Late in the first period on Wednesday night, Minnesota Wild forward Cal Clutterbuck was skating deep inside the Edmonton Oilers zone when he collided with defenseman Ryan Whitney.
Was this an intentional knee-on-knee hit from Whitney? (s/t CJ Zero for the clip)
And a happy end of Movember to you, Mr. Clutterbuck ...
Wrote Michael Russo of the Star Tribune on Twitter: "That was a blatant knee-on-knee by Ryan Whitney on Clutterbuck. Brutal missed call and possible injury. ... Clutterbuck leaving the game hurt; Can barely get off the ice. Ryan Whitney should be in a lot of trouble."
After the game, Russo reported that Wild Coach Mike Yeo didn't like the hit, but that it was more 'knee-on-thigh.'
If that isn't a blatant attempt to injure, I don't know what is. Mike Yeo says Clutterbuck has a "charlie horse" and it is not Clutterbuck's knee, but that should matter little. It was absolutely disgustingly dirty, and could have ended extemely badly for both players. There is a reason knee on knee hits (or even attempted knee on knee hits) are suspended. They can be career ending, and are flat out stupid.
Classic hockey conundrum here: Did Whitney stick out his leg to connect with Clutterbuck's? Did Clutterbuck initiate the awkward contact by attempting to avoid Whitney's hit?
Bottom line: No penalty on the play, and Clutterbuck skated three shifts in the second period before leaving the game. The Wild one the game, 3-2, in the shootout.