Minnesota Wild forward Marcus Foligno was ejected from Tuesday’s Game 5 against the Stars for kneeing Dallas forward Radek Faksa.
The puck popped up in the air in the Wild defensive zone. Faksa jumped up to glove it out of the air. As he dropped the puck to the ice to play it, he was hit by Foligno. The Wild forward missed on the body contact, instead connecting in a knee-on-knee hit.
Faksa was helped off the ice, but later returned to the game.
The on-ice officials called a major penalty, which they reviewed and confirmed via video replay.
From Rule 50:
Kneeing is the act of a player leading with his knee and in some cases extending his leg outwards to make contact with his opponent. The Referee, at his discretion, may assess a minor [or major] penalty, based on the severity of the infraction, to a player guilty of kneeing an opponent. When a player has been assessed a major penalty for kneeing he shall also be assessed a Game Misconduct.
The Referee, at his discretion, may assess a match penalty if, in his judgment, the player attempted to or deliberately injured his opponent by kneeing.
There’s no question it was a knee-on-knee hit. Foligno did not appear to be leading with his knee, nor did it appear he positioned his leg to intentionally cause contact.
The officials, though, viewing the clear leg-on-leg contact, opted to enforce the major penalty call.
We’re guessing that this penalty call hasn’t improved Foligno’s opinion of the officials.
Referees for the game were Steve Kozari (#40) and Chris Lee (#28); linesmen were David Brisebois (#96) and Ryan Gibbons (#58).