Wood was trying to skate through the slot, and Romanov lined him up. It was as if Wood had hit a brick wall.
Immediately, Devils forward Michael McLeod jumped Romanov, but the hit was deemed clean, and there was no discipline by the league–because it was the definition of a clean hit.
A few days later, Wood told Devils team reporter Amanda Stein what he thought of the hit.
“I’ve never been hit like that in my lifetime. He just read the play really well, and I just kind of fell into his lap (…). It was a clean hit.”
It was the biggest clean hit we had seen so far this season.
On Wednesday night, former New York Rangers forward and current Minnesota Wild player Ryan Reaves tried to one-up Romanov as he absolutely crushed Detroit Red Wings defenseman Filip Hronek. The physical Reaves saw Hronek look over his shoulder as he tried to break out of Detroit’s zone and laid one of the bigger hits we have seen this season.
OH MY GOD REAVO🚂💨 pic.twitter.com/UuCgN159Xc
— Spittin' Chiclets (@spittinchiclets) December 15, 2022
Unfortunately for Hronek, he had to leave the game and did not return.
Many fans and players view this as a clean hit, while others see the point of contact as the chin area, and given the kind of player Reaves has been over his career, his reputation for “keeping it clean” is not particularly high.
Reaves has been suspended three times over his NHL career, forcing him to miss a total of six games. He has also been fined an additional three times.
Who better to ask about big hits than Romanov?
“Good hit,” Romanov told NYI Hockey Now. “It seems maybe a little bit dirty because he’s much bigger.”
Reaves stands at six-foot-two, 225 pounds, while Hronek stands at six feet, 190 pounds.
“For me, it doesn’t matter because I’m not a big guy.”
Romanov stands at six-foot-one, 215 pounds, with Wood standing at six-foot-two, 195 pounds.
“I’m not a big guy, and it always seems like I hit clean because it’s not so high. But I don’t think when you go to hit somebody, you care if they are big or small.”
What Romanov is trying to say is that he doesn’t care who it is on the ice–the hit will happen–and that’s likely what Reaves’ mindset was as well.
What did you think of the hit?
Alexander Romanov is fourth on the Islanders in hits this season, with 81. In 163 career NHL games, the Russian defenseman has 446 hits, 2.73 per game. He has never been suspended but was fined $5,000 for a hit on Rangers forward Vincent Trocheck on Oct. 9.