Philadelphia Flyers blueliner Radko Gudas won’t face further discipline for clipping Montreal’s Lucas Lessio in Tuesday night’s game. Gudas came in low, connecting with the left knee of the Canadiens player.
There was no immediate call on the hit, and the Flyers regained possession of the puck. Moments, later the whistle blew to halt the game. With play stopped, veteran linesman Greg Devorski reported the penalty to referees Steve Kozari and Kyle Rehman, who assessed the major penalty.
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Gudas was give a five-minute major for clipping, which is defined by NHL Rule 44:
“Clipping is the act of throwing the body, from any direction, across or below the knees of an opponent.”
“A player may not deliver a check in a “clipping” manner, nor lower his own body position to deliver a check on or below an opponent’s
“An illegal “low hit” is a check that is delivered by a player who may or may not have both skates on the ice, with his sole intent to check the opponent in the area of his knees. A player may not lower his body position to deliver a check to an opponent’s knees. “
If there’s an injury on the play, the player must be assessed a major penalty, as well as an automatic game misconduct penalty.
Gudas was frustrated with the call, snapping his stick on the way to the locker room.
Referee Kerry Fraser, with the benefit of replay, disagreed with the call, though he understood why the call was made:
“Radko Gudas set himself in a low posture to deliver what ultimately became a poorly timed hip check attempt that went bad against Lucas Lessio. I do not believe there was any deliberate intent on the part of Gudas to deliver an illegal hit to the knees of Lessio and therefore no suspension will or should result to the Philadelphia player.”
“As a result of the knee injury that Lucas Lessio sustained as a result of the low approach from Gudas I do not fault the Officials for determining that a clipping infraction had been committed by the Flyer’s defenceman; albeit after the fact.”
Philadelphia was able to kill off the major penalty and hang on for an eventual 4-2 victory.
Montreal defenseman P.K. Subban spoke about the hit after the game, as reported by Philly.com:
“I thought it was low. I mean, when I saw the replay on the screen in front of the bench — I didn’t see it live — it looked like it was low. I don’t know the player personally but it seems like when you’re on the ice with him he’s the type of guy who will do stuff like that.”
I don’t think it’s anything that reflects on their team. They have guys that play the game hard and finish their checks, which you need to respect. But I don’t respect guys that do hits like that. You know what you’re doing in that situation, and I thought it was low.”
Gudas was suspended for three games earlier this season for an illegal check to the head of Ottawa’s Mike Zibanejad.