It was a busy week of borderline and over the line hits and another was added to the pile Sunday night, during Anaheim’s 6-3 win over Dallas.
A little more than five minutes into the second period, Dallas’ Ryan Garbutt came across the ice out of the penalty box and caught Dustin Penner with a high hit. There was no penalty on the play. It doesn’t appear as though Garbutt used his elbow (his arm seems to be tucked in), but there’s no doubting he leaped into his check. While you’re taught to explode up with your shoulder to hit, jumping at a player is a definite charge.
Penner, who was obviously shaken up on the play, had to leave the game and did not return. And while Garbutt doesn’t have a suspension history – and has only 69 penalty minutes in 63 NHL games – this one makes you think. It’s unnecessary, an illegal play missed by the refs, and caused an injury. It’s also the kind of high hit the NHL is trying to chase out of the game.
It has the feel of an introductory short suspension from the NHL. What do you think: should Brendan Shanahan rule against Ryan Garbutt?