The hit came late in the third period with the game tied 2-2. Florida defenseman, Mike Matheson, delivered a hard body check to Pettersson before slamming him to the ice with his arm, causing Pettersson to hit his head on the ice. Pettersson appeared to be quite woozy after the hit and immediately left the game.
The team has since announced the 19-year-old rookie, who has 5 goals and 8 points through 5 games, will miss at least the next two games. Many people are saying Matheson targeted Pettersson with the intent to injure him after Pettersson dangled around him.
The NHL Department of Player Safety has announced that they will have a hearing today with Matheson regarding the hit. After the game, Travis Green was quoted as saying “…the league’s trying to protect the good young players, and that’s just a dirty play.”
The Canucks ultimately won the game 3-2 on a goal by Bo Horvat, scored shortly after the hit. Despite the win, many Canucks fans are displeased with the lack of physical response from the team after the hit.
Coach, Travis Green acknowledged that the play was dirty but refused to comment on any sort of retribution directed towards Matheson. However, even if he is suspended, many fans will still be clamoring to see Matheson forced to “pay” for his hit. The Canucks play the Panthers next on January 13th.