As the hockey world debates Pat Kaleta’s injurious cross-check on Brad Richards, some Buffalo Sabres fans have contributed the following query to the conversation: What about Dan Girardi’s hit on Tyler Ennis in overtime of the New York Rangers’ 3-2 shootout win?
Girardi was given two minutes for boarding at 54 seconds of overtime.
As the video shows, Ennis collects the puck behind the net as Girardi rushes in to check him. The Rangers defenseman looks like he’s trying to cut Ennis off and create a turnover. Ennis turns his back to the hit to protect the puck. Girardi hits him square in the back, sending Ennis to the ice.
Boarding? Sure. Suspension-worthy? A chief consideration both in handing out a major or suspending Girardi is whether “the opponent put himself in a vulnerable position immediately prior to or simultaneously with the check.”
This was a bang-bang play, and that’s exactly what happened.
We’d be surprised if there was a suspension. And, for the record, this doesn’t even belong in the same conversation as the Kaleta hit.