Milan Michalek ducks NHL discipline for Dan Girardi skate kick in Game 6

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Ottawa Senators forward Milan Michalek received a warning from the NHL but will not receive any supplemental discipline for kicking New York Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi with his skate during a goal crease pile-on late in Game 6. (Well, actually, his GM Bryan Murray did, but we're sure he passed it along.)

Via the New York Daily News, here's raw footage of the kick, which wasn't covered by either NBC or CBC during the Monday night broadcast:

Pat Leonard of the Daily News notes the precedent for a skate-kick in the NHL:

The precedent set for supplemental discipline of this infraction is a two-game suspension. Last season, on April 15, 2011, former NHL disciplinary czar Colin Campbell suspended Ducks forward Bobby Ryan for two games after he stomped on the foot of Predators defenseman Jonathan Blum. Then one month ago, Campbell's replacement - senior VP of player safety Brendan Shanahan - upheld Campbell's precedent by suspending Hurricanes forward Jeff Skinner for two games for kicking Blues forward Scott Nichol on March 15.

As we noted Tuesday morning, there's a significant difference between those two acts and Michalek's: Ryan stomped on Blum on the end boards after a puck battle; Skinner mule-kicked Nichol on the boards after a hard check. Michalek, by comparison, was under the linesman, Ryan Callahan and Dan Girardi in the Rangers' crease. So the NHL gave him leeway. (Please note that Girardi was uninjured on the play.)

This decision won't sit well with Rangers fans who already feel that the supplemental discipline in this series — one game for Matt Carkner, none for Chris Neil and three for Carl Hagelin — has been unbalanced.

For Senators fans … well, be happy this happened in Game 6. Because if it didn't mean taking out a top line player for Game 7, we're betting Michalek gets the gate. (Check out John Fontana's post on Raw Charge about weighting the importance of playoff games in the discipline process.)

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