Brandon Tanev of the Penguins sent Boston’s Jarrod Tinordi sprawling with a clean check last night. Tinordi was off-balance and Tanev caught him shoulder to sternum. It’s how youth coaches teach kids to hit. Neither referee put his arm up for a penalty.
But Tinordi left the game hurt, and the Bruins wet their pants as one. So, the referees turned to fiction: Tanev was given a five-minute major for boarding and a game misconduct.
If you’re going to penalize that hit, the NHL might as well play men’s league-style no-check. That’s not even a minor penalty, let alone a major and an ejection.
What Tanev did simply isn’t boarding. Tinordi wasn’t in that no-man’s-land where awkwardly colliding with the boards was unavoidable. He was at least 10 feet away. He wasn’t victimized. If Tinordi was off-balance, that’s his problem. Skate better.
Evgeni Malkin exited the game due to an earlier hit by Tinordi. The refs weren’t overly concerned by that.
Let’s see if Tanev’s hit goes before the (gag) Department of Player Safety and former goon George Parros. The NHL refuses to crack down on Tom Wilson, Washington’s serial headhunter. Maybe it can make an example out of Tanev for executing a clean hit.
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