Last night’s incident that saw Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo boarded and knocked out of the game thanks to L.A. forward Dwight King will reportedly not be investigated further by the NHL.
Los Angeles Times beat reporter Helene Elliott says the Kings have yet to hear from the league about the hit and they’re not expecting any further discipline for King.
The NHL’s head of officiating for the series, Kay Whitmore, explained the result saying referees Eric Furlatt and Stephen Walkom missed seeing Pietrangelo bleeding after the hit, something that would’ve turned King’s minor into a major.
Walkom has already been involved in two other high-profile incidents in the playoffs: Game 2 of the Rangers-Senators series that saw Matt Carkner go after Brian Boyle and Game 3 of the Coyotes-Blackhawks series where Marian Hossa was hit viciously by Raffi Torres, a play that resulted in no penalty called at the moment but a 25-game suspension for Torres.
Last night’s Game 1 between the Blues and Kings wasn’t without controversy as L.A.’s Dwight King hit St. Louis’ Alex Pietrangelo from behind on a play many felt was worthy of a five-minute major. Pietrangelo left the game with an apparent head injury and may not be able to play in Game 2.
The NHL offered up an explanation as to what referees Stephen Walkom and Eric Furlatt saw on the play and chances are Blues fans aren’t going to like hearing it.
NHL supervisor for officiating in the Blues-Kings series Kay Whitmore says that the referees didn’t initially deem the hit to be violent enough to warrant a major penalty. As for what happened when Pietrangelo was cut and bleeding from the hit, Whitmore says had officials seen it, things would’ve been different.
“There was no visible blood. If it was running down his forehead or his cheek, it’s automatic. It’s a major game-misconduct. In this instance, they didn’t see it initially right away. They didn’t see the blood running down his chin, in his beard … one of those things.”
As for supplementary discipline, Whitmore says Brendan Shanahan’s office reviews everything and if they believe action should be taken, they’ll do it. If you missed the play, have another look at it here in last night’s highlights.
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