Seattle Kraken defenseman Jeremy Lauzon avoided a boarding call for a dangerous hit on Edmonton Oilers center Colton Sceviour.



Lauzon hit Sceviour right in the numbers early in the first period of Saturday’s game in Seattle.  No penalty was called on the hit.

Boarding is covered by Rule 41:

A boarding penalty shall be imposed on any player who checks or pushes a defenseless opponent in such a manner that causes the opponent to hit or impact the boards violently or dangerously. The severity of the penalty, based upon the impact with the boards, shall be at the discretion of the Referee.

There is an enormous amount of judgment involved in the application of this rule by the Referees. The onus is on the player applying the check to ensure his opponent is not in a defenseless position and if so, he must avoid or minimize contact. However, in determining whether such contact could have been avoided, the circumstances of the check, including whether the opponent put himself in a vulnerable position immediately prior to or simultaneously with the check or whether the check was unavoidable can be considered. This balance must be considered by the Referees when applying this rule.

A player can be given a minor or major penalty depending on the degree of violence of the hit.  Attempt to injure requires a match penalty.

Sceviour objected to the hit and crosschecked Lauzon, who dropped the gloves and went after the Oilers forward. Lauzon landed a number of punches before Sceviour’s gloves even hit the ice. Both players were  issued major penalties for fighting.

While the instigator penalty is rarely called, those instances when it is often come after a controversial hit.

An instigator of an altercation shall be a player who by his actions or demeanor demonstrates any/some of the following criteria: distance traveled; gloves off first; first punch thrown; menacing attitude or posture; verbal instigation or threats; conduct in retaliation to a prior game (or season) incident; obvious retribution for a previous incident in the game or season.

Lauzon was clearly trying to get the jump on Sceviour, who he anticipated would be looking for retribution after the hit.

Referees for the game were Jon McIsaac and Wes McCauley. Linesmen were Dan Kelly and Travis Gawryletz.