Sports Julien: Zadorov should be suspended for 'dirty' hit on Kotkaniemi

08:45  06 december  2019
08:45  06 december  2019 Source:   thescore.com

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Montreal Canadiens head coach Claude Julien didn't hide his displeasure with Colorado Avalanche defenseman Nikita Zadorov following Thursday's contest.

Zadorov caught Canadiens forward Jesperi Kotkaniemi with a heavy hit that forced the Finn from the game after just 47 seconds. The collision caused Kotkaniemi to flip and land awkwardly on his head.

"(Zadorov's) leg went up and he used his upper body to flip him, and to me, that's a dirty hit," Julien said, according to Sportsnet.

"I don't know how the league is going to see it, that's up to them to look at it. But when I talk to our people, to upper management and all that stuff, we seem to think that's definitely a suspendable move on his part ... it's a dangerous play.

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Julien also confirmed Kotkaniemi will not travel with the Canadiens when they visit the New York Rangers on Friday.

Kotkaniemi has already lost seven games to injury this season and has struggled to find his offensive touch. The 19-year-old has accrued just three goals and five points through 22 contests after a 34-point rookie campaign in 2018-19.

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Colorado Avalanche left wing Gabriel Landeskog (92) celebrates with center Nathan MacKinnon (29) after scoring a goal against the Montreal Canadiens during the first period at Bell Centre on December 5, 2019. 

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The 19-year-old center was checked by Colorado Avalanche defenseman Nikita Zadorov in the first period of Montreal's game on Dec. 5.After shuffling a backhand pass low in the attacking zone, the 19-year-old center was checked by Colorado Avalanche defenseman Nikita Zadorov. The hit caused Kotkaniemi to flip. Unable to brace himself, he landed on his head, neck and shoulders. There was speculation Zadorov swept Kotkaniemi's feet out from under him, but a review of the video showed little to no evidence of that.

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