Now that the dust has settled, we know more about the injury Ryan McDonagh sustained in the New York Rangers game against the Vancouver Canucks. We can begin to discuss the hit and the team’s reaction to Alexandre Burrows.
It all happened so quick that, at first glance, it was difficult to see exactly what the full extent of the hit was. In the final minute of a game, where a team is down by two goals, there is no more time to “set a tone” or “establish a forecheck”. You play a strong, smart, game and you don’t make bad judgements which tarnish you character. Then again a desperate team is showing their desperation at this point in the season, that desperation starts at the top.
Whether or not th hit was actually a “dirty” play is, at this point, irrelevant. It can be argued both ways but in the end it was poor judgement from a player known for doing the same type of thing in many situations.
Former NHL referee, Paul Stewart, let his feelings about the hit be known afterward. He dissected the history of Burrows to a Tee and then proceeded to rip into the Rangers for not retaliating or sticking up for their injured brother. Dan Girardi was pretty sneaky with hit punch to the back of the head almost immediately. He knew to stop after one when he didn’t get caught by the referees flocking to the incident. Perhaps Stewart “forgot” about NHL Rule 46.12 which states:
Instigator in Final Five Minutes of Regulation Time (or Anytime in Overtime) – A player who is deemed to be the instigator of an altercation in the final five (5) minutes of regulation time or at any time in overtime shall be assessed an instigator minor penalty, a major penalty for fighting, and a game misconduct penalty, subject to the conditions outlined in 46.22.
To follow that one up with the rest of the important info, here is 46.22:
46.22 Fines and Suspensions – Instigator in Final Five Minutes of Regulation Time (or Anytime in Overtime) - A player who is deemed to be the instigator of an altercation in the final five (5) minutes of regulation time or at anytime in overtime (see 46.12) shall be suspended for one game, pending a review of the incident.
When the one-game suspension is imposed, the Coach shall be fined $10,000 – a fine that will double for each subsequent incident.
The suspension shall be served unless, upon review of the incident, the Director of Hockey Operations, at his discretion, deems the incident is not related to the score, previous incidents in the game or prior games, retaliatory in nature, “message sending”, etc. The length of suspension will double for each subsequent offense. This suspension shall be served in addition to any other automatic suspensions a player may incur for an accumulation of three or more instigator penalties.
No team appeals will be permitted either verbally or in writing regarding the assessment of this automatic suspension as all incidents are reviewed by the Director of Hockey Operations as outlined above.
Dorsett who reminded everyone of the suspension clause in the rule. With that being said, how do you feel about the team’s reaction to the incident? Did they do the right thing or should they have taken the chance on a suspension? If you think they should have had a line battle, which players would you be willing to lose to said suspension? Girardi, Martin St. Louis, Mats Zuccarello, Dominic Moore, and Henrik Lundqvist were all on the ice at the time. Zuccarello and Girardi engaged in the scrum but neither are “fighters” per say. If they waited a shift and put Carcillo out there would you be willing to lose him for a game? Who would fill in for a missing player with Chris Kreider out indefinitely? Lots of questions on this one so let us know what you think.