Canadiens players, former NHLers react to Scheifele's 'disgusting' hit on Evans

·Editor
·3 min read

Mark Scheifele's brutal hit on Jake Evans predictably has the hockey world polarized, but there should be little confusion around how the Montreal rookie's teammates are feeling about the situation.

Asked after Game 1 for their thoughts on the careless play that caused Evans to be stretchered off the ice, the Canadiens did not hold back. 

"It was a dirty hit, but the league's going to take care of it. If he gets back in the series, we're going to make life miserable for him," said blueliner Joel Edmundson. "It's frustrating. I was following him up the ice and saw how dirty of a hit it was right away."

"Obviously there was something like that that happened last series, it just kills the vibe and I hope (Evans) is ok."

WINNIPEG, MB - JUNE 2: Jake Evans #71 of the Montreal Canadiens is left injured after scoring a third period empty net goal and then checked hard by Mark Scheifele #55 of the Winnipeg Jets in Game One of the Second Round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs on June 2, 2021 at Bell MTS Place in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. (Photo by David Lipnowski/Getty Images)
WINNIPEG, MB - JUNE 2: Jake Evans #71 of the Montreal Canadiens is left injured after scoring a third period empty net goal and then checked hard by Mark Scheifele #55 of the Winnipeg Jets in Game One of the Second Round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs on June 2, 2021 at Bell MTS Place in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. (Photo by David Lipnowski/Getty Images)

"I think it's disgusting," forward Jesperi Kotkaniemi said, "little respect for the other players out there."

Scheifele was handed a four-game suspension after delivering a sketchy hit (charge) on Evans in the final minute of Wednesday's Game 1 as the Habs forward rounded the crease and tucked the puck into an empty net to seal Montreal's series-opening win.

The 25-year-old was taken off on a stretcher, while Scheifele was assessed a five-minute major for charging and a game misconduct.

When you watch the play develop from the beginning, it's understandable why a vocal portion of the hockey community is pretty shaken up by the play.

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Of course, this isn't just a black or white matter. Tons of fans and former NHL players had absolutely no issue with the hit.

Jets head coach Paul Maurice was among those defending his player amid a wrath of outrage, saying on Thursday that the act in question was "clean" and "a hell of a hit."

Outspoken former NHLers Mike Commodore and Sean Avery had some takes of their own to share. Perhaps unsurprisingly, neither had a problem with Scheifele's actions or intent. Both, however, tried to explain why it is in fact Evans' fault for almost being decapitated while scoring the game-clinching empty-netter.

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Canadiens coach Dominique Ducharme provided an update on Evans's health, saying he's doing better. Ducharme added that Evans is under supervision of two doctors who took care of him Wednesday night, and that the Habs rookie did not have to go to the hospital. 

Montreal's bench boss also touched on the one piece of positivity around this dark situation. 

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