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Could Torey Krug be suspended for last night's fight?

By the book, he should be.

Tampa Bay Lightning v Boston Bruins - Game Three Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

In the dying minutes of last night’s 8-5 loss to the Vancouver Canucks, Torey Krug and the Bruins decided to show some fight — literally.

With the B’s down three goals and the game out of reach, Joakim Nordstrom got flattened at the blue line by Darren Archibald.

The hit was hard, but it was clean. Nordstrom appeared no worse for wear, but Krug thought it was time to send a message. Charging forward from the defensive zone, Krug squared up with Archibald and tossed his gloves aside.

The two scrapped briefly, but it wasn’t exactly a heavyweight bout. Both received fighting majors, ending their respective nights, and that’s that, right?

Maybe not.

Per the official game box score, Krug was given five minutes for fighting and an instigator penalty because he started the fight. Due to the fight occurring in the last five minutes of regulation, that instigator also comes with an automatic game misconduct.

From NHL Rule 46.22:

”A player who is deemed to be the instigator of an altercation in the final five minutes of regulation time...shall be suspended for one game, pending a review of the incident. When the one-game suspension is imposed, the Coach shall be fined $10,000.”

Can Krug appeal? No, but:

”The suspension shall be served unless, upon review of the incident, the Director of Hockey Operations...deems the incident is not related to the score, previous incidents in the game or prior games, retaliatory in nature, “message sending”, etc.”

By the book, it doesn’t look good. It’s hard to argue that Krug’s desire to fight wasn’t related to “previous incidents” or wasn’t “retaliatory in nature.”

However, the spirit of the rule is to prevent massive fracases from breaking out when a team is down 10-2 and there are scores to settle from previous games. In this case, Krug was simply sticking up for a teammate in response to an incident that had occurred seconds earlier.

My guess is that the league ends up rescinding the automatic suspension, but there’s a chance the B’s are without Krug’s services for tomorrow’s big game against the Maple Leafs.

Thanks to Jeffo20, whose comment reminded me that this needed to be posted.