Montreal Canadiens defenseman Andrei Markov saw his night cut short – by a mere 24 seconds – during the Habs’ playoff opener against the New York Rangers.
Markov was given a 10-minute misconduct late in Wednesday’s game after spearing Blueshirts forward Rick Nash. The play happened right in front of referee Ian Walsh, with the other ref, Dan O’Halloran, watching from the goal line.
The Habs defenseman will receive no further discipline from the NHL’s Department of Player Safety, according to a league source.
The officials immediately sent Markov to the dressing room with a 10-minute misconduct.
From the NHL rulebook:
62.1 Spearing – Spearing shall mean stabbing an opponent with the point of the stick blade, whether contact is made or not.
62.2 Double-minor Penalty – A double-minor penalty will be imposed on a player who spears an opponent and does not make contact.
62.3 Major Penalty – A major penalty shall be imposed on a player who spears an opponent (see 62.5).
62.5 Game Misconduct Penalty – Whenever a major penalty is assessed for spearing, a game misconduct penalty must also be imposed
While it wasn’t a powerful jab, there’s no question Markov made contact. Worse, the game was stopped at the time, so there’s no argument to be made that Markov’s spear was a poor attempt at disrupting the play.
Markov will be in the Montreal lineup for game two, and you can bet that the Rangers — and the officials — will be keeping close watch on his stickwork.