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Watch: Bruins Player's Brutal Hit Causes Big Controversy

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Boston Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy got off easy on a brutal hit to the head of Columbus Blue Jackets right winger Josh Anderson in Monday’s 3-0 series-clinching win by the Bruins.

With 20 seconds left in the second period, McAvoy and Anderson were chasing down the puck when McAvoy drilled Anderson in the head with his shoulder.

The announcers immediately thought McAvoy would get ejected or a major, but referees didn’t see it that way. They conferred and whistled McAvoy for a two-minute minor for an illegal check.

The Blue Jackets fans did not appreciate the controversial call, raining boos on the referees. Some fans threw debris onto the ice, reported USA Today.

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The replay shows Anderson not only getting leveled with a direct hit to the head from McAvoy but also getting hit on the back end by Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara, who was chasing the puck.

“It was a hockey play,” McAvoy said after the game. “I tried to finish my check in a legal manner and I was penalized two minutes and I served it and I came back and just tried to be an impactful player. We were fortunate enough that it was a winning effort and we’re going on to the next round.”

McAvoy will have a disciplinary hearing with the NHL’s Department of Player Safety for the hit, TSN reported Tuesday morning. He could be facing a suspension.

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“When you see the rule 48.1.1 and what a legal check to the head is, Charlie McAvoy is taking the good angle, he’s trying to come through the body, where he runs himself into a problem is if you look at the (line) unnecessary extension of the body upward,” TSN’s Craig Button said.

Should McAvoy be suspended for this hit?

“I think that the NHL Department of Player Safety will deem this as meriting a one-game suspension,” Button said.

Anderson did return to the game in the third period, but the Bruins went on to win 3-0.

Marcus Johansson and David Backes scored for the Bruins in the third period. David Krejci also scored for Boston.

The Bruins won the series 4-2 and move on to the Eastern Conference Finals against Carolina.

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Dave is a lifelong sports fan who has been writing for The Wildcard since 2017. He has been a writer for more than 20 years for a variety of publications.
Dave has been writing about sports for The Wildcard since 2017. He's been a reporter and editor for over 20 years, covering everything from sports to financial news. In addition to writing for The Wildcard, Dave has covered mutual funds for Pensions and Investments, meetings and conventions, money market funds, personal finance, associations, and he currently covers financial regulations and the energy sector for Macallan Communications. He has won awards for both news and sports reporting.
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