In a KHL playoff game this week, Severstal forward Alexei Tsvetkov crumpled in the corner, throwing his gloves off and clutching his face in panic. The whistles blew stopping play. What dastardly injury had he suffered at the hands of Atlant's Alexander Rybakov, last seen cross-checking him near the boards?
The officials saw Tsvetkov's face bloodied, and decided on a 5-minute major for Rybakov that also carried a game misconduct. In hindsight, this seems a little heavy-handed, given that it was the skate of Tsvetkov's teammate (and former Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman) Staffan Kronwall that sliced him with an inadvertent donkey kick:
You made need to watch it a few times, but there it is: a soft cross-check to the back at the same time Kronwall's skate comes up.
Let's all be thankful that Tsvetkov's face wasn't surgically removed by that blade, as he finished the game with 21:19. (Although it did deprive him of Joker-esque "let me tell you how I got these scars …" speeches at parties.)
Atlant won the game, 3-1, killing off the major penalty that stemmed from this officiating misjudgment. A major penalty that clearly should have never been called. But we do appreciate the intricate donkey-kick system Severstal apparently has for blading.
- Alexei Tsvetkov
- Staffan Kronwall
- Toronto Maple Leafs