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The Hit On Nikita Kucherov

from John Romano of the Tampa Bay Times,

...this is neither condemnation nor complaint. It is simply a question.

Is this what the NHL wants?

By that, I mean superstars sprawled on the ice. Referees acting as if they see nothing. And league officials promoting the narrative of the Stanley Cup being the most difficult trophy to win by turning the entire postseason into a war of attrition.

It is impossible to tell the story of New York’s 3-2 overtime win in Game 6 on Wednesday night without exploring the play that knocked Nikita Kucherov out of the game on his first shift.

The puck was elsewhere on the ice when New York defenseman Scott Mayfield cross-checked Kucherov with a referee facing them from just a few feet away. There was no penalty called on the play, and seconds later Kucherov skated off the ice and into the night. Lightning coach Jon Cooper said after the game he had no update on Kucherov’s injury.

“They said they didn’t think it was malicious or anything. So it is what it is,” Lightning captain Steven Stamkos said. “They don’t have the chance to look at it on replay like we do. We’re not going to complain about the officiating. Nothing we can do about it now.”

If that was the explanation, it has a whiff of truth to it. While the play clearly injured Kucherov, it was not the type of violent hit that immediately makes you wince. But that doesn’t change the reality that it was a penalty. A clear, blatant penalty that ultimately sent the best player on the ice into the locker room for the remainder of one of the most important games of the year.

So, again, is this what the NHL wants?

more

Below watch the incident...

Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Comments

Kaszycki and his Krew's avatar

Sorry he got hurt.  He is an elite player.  I noticed he was hurting and left the ice….right by where we were sitting.  But BOTH teams were laying lumber.  I was trying to post a picture I snapped of a different hit made by Tampa which was dangerous as well, but you saw the game.

I hope he is back for Game 7.  The guy who replaced him on Point’s line (Cirelli) was a killer last night.

Posted by Kaszycki and his Krew on 06/24/21 at 08:25 AM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

Let me reach into that little pocket in my jeans that nobody knows that its for, and see if there’s a violin in there for this sad song.

I’m sorry but Romano needs to run not walk to the nearest Tampa Bay Area beach and pound himself some sand with his writing hand.  The problem with this BS take is that we have all been watching the stickwork of Sergachev Coleman McDonough and other Bolts for three rounds of the playoffs including last night, so pardon me if my heart doesn’t gently weep.

Posted by MurrayChadwick from YzerHolland2.0's pixie dust fueled bandwagon on 06/24/21 at 08:38 AM ET

Avatar

I did not see Tampa complaining when the same Islanders BS took out the Penguins or the Bruins.

Posted by gretzky_to_lemieux on 06/24/21 at 12:20 PM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

And league officials promoting the narrative of the Stanley Cup being the most difficult trophy to win by turning the entire postseason into a war of attrition.

Injuries and officiating. Trademark HTT….RIP old man.

Welcome to the Bigs, Romano.

Posted by mrfluffy from the phone, calling Detroit, telling them it's on 06/24/21 at 12:36 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Want some cheddar cheese and crackers with that whine, Romano???

Posted by SYF from impossible and oddly communally possessive sluts on 06/24/21 at 01:31 PM ET

bigfrog's avatar

Refs letting a lot go on both sides. confused

Posted by bigfrog on 06/24/21 at 01:55 PM ET

Down River Dan's avatar

Nobody likes seeing players injured, superstar or 4th liner, from dirty hits. I’m not sure anyone, other than Kucherov, knows when he was injured. Was it the cross-check that some seem upset about? Was it the perfectly clean body check that happened minutes later? Perhaps Kucherov was already nursing a set of sore ribs, and this was exacerbated from the cross-check and or the collision along the boards?

Guys battling on the ice holding a wooden/composite stick are going to sometimes use the stick on opponents when caught up in the moment.

All the outrage surrounding this incident bothers me because some of the loud voices in the room are calling for tighter enforcement when it happens to McDavid, Matthews,Crosby…etc and this will only lead to two sets of pentacles: one for superstars and one for everyone else.

With officiating so under microscope currently, do we really want to ask the officials to juggle two sets of rules while the game gets faster and tougher to officiate. Ok, there was a cross-check…oh but it was on Tomas Holmstrom..that’s ok…seconds later McDavid gets same hit…yep that’s a penalty..

Perhaps if the league didn’t force the officials to call every ridiculous tickytack hook, they could enforce infractions that should be eliminated from the game…like..oh I don’t know… cross-checks or charging or elbowing…

Posted by Down River Dan on 06/24/21 at 02:38 PM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

Posted by Down River Dan on 06/24/21 at 02:38 PM ET

Better said, you don’t want the NHL call standard to become what it is in the NBA

Posted by MurrayChadwick from YzerHolland2.0's pixie dust fueled bandwagon on 06/24/21 at 03:16 PM ET

bigfrog's avatar

Players like Crosby get away with infractions, which is a big part of the problem. cool mad

Posted by bigfrog on 06/24/21 at 04:04 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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