Tough hockey or cheap shot?
Minnesota Wild defenseman Keith Ballard appeared to suffer a seizure of some sort after he was checked last night by New York Islander forward Matt Martin.
Here’s the hit.
There was no penalty called on the play. Why not?
CBS’ Adam Gretz says it’s because the league can’t or won’t decide what constitutes a late hit.
In the aftermath of the Robert Bortuzzo-Jaromir Jagr hit last week there was a lot of discussion as to how much time has to pass for the NHL to consider a hit to be late (.50 seconds seems to be the unofficial-official standard).
But the bottom line is you’re not allowed to hit a guy that doesn’t have the puck, and the whole concept of “finishing your check” doesn’t give you the freedom to take a run at a guy after he’s already given up the puck. If you have already started the process of checking a guy, and then he passes it or shoots it, you are allowed to “finish” that.
But if you start the process of the check after the guy has given up the puck, which seems to happen here, that is probably not going to fly with the league. Especially when there is a significant injury on the play and since Martin showed no sign of letting up.
On Martin’s next shift on the ice Wild forward Kyle Brodziak started a fight with Martin. The Wild scored five goals in a big comeback and everyone went home happy.
Ballard went to the hospital.