Adam Pelech hit on Mika Zibanejad ‘accidental’ not intentional: Patrick Roy

Patrick Roy had no patience for the notion put forth by Rangers coach Peter Laviolette that Adam Pelech intentionally stuck out his elbow on Mika Zibanejad when the two collided in the third period of Tuesday’s 4-2 Islanders win.

“It was accidental,” Roy said. “The referee was in a really good position to see it. He saw it. I was more afraid that Pelly might get hurt on that one. [Zibanejad’s] the one that hit Pelly. It was the opposite, I think, what happened.”

Zibanejad went down after colliding with Pelech’s elbow, with neither player appearing ready for the collision as the play was elsewhere.


Mika Zibanejad is injured after a third-period collision with Adam Pelech during the Islanders' 4-2 win over the Rangers. Zibanejad returned to the bench later in the game.
Mika Zibanejad is injured after a third-period collision with Adam Pelech during the Islanders’ 4-2 win over the Rangers. Zibanejad returned to the bench later in the game. Getty Images

The Rangers star took some time to get off the ice and spent nearly the entire rest of the third period in the dressing room before returning to the bench at the end of the game.

A furious Laviolette afterward called the hit “vicious” and “intentional.”

“Sometimes frustration makes you say things,” Roy said.

“I don’t know why we’re talking about this, quite honestly. I’m a little surprised because it was clear in my mind that it was accidental. We could talk about it for an hour if you want to, but I think we’re wasting our time. It was accidental. That’s it, that’s all, next question.”


Patrick Roy said Adam's Pelech's hit on Mika Zibanejad was "accidental," disputing Peter Laviolette's notion that is was intentional.
Patrick Roy said Adam’s Pelech’s hit on Mika Zibanejad was “accidental,” disputing Peter Laviolette’s notion that is was intentional. Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports

It was not the only charged moment in the third period between the rivals. After Anders Lee scored an empty-net goal to seal the game, Alexis Lafreniere was assessed a misconduct, with Vincent Trocheck also loudly upset over a perceived missed call on Noah Dobson for boarding Trocheck in the seconds before Lee’s goal.

Neither Pelech nor Dobson spoke to reporters after the game, but when asked about that incident, Roy unsurprisingly defended his player again.

“I think it’s, what, 15 seconds left in the game, the puck is up in the air. I think he should expect that we were going to go after this one,” Roy said. “And I think Noah tried to lay off on him and tried to go for [it] sideways. He just finishes the check on him.

“Even Trocheck had a chance — he’s the one that gave us the puck. And then we scored on that play afterwards.”


Simon Holmstrom swapped places with Pierre Engvall in the lineup, playing on the second line with Brock Nelson and Kyle Palmieri while Engvall played on the third with J-G Pageau and Anders Lee.

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