Ottawa Senators forward Austin Watson will avoid supplemental discipline for a hit that saw him ejected from Thursday’s game against the New York Rangers.
Watson received a major penalty for for charging Rangers’ forward Tyler Motte. The Sens forward hit Motte along the boards, appearing to leave his feet and make contact with his left elbow.
Referees Peter MacDougall and Pierre Lambert reviewed the play, confirming the call on the ice. (Note that all penalty reviews are handled entirely by the on-ice officials; the Situation Room does not weigh in on those determinations.)
Charging is covered in Rule 42:
A minor or major penalty shall be imposed on a player who skates, jumps into or charges an opponent in any manner. Charging shall mean the actions of a player who, as a result of distance traveled, shall violently check an opponent in any manner. A “charge” may be the result of a check into the boards, into the goal frame or in open ice.
The Referee, at his discretion, may assess a [minor or major] penalty, based on the degree of violence of the check, to a player guilty of charging an opponent. When a major penalty is imposed under this rule for a foul resulting in an injury to the face or head of an opponent, a game misconduct shall be imposed.
The Referee, at his discretion, may assess a match penalty if, in his judgment, the player attempted to or deliberately injured his opponent by charging.
Motte was injured on the play and did not return to the game. The two players were teammates up until two weeks ago, when Motte was flipped to the Rangers for Julien Gauthier.
The NHL’s Department of Player Safety opted not to levy any additional discipline to Watson for the hit.
ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski reported that Player Safety “determined the play wasn’t charging and criteria didn’t rise to Illegal Check to the Head. North/south hit through the body with unavoidable head contact.”
Ouch. No further disciplinary action and they throw the refs under the bus.
The Senators won the game 5-3. Referees were Pierre Lambert (#37) and Peter MacDougall (#38) with linesmen Michel Cormier (#76) and Matt MacPherson (#83).