The Malik Report
by George Malik on 05/21/11 at 06:16 AM ET
The Vancouver Canucks nearly rallied to tie the San Jose Sharks on Friday night after Jamie McGinn knocked the second of two Canucks off the ice and possibly out of the series, incurring a five-minute penalty for boarding after demolishing Aaron Rome, which NHL.com’s Dave Lozo reports that neither coach was particularly pleased with (in a rare occurrence where both coaches looked at a segment of video and agreed upon its interpretation)...
“I had a chance to watch it on the video,” Sharks coach Todd McLellan said. “Referees probably made the right call on the ice, there’s no doubt about it. I don’t think there was any intent on Jamie’s behalf. We hope that Rome is healthy. We don’t want to see that happen to anybody. That could very easily be one of our players in that situation.”
“If I was Aaron Rome, I’d be upset right now,” Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said. “But I know that they got the right call on the ice.”
But the hit was nothing less than vicious:
McGinn, who was playing for the first time since Game 6 against the Detroit Red Wings last round, received a five-minute major for boarding and a game misconduct with 8:38 left in the third period after hitting Rome from behind. Rome took a pass behind the net from goaltender Roberto Luongo and moved the puck behind the net before absorbing the hit. Rome crumbled to the ice and had to be helped to his skates as blood leaked out of his face. McGinn could face a suspension for the hit, something that he seemed to consider an inevitability after the game.
“I finish my checks. I’m not trying to hurt anybody,” McGinn said. “It’s unfortunate he got hurt. I tried to cut him off. I thought him on the shoulder. It’s tough. I got into the lineup tonight and thought I was doing a good job. Having to go right back upstairs kind of sucks. I’m glad the boys got the win.”
But just as the CBC’s all-too-patriotic announcers—I’m like Henrik Zetterberg about this series, offering a solid whatever the hell the Swedish translation of “Meh” is as I’ve got a coworker who’s a Canucks fan and I’m not too happy with the Sharks, either—I think these teams deserve each other for seven hard games—but the fact that the CBC’s usually somewhat partisan tilt when a Canadian team’s involved has gone off the deep end into Canucks Broadcast Corporation territory—missed Ryane Clowe’s clip of his teammate, Logan Couture (who will be OK, per McLellan), they missed McGinn’s subtle check on Ehrhoff, who’s doubtlessly the Canucks’ offensive leader on the blueline.
I’d go so far as to suggest that Ehrhoff is the Canucks’ equivalent of a poor man’s Nicklas Lidstrom, a player who’s simply indispensable, so this news, per NHL.com’s Dan Rosen...
Christian Ehrhoff left Game 3 on Friday with an upper-body injury suffered with 5:40 to play in the first period after McGinn caught him with a shoulder-to-shoulder hit. With 8:38 remaining in the third period, McGinn boarded Aaron Rome, who stayed on the ice for a while and needed help from two trainers to get to the dressing room.
McGinn was issued a five-minute major and a game misconduct, but he could still play in Game 4 pending potential supplemental discipline or a coach’s decision. Rome and Ehrhoff are doubtful, according to Canucks coach Alain Vigneault.
“Yes, both,” was all a terse Vigneault would say about the possibility of not having either in Game 4.
Should, as the Globe and Mail’s Eric Duhatschek suggests, scare the shirts back onto Canucks fans:
Ultimately, the hit on Ehrhoff could do the most long-term damage if he’s out for any length of time. On average, Ehrhoff played the second most minutes on the Canucks, averaging 24 minutes in the regular season and is just a shade over 23 in the playoffs.
Without Ehrhoff, the Canucks were down to five rearguards and when Rome went out, they were down to four. It meant a game-high 25:39 for Dan Hamhuis; 25:23 for Kevin Bieksa; 24:30 for Sami Salo; and 23:21 for Alex Edler. Keith Ballard is available if one or the other cannot go in Sunday’s fourth game.
McGinn explained the Ehrhoff hit this way: “He just pulled up. It was another one, where he just came across. As I said, I’m a player that’s going to finish my check. I took advantage of that. I think I might have hurt him. On all my hits, I’m not trying to hurt anyone. It’s unfortunate he got hurt, but it’s probably good for us.”
Really “good,” like series-changing. He’s that important, and that’s scary, even from a “meh” point of view.
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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.