Chris Kreider skated into the offensive zone with his head down, and Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik made the youngster pay in a big way. Orpik delivered a huge hit, seemingly planting his shoulder into Kreider’s chest, sending the Boston College product flying into the air.
Kreider came down hard on the blue line, and was in a world of hurt. It appears as if he’ll be OK, though, despite catching part of Orpik’s shoulder in the jaw.
NJ.com reports that Kreider returned to practice on Monday, and he said he’s feeling fine.
“[My] jaw tightened up,” Kreider said, according to the website. “I’ve had jaw problems in the past … the TMJ joint just spasmed.”
The hit was actually Eagle-on-Eagle crime, as Orpik also played his college hockey under Jerry York at the Heights.
“I think he learned that at [Boston College],” Kreider joked.
Rangers coach John Tortorella didn’t have a problem with the hit. In fact, Tortorella sounds like he’s hoping it wakes them up after an 0-2 start with losses to the Pens and the Bruins.
“That’s the big problem with the club right now,” Tortorella told reporters Sunday night after the game. “Maybe we need to get whacked around a little bit more to wake us up. That’s a clean hit.”
See the hit below.