Kevin Westgarth took Mark Borowiecki out of Sunday night's games between the Carolina Hurricanes and the Ottawa Senators, driving the Senators' defenseman into the boards with a big first-period hit.
But in the process, Westgarth may have taken himself out of future games. Big as the hit was, it was also from behind and, thus, suspendable. On Monday, the NHL announced that Westgarth would be having a hearing with the Department of Player Safety. Once you've seen the hit, that seems more than reasonable:
According to the NHL's release, "The following grounds are being considered for supplemental discipline: boarding." Yeah, makes sense.
Westgarth received a two-minute boarding minor for the hit, but that doesn't seem like nearly enough. Not when Borowiecki left the game and didn't return, and not when the hit was completely unnecessary and, in Paul MacLean's words, "disrespectful".
MacLean called the Westgarth hit "a disrespectful play . . Player 8 should feel shame." Borowiecki has stiff neck.
— Wayne Scanlan (@HockeyScanner) November 25, 2013
I love when MacLean refers to players by their number. Player 8 should feel shame. Best coach.
He's right, too. This is a ridiculous hit. Borowiecki is in a completely vulnerable position. He's already down on the ice, hunched over, and facing the boards. Why you would hit a guy in that position is beyond me. What's more, Westgarth had plenty of time to decide to make a better decision, and he didn't. He's probably going to miss a few dates.