Yes, it was late, and John Moore deserved a penalty for it.
No, it’s not worth a suspension.
That’s how Rangers coach Alain Vigneault sees the hit that Moore leveled Montreal’s Dale Weise with last night in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Final.
“The guy (Weise) was admiring his pass a little bit,” Vigneault said today.
“I don’t see what else it could warrant (in addition to Moore being ejected from the game). But I’ve been surprised before.”
Indeed he has. Like in the 2011 Stanley Cup Final, when he was coaching Vancouver and his player, Aaron Rome, was suspended four games for hitting Boston’s Nathan Horton late. He was definitely surprised (and furious) by that ruling, and things quickly went south for his Canucks.
What the NHL decides to do with Moore remains to be seen. The player has a hearing today for an illegal check to the head.
“The league will do what it has to do,” Vigneault said last night. “I think [Moore] was penalized on the ice. John is definitely not the type of player to try to hurt someone, but it was a late hit and it was the right call on the ice.”
And according to Vigneault, that’s where it should end. With the call on the ice.