Watch: Dallas Stars' Antoine Roussel Cross-Checks Boston Bruins' Adam McQuaid in Neck
This hit is tough to defend.
Dallas Stars forward Antoine Roussel had an event-filled start to the game, blocking a shot in the opening minute with his glove and then getting in a few more shot blocks his next shift. He also shrugged off a hit by the Boston Bruins' Adam McQuaid, who then decided to fight Roussel -- who then did this:
There's no defending what happened here, no matter what the intent might have been. It's clear that McQuaid was ready to fight and had already dropped the gloves, and it seems that Roussel got caught between wanting to just trade jabs with his stick and then getting his hands up high ready for a fight. Unforunately, his stick caught the Bruins forward in the neck and the Roussel was given a five-minute major with a game misconduct for the infraction.
Roussel has done a lot to clean up his game this season and has become a very effective all-around winger for the Stars, but this is an unfortunate black mark on his young career so far. A stick up high to the neck is dangerous, no matter what the intent might have been in the process, and it's certain the NHL will take another look at this one. In cases like this, however, the NHL typically lets the in-game punishment suffice.
On a side note, the Stars would not only kill the major penalty, but score a short-handed goal in the process to take the lead early in the game.