Columbus Blue Jackets forward Sean Kuraly had a major penalty for boarding reduced to a two-minute minor after review.
Kuraly delivered a hard hit to New York Rangers’ defenseman Ryan Lindgren in the corner. The initial point of contact appeared to be Lindgren’s chest, with Kuraly elevating his elbow on the follow-through, driving Lindgren’s head into the glass.
The Blueshirts’ blueliner was helped off the ice and did not return to the game.
Referees Kevin Pollock and Brandon Blandina reviewed the play in accordance with Rule 20.6:
Referees shall review all plays that result in the assessment of any Major Penalty (other than a Major Penalty for Fighting) for the purpose of confirming (or modifying) their original call on the ice.
The Referee shall have the following options after video review of his own call: (i) confirming his original Major Penalty call; (ii) reducing his original Major Penalty call to a lesser penalty; or (iii) rescinding the original Major Penalty altogether.
While the NHL’s Situation Room helps out with the video replay, they do not provide any input on this review. Unlike Coach’s Challenges, this call is entirely up to the on-ice officials.
After review, Kuraly’s penalty was reduced to a minor.
The difference between a minor and major penalty for boarding comes down to the ‘degree of violence’ of the hit.
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.
“I thought they had the right call originally,” said Rangers head coach Peter Laviolette. “There was something going on through the course of the game with both of those guys. [Kuraly’s] elbow clearly took him in the head.”
Lindgren is currently day-to-day with an upper body injury.
The Rangers went on to win the game 4-3 in a shootout. Referees were Kevin Pollock (#33) and Brandon Blandina (#39) with linesmen Travis Gawryletz (#67) and Matt MacPherson (#83).