Washington Capitals winger Jason Chimera was booted from a big game against the Boston Bruins for a questionable hit on Adam McQuaid, which you can survey below:
While Chimera got a game misconduct for his bad deeds and the Bruins received a five-minute major power play opportunity, but no goals resulted in the interchange. Boston couldn’t score on that lengthy man advantage, however, and Washington went on to win a wild 3-2 shootout, securing a crucial two points.
That being said, the obvious question is whether or not Chimera should be available for the Capitals next game (and perhaps beyond). He certainly took plenty of strides before the hit, but the suspension-worthiness is up to debate.
So debate away, then. Was a five-minute major punishment enough? If a suspension is in order, how long should it be? Let us know.
Team executives call for stricter enforcement of charging, boarding infractions on Day 2 of GM Meetings
It makes sense that general managers would attack those two types of infractions since those forms of “hockey plays” tend to generate a big chunk of the NHL’s worst headline-grabbing checks.
While legislating on hits along the board might be difficult because you cannot completely remove those battles for the puck, cutting down on charging seems like a no-brainer. Whenever people look at controversial hits, they often focus on the location of the blow (“But he hit him in the shoulder, not the head” is a common – and reasonable – response.) Yet what often gets lost is how many strides a player took before delivering a brutal check.
Don’t take this the wrong way, because charging isn’t evident in every hit, but there are times when a player builds up a troubling amount of momentum before such a check. Those are instances when it’s difficult to avoid calling such an attack “premeditated.”
NHL Senior Vice President and Director of Officiating Terry Gregson appeared today on NHL Live! following Tuesday morning’s session. He said referees need to think about three questions as they evaluate the merit of a charging or boarding call: Did the player making the hit have any regard for the puck? Is the player making the hit trying to separate the player from the puck? Or was the player making the hit just to punish?
Maybe they should ask one other penalty, though: should referees be bolder about handing out harsher penalties for such infractions? Two of the best ways to punish teams is on the ice or at the bank, so maybe tangible fines and more punitive penalties would help curb this problem even more.
Anyway, we’ll keep you abreast of the details regarding the GM meetings. Stay tuned.
Mattias Ritola receives two game suspension for hit on Matt Moulson
I haven’t been able to find any video of the hit (not even on Youtube … what is this world coming to?), but Damian Cristodero of the St. Petersburg Times reports that the NHL handed Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Mattias Ritola a two game suspension for a hit he delivered to New York Islanders forward Matt Moulson.
Early in the second period, Ritola left his feet along the boards, leading with his backside and putting his elbow to the back of Moulson’s head, sending Moulson into the side boards. Ritola was assessed a five-minute major for charging. Moulson stayed in the game, scoring New York’s first goal.
“If it’s a hit that deserves suspension, you have to live with what you do,” Lightning head coach Guy Boucher said Wednesday after the game. “I know him, he’s not a cheap shot guy at all, he’s a skilled guy.”
Charging hits can be awfully dangerous, so I am glad that the NHL punished him … especially considering the fact that Ritola’s own coach admitted that he should be suspended for the hit. We will provide video (either within this post later on or as a separate update) if it becomes available from the NHL.