Ryan Jones of the Edmonton Oilers was hit with one of the season's most ridiculous major penalties on Monday night, in their 2-1 loss to the Nashville Predators.
Watch Jones hit Blake Geoffrion here with a brutal but legal shoulder-to-shoulder hit, and then watch the referee that's shielded by a few bodies whistle him for an elbowing major (with bonus Jordin Tootoo diving):
Somewhere in a VERSUS studio far far away, Mike Milbury clutched his forehead in pain, as if millions of checkers suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly wussified …
According to Josh Cooper of The Tennessean, Nashville Coach Barry Trotz believed "the league will look at it" and that Geoffrion is "out for a while."
Jones after the game didn't fear the Shanahammer, via the Edmonton Sun:
"I was just finishing my check, I didn't take a huge run at him," said Jones. "I saw that he had the puck behind the net and I thought it was going to wrap it, so I was trying to just eliminate him from the play.
"He dropped it and I don't know why it was called, it's the ref's discretion, I guess."
… While Geoffrion was injured on the play and had to be helped off the ice with an upper-body injury, there was little hint of an elbow from Jones. "I thought I made a concerted effort to keep my arms down and target his shoulder," said Jones. "It's tough though, people see different things. I was mad at the time, but it's hard. The refs obviously have a hard job and they're out there trying to do the best that they can."
The penalty was at 6:35 of the second period, and two Nashville minor penalties during the five minutes helped negate it. However, at 11:34 — one second before the major penalty expired — Shea Weber scored to tie the game.
It was a terrible call that affected the game, and it would be one of the season's mist regrettably stunning moments if it amounted to anything on a League disciplinary level.
Naturally, this kind of injustice leads to partisan overreaction, like when Edmonton Sun writer Robert Tychkowski tweeted last night: "The call on Jones is all Shanahan. He's created a culture in the NHL now where hitting is bad. Even refs are scared of collisions."
The police are pulling over too many speeders. Hence, the problem is obviously with the speed limit. Logic!