Highly controversial call bails out Rangers defenseman Jacob Trouba

Dean Chaudhry
May 27, 2024  (8:26)

Jacob Trouba leading with his elbow as he attempts to make contract with Evan Rodrigues.
Photo credit: Mary Clarke - USA Today Sports

Jacob Trouba was bailed out by the referees in Sunday's game against the Panthers after receiving just a minor penalty for a clear elbow to Evan Rodrigues' head.

With the New York Rangers holding a 3-2 lead with 2:25 remaining in the second period of Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals, Trouba laid yet another controversial hit, but it nearly went unpunished as he avoided a major penalty and a possible game misconduct.
Rodrigues was walking into the slot with speed and as he tried to evade Trouba with a puck-handling move, the Rangers captain leaned in to the hit with his elbow. With Rodrigues' head down, Trouba drove his elbow towards his head, knocking him down instantly. He remained down on the ice for some time before heading towards the locker room.
The Rangers ultimately won the game 5-4 in overtime to secure a 2-1 lead in the series. Trouba recorded 2 assists while playing 23:05, however the silver lining for Florida is that Rodrigues returned to finish the game as he saw just a shade over 16 minutes of ice time today.
Trouba has had a lengthy history with suspensions and dirty hits and it seems like no matter what happens, he comes back with a harsher and more dangerous play. In the previous round against Carolina, he almost took Martin Necas' head off his shoulders as he launched himself towards the Hurricane forward but just missed as he ducked out of the way at the last second.
The CBC panel talked about it during the intermission as well with some of their panelists disagreeing with one another:
Jennifer Botterill: "To me, the initial contact is made at the side of his jaw, at the side of his head before he makes contact with his shoulder. And just the extension, it's so clear, there is the intent. He doesn't have the body positioning, extends the elbow, and makes contact with the head first."
Kevin Bieksa: "He's not trying to elbow him, he's trying to hit his body with his forearm, and I think he grazed his shoulder and I think because Rodrigues was hunched over....I still see a little shoulder impact from his jersey. "
It remains to be seen if the NHL will drop the hammer on Trouba with a suspension or a fine before Game 4 but based on his history, it's something to consider. The NHL's Department of Player Safety is generally very inconsistent with their rulings so it's honestly a toss-up. However, the Rangers captain was suspended earlier in the year for 2 games for a similar elbowing infraction against Vegas Golden Knights' Pavel Dorofeyev.
27 MAI   |   310 ANSWERS
Highly controversial call bails out Rangers defenseman Jacob Trouba

Should Trouba be suspended?

Yes, his intent was to injure Rodrigues23977.1 %
No, it was a hockey-play7122.9 %
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