Last night we saw Rangers defenseman land a punishing body check on Flames forward Matthew Stajan that knocked him out of the game in the third period. Stajan was obliterated after passing the puck and in midst of watching his pass was crushed by Staal. In case you missed it, we had it all for you to check out here last night. The main debate that came up after the game was whether or not Staal’s hit violated the NHL’s new Rule 48 regarding blindside hits and blows to the head. The Flames were upset about the hit while the Rangers called it a good hockey hit (something which we agree with).
As it turns out, the NHL also agrees that it was a good hit and will not take action against Staal for the hit. For a moment in time, sanity prevails in the NHL discipline world. With the fogginess of how Rule 48 can be interpreted no one seemed to know whether or not Staal would be be disciplined for the hit. In this case, a good, tough hockey hit isn’t scrutinized for being just what it is. Calgary fans don’t like reading that because it was their player getting hit, but if you put the shoe on the other foot, the debate turns around fast.