Late in the second period of tonight’s Game 6, Charlie McAvoy lined up Josh Anderson as he came across the blue line and flattened the Columbus forward.
Anderson had the puck, but it looked like McAvoy made a lot of contact with Anderson’s head. Anderson went down and stayed down for a bit. McAvoy was assessed a two-minute minor, and Columbus didn’t score on the PP.
The hit, from Chris:
When I saw it live, I thought for sure it was going to be the end of McAvoy’s night. I assumed it’d be 5 and a game; turns out it was only two.
By the book, it looks like the officials got it right...kind of.
Well then. By the book, the refs on the ice called it correctly, because there’s apparently no provision in the rule book for a hit to the head to be a major penalty. Can that possibly be right?
Yes, of course. It’s the NHL.
At first blush, it looked like the ref ahead of the play was signaling that McAvoy was tossed (you can see a hand motion at one of the angles); the refs huddled, and McAvoy was given two.
There were some Bruins fans arguing that McAvoy got chest first, but it sure looked like it was mostly Anderson’s head.
Regardless, it seems like the officials weren’t able to call anything more than a minor, though they could have tacked on a game misconduct.
Ultimately, it looks like the refs called what they could. Columbus fans, understandably, will be incensed; it’s hard to blame them.
But it’s just like the Artemi Panarin gift goal in Game 4: it was called correctly according to the letter of the law, but the “law” needs to be changed.
I feel like most Bruins fans can agree that the hit probably deserved more than a minor. It’s silly to think in hypotheticals, but the fury would be burning down our servers if Zach Werenski threw that hit on David Pastrnak.
(I don’t really agree with those who point to the Dean Kukan elbow on David Backes as being similar, but that’s a whole separate discussion.)
Anderson and McAvoy met again after the game, and it sure looked like Anderson said something like “don’t worry about it.”
My guess is that McAvoy ends up getting suspended for a game, like Joe Thornton got earlier this playoffs for his hit on Tomas Nosek.
The major caveat there: it’s the NHL, so you never know.
Your thoughts on the hit? The call? The rule?