BOSTON -- Ruslan Fedotenko was tight-lipped when asked about his status for Tuesday’s match in Boston -- he said it was a “game-time decision” -- but he was more than willing to offer his opinion on the hit that that sidelined him for the past two games.
Fedotenko was blind-sided by Tampa Bay’s Dominic Moore in the third period of the team’s 4-3 overtime win Thursday. Moore was fined $2,500 by the league, the maximum amount allowed by the NHL’s Collective Bargaining Agreement.
“I'm angry. I felt like the puck was not near me so I didn’t expect that hit,” Fedotenko said after the Rangers’ morning skate in Boston Tuesday. “We’re trying to take these types of plays away from the game so we don’t have any kind of concussions or hurt each other.”
Fedotenko said he thought Moore’s blow -- which left him down on the ice for several minutes -- was retaliation for his hit on Moore earlier that shift.
“I don’t know what to say. It’s too bad,” Fedotenko said. “I’m sure he was maybe not intending to hurt [me] as hard but I think he was going after me because I hit him right before that.”
The decision by the league’s Department of Player Safety -- led by disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan -- to fine rather than suspend hinged on a technicality; A video review showed Fedotenko was nailed by his own stick from the force of the hit, not Moore’s shoulder.
Was that a satisfactory rationale?
Doesn’t sound like Fedotenko thinks so.
“Intent was there. The puck was not near me. We’re trying to eliminate those plays from the game," said Fedotenko, who sported a large, yellowing bruise around his left eye. "They make a decision and we’ll go with that. They have their rights and their opinions and we’ll go with that.”