According to Larry Brooks of the New York Post, Leo Komarov texted Ryan McDonagh to apologize for the nasty head shot that landed the Rangers blue-liner on the ice and out of the game. And he did it during the game. Read Brooks' full article on the topic here On Tuesday, Brooks tweeted that McDonagh told him that hits that look malicious on video can often be accidental. Here's the quote:
McDonagh says Komarov texted him during game to apologize for hit. No. 27 says hits that might look intentional often are not.— Larry Brooks (@NYP_Brooksie) February 22, 2016
“You wish those hits were never a part of the game, but obviously they’re going to happen because it’s a fast-paced game and things can happen sometimes without the intent that it sometimes looks like.”Komarov's apology and McDonagh's sympathies are worth mentioning because there is an immediate rush to judgement every time a big hit goes down in the NHL. This brief, heart-warming digression doesn't mean that Komarov isn't culpable for the fact that he let his elbow wander into the head of McDonagh on this occasion, but it does show that Komarov was likely not the hatchet man sent by Satan to finish off McDonagh's season. Komarov deserves every game of his current three-game suspension, and hopefully he'll learn to be more careful when he returns to action. But he also deserves some credit for thinking enough of McDonagh to text him during the game. It often appears that hockey is a hate-filled, violent game, and that there's very little respect amongst NHL protagonists, but peel a few layers of the onion back and we see a different story. Players play to win and they'll do anything to do that, but it doesn't mean there isn't a healthy respect among peers in the NHL.