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Red Wings’ Henrik Zetterberg gets 1st career major penalty, ejected for boarding Nikita Nikitin (Video)

Greg Wyshynski
Puck Daddy

In the third period against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday night, Detroit Red Wings star Henrik Zetterberg put a glove on the back of defenseman Nikita Nikitin as they raced for the puck. That was enough to knock Nikitin off-balance, as he crashed awkwardly into the end boards and writhed in pain on the ice.

As a result, Zetterberg was given a major penalty for boarding and a game misconduct. According to NHL.com's stats history, it's the first major and ejection for Zetterberg in his 634 career games:

Oh, sweet glorious homer announcing! Can someone put a stopwatch on how quickly one goes from "He did not touch'em … I do not believe he made contact with this player" to "Hardly shoved'em!"?

Did this deserve a game misconduct? Yes, based on this provision of the boarding rule: "The severity of the penalty, based upon the impact with the boards, shall be at the discretion of the Referee." Based on the impact, that's a misconduct.

Does this deserve a suspension? No. As the announcers said, it was hardly a shove; it also wasn't malicious. But hold up on saying "no suspension" because of his clean history in the NHL — ask Pierre-Marc Bouchard how a clean record helped him avoid suspension, because it didn't.

s/t Malik for the video.

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