In last night’s late game between the Montreal Canadiens and San Jose Sharks, Scott Nichol took a blatant late hit from Maxim Lapierre that sent him flying head first into the boards. The play started a scrum that saw the Sharks players grabbing any Habs player they could, out of obvious and justified anger. Nichol himself got off the ice, grabbing his shoulder, wondering why there hadn’t been a penalty called on the play.
Today, after it was reported that Nichol would miss 7-to10 days with the injury, the Sharks reacted to the play.
From Rob Blake, per David Pollak’s San Jose Sharks blog:
“That was a tough play. Those are the kinds of plays we don’t like to
see because he’s in a very vulnerable position. It was a tough call and
the refs were very open about that,” Blake said.
Coach Todd McLellan felt a bit differently.
“I’m a Shark and I’m going to have an opinion on the call,” the coach
said. “I think it was a missed call and a real dangerous play. I
wouldn’t want to see one of their players go in like that and I
certainly don’t want to see one of ours.”
The hit instantly sparked debate, especially considering there was no penalty called on the initial hit. That there were two roughing penalties eventually called in the ensuing scrum — not on Lapierre — was just the icing on the cake of frustration.