Hey, the NHL Playoffs started yesterday! One of the most intriguing first round match-ups is between the Montreal Canadiens and the Ottawa Senators, two of the five, count ’em, five Canadian teams who qualified this year. (Edmonton and Toronto were not invited to the Canadian Spring.) Habs defenseman PK Subban is unquestionably one of the biggest stars of the series, and he made unquestionably one of the biggest plays of the night. The thing about the play though …
That’s Senators rookie (and Calder Trophy contender) Mark Stone that Subban slashed across the wrists in front of goal. It looked like it hurt a lot. PK was given a five-minute major penalty for slashing, which automatically triggers an ejection, according to the rules that CBS Sports lays out here.
The key passage from the rules that applies here is, “When injury occurs, a major penalty must be assessed.” Watch it on a loop, and then ask yourself if it deserved a major and an ejection.
If you’re a Senators fan and your prized young player gets hit like that, you probably are out for blood. But Stone returned to action very quickly, stretching the application of the “causing injury” aspect of the rule. Here was Subban’s reaction when he heard that Stone was back:
Subban’s slashing was definitely a penalty, and also slightly slimy. But if that slashing is grounds for ejection, then maybe slashing should be an automatic ejection, full stop. And I’m sure some Canadiens fans think PK was well within his rights. Luckily (I guess), the Habs still went on to win, 4-3, so the perceived injustice won’t sting as hard this morning. Either way, I’m sure that these two teams will be civil about this going forward.