That’s the question I ask. And not just once, I ask it twice.
The NHL wants to get rid of headshots in the NHL. And they also use the metric of an injury to determine justice, which if you’ve read me recently, you’d know I’m completely against that.
On Wednesday night, on two different occasions, Nicklas Grossmann of the Philadelphia Flyers was the victim of a hit to the head. He left the game after the second hit he took and is now out for tonight’s Game 5. The first of the hits was delivered by Evgeni Malkin with a blindside hit that he swerved out of his way to make.
The second was made by Tyler Kennedy who went very unnecessarily high on Grossmann to deliver a hit at the boards.
Neither hit was penalized despite a referee near the play. Is that because Grossmann stayed up after both hits? If Grossmann crashed to the ice and laid there motionless for awhile, do Malkin and Kennedy get penalties? Do they get supplementary discipline?
Does the NHL want to send the message to players that if you take a questionable hit, you should drop like a sack of bricks instead of doing what you can to stay in the play to help your team? The game is already getting trashed with more than half of the penalties being called the result of an accentuation or a flat out dive. Now are we going to get fake injuries (or maybe more than we’ve already gotten).
I’m not asking for the refs to give either Malkin or Kennedy majors or anything for those hits and I’m not asking the NHL to slap either of them with suspensions, especially Kennedy’s. I do think that Malkin deserves to maybe sit a game since it looks pretty clear that he went out of his way to go up high on Grossmann. Regardless, they were illegal plays. So instead of the NHL completely ignoring them (NHL.com’s story about Grossmann missing tonight makes no mention of either hit), they should at least come out and say, “Two potentially illegal hits happened last night, and we’re going to investigate them.” Even if no supplemental discipline comes down, the players still know there’s a bit of accountability for their actions.
I don’t know, is it just me or is the NHL turning into the “No Honor League?”