They name it the Division of NHL Participant Security, however typically it appears extra just like the Bureau of the Weird.
In a day and age once we’re extra delicate to move contact in hockey than ever earlier than, it seems some heads must be examined within the workplace of the sport’s supplemental disciplinarians.
A head shot that’s mainly incidental will get their consideration one night time, whereas a deliberate one drifts previous their noses the following, not even getting a sniff.
For Exhibit A within the latter division, we convey you the not-so-subtle elbow delivered to Winnipeg Jets ahead Mathieu Perreault on Tuesday night time.
The elbow’s proprietor, Vancouver’s Jake Virtanen, received’t be dealing with The Division to elucidate his actions — insult to harm for Perreault.
Perreault’s post-game rant belied the scoreboard, which confirmed a Four-Zero Winnipeg whitewash and left most all people else within the Jets room sporting smiles a mile vast.
Perreault, not a lot. His mug was too sore to interrupt into something resembling a smile.
The person they name ‘Frenchie’ was nonetheless uttering sacre bleus and hoping Virtanen could be known as on the carpet for his unprovoked assault.
“My jaw is sore proper now,” Perreault stated. “I’ll be struggling consuming for the following couple of days, in all probability. It may have been worse, I assume. However simply the gesture of it — simply, why?
“They’ve obtained to have a look at that one. He involves hit me and I see him coming after which he simply flicks his elbow in my face … for no purpose. Completely no purpose.”
The Division seemed on the play, all proper. Then seemed the opposite approach, and stated: “There’s nothing to see right here.”
Similar to blindside hits that knock the helmet off an unsuspecting and weak participant can go unpunished as a result of the principal level of contact wasn’t the noggin. By no means thoughts the whiplash impact, which everyone knows causes the mind to splash round like a bowl of jelly.
For a latest instance of that, look no additional than the 2 hits that put the battle again into the Battle of Alberta this week.
Each had been delivered by Keith Tkachuk’s boy, Matthew, plying his shift-disturbing model of the commerce with the Calgary Flames, in opposition to Edmonton’s Zack Kassian.
Kassian misplaced his helmet on each performs then misplaced his head, treating Tkachuk like his personal Raggedy Ann doll and drawing a double-minor and misconduct for his bother.
The Flames received the sport and the following overview by The Division: Tkachuk’s hits had been deemed completely inside the guidelines, whereas Kassian’s retaliation netted him a two-game suspension.
If The Division had been severe about participant security, it could have despatched messages to each.
Tkachuk’s hits had been predatory and harmful and may now not have a spot within the recreation.
As a substitute, they’re inspired, and Kassian obtained the message.
“That gave me some readability of what you are able to do and what you can not do now,” he stated. “So I put that within the reminiscence financial institution.”
Get your tickets for the rematch, now.
The Jets tried to get even with Virtanen on Tuesday, captain Blake Wheeler, of all individuals, delivering the warning shot and welcoming the 226-pound Canucks winger for a spherical of pugilistic polka, on Ukrainian New 12 months’s, no much less.
Virtanen politely declined, and the Jets seemed to The Division to mete out the punishment rather than Wheeler’s fists.
Nope. An elbow to the jaw doesn’t qualify, apparently. Maybe as a result of it’s not technically the top.
Perreault wished Virtanen’s examined instantly.
“I used to be pissed,” he stated. “That was silly. Like, what’s fallacious with him? I didn’t even have the puck. I used to be yelling: ‘What’s fallacious with you? Why would you do this? You’re going to get suspended, you fool.’
“He had nothing to say. He was like: ‘We bumped into one another.’ Take a look at the replay, you fool. It retains taking place to me.”
Perreault went into concussion protocol in mid-December after having his mind jolted in a recreation in opposition to Philadelphia. He was out till New 12 months’s Eve.
No less than the Flyers’ Joel Farabee was sat down for 3 video games for that late hit. This one, the Jets will simply should suck up and take.
“That’s a reckless, reckless shot,” head coach Paul Maurice stated, post-game. “Perhaps I’m extra delicate proper now as a result of I simply misplaced the man to a different a kind of. And it’s a head shot. There’s no want for that one and I’m certain it’ll get checked out.”
It did, and the so-called security police shook their heads.
Which leaves many people shaking ours.