The Ottawa Senators took a 3-2 series lead over the New York Rangers thanks to an awesome 41-save effort from Craig Anderson and two goals from the previously underwhelming Jason Spezza in a 2-0 Game 5 victory.
But once again in this series, all the postgame chatter is focused on a controversial hit:
Brian Boyle, who had three goals in five games for the Rangers, was drilled by a hit from Chris Neil of the Ottawa Senators in the third period. He remained in the game for three more shifts, but Rangers Coach John Tortorella said after the loss that Boyle is "concussed. He's out."
Beyond that, Tortorella said that Neil's hit fit the blueprint of the one that got Raffi Torres a 25-game suspension.
Here's the full Torts presser:
For the video impaired, he said:
"Well, they have a blueprint. It was probably the exact same hit as Torres. Different part of the ice. Launches himself, headshot. The pucks at the goal line when he's hit. So the blueprint's there. I'm sure he's a repeat offender, too. Not much research to be done there."
As far as Brian Boyle's status for Game 6:
"He's concussed. He's out. So there it is. There's a blueprint. And I'm not trying to be some smart … but it's just a dangerous, dangerous cheap hit. The puck is on the goal line. The exact same play as Torres."
First off: Neil isn't a repeat offender. He was fined back in 2003, and that's it.
Second: This hit is much more borderline than the Torres hit on Marian Hossa. Boyle had just released the puck, so it isn't charging. Neil didn't launch himself into the hit as Torres did on Hossa.
According to NHL.com's Dave Lozo, Neil said he thinks it's a clean hit: "Obviously, you don't like to see the suspensions. If it's a dirty one, then yeah. You have to be held accountable for it."
What do you think of the hit? Should Neil get anything for taking out Boyle? We agree with Sean Gentille: This one didn't fit the Torres blueprint.