Controversy wasn’t solely reserved for the Senators and Rangers on Saturday night — the Sharks and Blues got in on the action as well.
St. Louis’ 3-0 win was marred with a pair of controversial hits and plenty of debate about headshots, concussions and player safety in the National Hockey League.
Up first, San Jose forward TJ Galiardi with a blow to the head of St. Louis alternate captain Andy McDonald:
Galiardi was given a two-minute charging minor on the play, which McDonald felt was too light a punishment.
“If it’s a check, it’s a check, that’s fine but if you make contact with the head, isn’t that a head shot?” McDonald said to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun. “It’s pretty clear on the replay that his elbow comes up and hits me in the face.”
The other elbow occurred late in the second period when Sharks defenseman Brent Burns threw what looked to be a very intentional ‘bow at St. Louis’ Scott Nichol:
Burns got two for roughing, and once again it was McDonald taking issue with the play.
“The one on Nichol’s just a punch to the head,” he said. “It’s really kind of unprovoked. [Burns] just turned around and punched Scotty in the head.”
At the time of writing, no word if either Galiardi or Burns will be facing supplementary discipline from the league, though it’s possible Brendan Shanahan is waiting to deal with his trio of hearings already scheduled for today.