Vancouver’s Alex Burrows is no stranger to playing on the edge. Tonight, he was on the receiving end of a hit that looked to be over it. Minnesota Wild forward Nino Niederreiter cleaned the Canucks winger’s clock with an open ice hit.
Niederreiter was given a two-minute minor for interference. He was penalized for the contact, but not for the head shot.
Burrows immediately headed off the ice. He would return later in the period.
— Vancouver Canucks (@VanCanucks) March 27, 2014
Burrows has battled through four different injuries this season, limited to just 40 games in the Canucks’ lineup.
More punishment may be on the way for Niederreiter. The league will certainly be reviewing and discussing the play tonight. Don’t be surprised if Brendan Shanahan and the Department of Player Safety come calling tomorrow.
Mike Milbury disagrees.
Millbury keeps saying this "well timed hit" thing about Nino putting a shoulder into Burrows head…seriously what is he watching?
— Shawn Dulin (@ShawnDulin) March 27, 2014
Referees for the game were Mike Leggo (#3) and Justin St. Pierre (#12).
Here’s the full video of the play:
UPDATE: The NHL’s Department of Player Safety reviewed it, and they won’t be sentencing Niederreiter to anything further.
— Michael Russo (@Russostrib) March 27, 2014
Nino Niederreiter won't have a hearing for his hit on Alex Burrows, but will likely get lots of thank you texts from many NHL players :)
— Michael Augello (@MikeInBuffalo) March 27, 2014
From the Department of Player Safety:
Niederreiter makes full body contact. While there is contact to head, refer to rule 48 points (i) & (ii). In spite of some head contact, Niederreiter hits squarely through the body. He does not “pick” the head as a result of poor timing, poor angle of approach, or unnecessary extension upward or outward. We believe that some head contact on this otherwise full bodycheck was unavoidable. The reverse angle shows this most clearly.