Los Angeles Kings forward Brendan Lemieux was tossed from Monday’s game for boarding New York Rangers defenseman Ryan Lindgren.
Lemieux’s hit on Lindgren came with 3:20 remaining in the opening period. The Kings winger drove his former teammate into the boards, hitting him right through the numbers behind the New York net.
Lindgren took exception, chasing down Lemieux and crosschecking him in the back.
Lemieux was given a major for boarding and a game misconduct. Lindgren picked up a minor penalty for a retaliatory cross-check.
Referees Ghislain Hebert and Francois St. Laurent reviewed the hit, with the option to confirm the call on the ice or reduce it to minor. That determination is made solely by the referees, not by the league’s Situation Room.
After a quick look, the call was confirmed. Lemieux headed off, his night done.
Here’s the boarding rule:
41.1 Boarding – 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.
The officials can hand out a minor or major penalty, depending on the degree of violence of the impact with the boards. A major penalty call where the hit results in an injury to the opponent’s face or head requires a game misconduct.
Lemeiux picked up the game misconduct due to the injury. Lindgren was cut on the play and required medical treatment. He did stay in the game.
With the penalties assessed at the same stoppage, but for different lengths, they could not cancel out. The teams skated 4-on-4 for two minutes, with Lindgren eligible to return after the time on his penalty expired, giving the Rangers a three-minute power play late in the period.
The Rangers took advantage, with Chris Krieder scoring his league-leading 30th goal of the season to put New York up 1-0.
The Blueshirts won the game 3-2 in overtime. Referees for the game were Ghislain Hebert (#22) and Francois St. Laurent (#8). Linesmen were Steve Barton (#59) and David Brisebois (#96).
Player Safety is reviewing the hit. No word yet on if they’ll hit Lemieux with any supplemental discipline. He was suspended five games earlier this season for biting.