Mon Apr 18 09:50pm EDT
Another night, another pair of hits that have drawn the ire of fans and, one assumes, the attention of the NHL's secondary disciplinarians. And they both occurred in the Pittsburgh Penguins' Game 3 at the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday night.
Brutal. Leaves the skates, leaves nothing up to debate on whether it was a charging penalty. Will it be something more? Well, as NHL discipline czar Colin Campbell ruled in his exoneration of Raffi Torres(notes) today:
"We distributed a video to all players and teams that showed a similar hit on a defenseman by an attacking forward coming from the opposite direction behind the net and stated that this is a 'legal play'.
"This hit meets none of the criteria that would subject Torres to supplemental discipline, including an application of Rule 48: he did not charge his opponent or leave his feet to deliver this check. He did not deliver an elbow or extended forearm and this hit was not 'late'."
Downie's, we're sure, will be judged differently, even if it happened in that Mad Max no-man's-land known as "Behind the Net."
That was a blatant elbow to the back of the head, a tad Cooke-ian in its violent nonchalance. Gagne remained in the game and later assisted on both of Marty St. Louis' power play goals.
C'mon, man: Everyone knows you stay down and wait for the stretcher if you want to job your opponent into a suspension. Or, at the very least, Brent Seabrook knows it now.