The Hitting Zone

The NHL just makes it up as they go along, why can't we?

Taking a Look at the McGinn Hit

Late in the 3rd period of Game 3 in the Western Conference Final Sharks Left Winger Jamie McGinn decided to take a nice long run at Canucks defender Aaron Rome.  The game was 4-1 at that point and not really in doubt for the Sharks as they looked to narrow the gap in the WCF to a 2-1 margin.  The penalty assessed on the ice was a 5 Minute Major and a Game Misconduct, tossing McGinn for the remaining eight and a half minutes.

The problematic thing about this for me is that McGinn honestly thought he deserved to remain in the game as evidenced by his reaction to the Misconduct call on the ice.  Rome is showing him nothing but numbers as he is retrieving the puck.  He shows him nothing but numbers for more than an adequate period of time.  McGinn was not duped into hitting  player who turned his back at the last minute.  The hit was intended to deliver a blow, maybe in a last ditch attempt to rally his team.  Trying to divine more about McGinn’s desired result is an exercise in clairvoyance, which none of us are.  However we can discuss the place for this type of hit in the game.

The ejection will trigger an auto-review from league excuse monger discipline czar Colin Campbell.  This is a Conference Final.  Don’t expect there to be much response..  Let me attempt to predict the future statement:

After reviewing the play on the ice it is determined that Mr. McGinn hit Mr. Rome in the back but was within the standard accepted deviation of the recognized behind the net “Hitting Zone” that the NHL deems the penalty assessed on the ice to be adequate discipline in this matter.  Case closed.  

No way they hand down a suspension or fine with the 5 minute major and Game Misconduct on the board.  Write it down.

What is troubling is that this is yet another wreckless hit that could have seriously injured a player and the NHL will likely feel that the additional 3:30 McGinn served on top of the Major penalty is a sufficient deterrent for others.  It won’t deter anything until there is a long term meaningful impact on a team when one of their players makes a play like this.  If the NHL has proven anything this year it is that it doesn’t think it has a problem whatsoever with a total lack of respect from player to player.

Garage League, you wait and see; they’ll prove us right again.

Written by ozman51

May 21, 2011 at 8:00 AM

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  1. […] that Colin Campbell handed down zero additional sanction on the Sharks left winger for his blatant and dangerous board of Canucks defender Aaron Rome.  It continues to be very obvious that the NHL has no interest […]


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