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SENS COACH CALLS DELL'S HIT ON BATHERSON 'RIDICULOUS', SAYS BATHERSON WILL MISS ALL-STAR GAME

JAN 26, 2022  (7H42)      TIM TUCKER
The Ottawa Senators scored a big 5-0 victory over the Buffalo Sabres Tuesday night, but the score was not the focal point in the game. Late in the first period, Sabres goaltender Aaron Dell clipped Drake Batherson as he was about to go behind the net, causing Batherson to fall awkwardly into the boards. Post game, Sens coach D.J. Smith said Batherson it out long-term with an ankle injury and will miss next week's All-Star weekend.

"It's a bad play by (Dell) and he's done it before," said Smith. "It's a bad play and it's unfortunate. A young kid isn't going to be able to go to an all-star game and it's ridiculous."

"It's interference," continued Smith. He wasn't in the path of the goalie and the goalie, at the last second, steps back and hits him."

Dell insists he was not trying to hurt Batherson.

"I was just trying to buy some time for my defenseman and step into his lane," Dell said. "I hope he's all right. I wasn't trying to hurt anybody."

That rings a bit hollow as the hit was completely unnecessary and illegal, despite there being no penalty on the play. As for Smith's comments that Dell has done this before, there was an incident where Dell swung his stick at Sam Bennett while he was playing with the San Jose Sharks. Dell was not penalized on that play either. Video of both incidents can be seen below.