In an act that surprised the league, not because it was unwarranted but because it didn't take two weeks of meaningless debate, the NHL acted today and suspended Habs forwards Maxime Lapierre for 4 games for his hit on Nichol last night. Nichol never returned to the ice after the hit and is expected to be out 7-10 days. (Gray interprets this as 7-10 GAME days and not consecutive calendar days. Like business days, only longer)
If you missed the hit last night, here it is:
I appreciate hearing the TSN callers view on that hit, though his name is Nichol, not Nichols. It's just nice to get some confirmation from someone who doesn't bleed teal that the hit was questionable at best.
From my seats I never saw the hit itself, I just saw Nichol slam into the boards and curl up into a crumpled version of the fetal position. That's never good. The whole crowd (well, maybe not all of it, but most of it, including some Habs fans) immediately started to boo as play continued. With apologies to Mina's mom (and perhaps my own, though she doesn't read this as regularly and if fully aware that I occasionally say things that make people blink) that call was blown so bad it asked for its money back.
I only ever learn a refs name when he screws up so badly it's on the local evening news. This is how I learned that the man who didn't stop the play last night was Chris Lee. Unlike Mike Cvik and the phantom headbutt, I'm not filled with unadulterated malice towards him due to this non call. Do I understand it? No. Especially having seen the replay about 10 times now. Could he have missed it despite being RIGHT THERE? Maybe.
The Sharks on the ice were unaware who ran Nichol into the boards for at least a few shifts and focused their ire on Markov for awhile (thanks Evilducks), so other people on the ice obviously missed it. I don't know if Markov minded the extra attention much, considering everyone was taking swings at one another after awhile, but I doubt he was happy about it. There was just no control of that game at all by the refs. None at all.
We could figure out why the two teams were so mad at each other, but aside from the crazy cross checking and things, it did make for an entertaining game.
As an aside, I'd like to make sure that if those Habs fans two rows in front of us are reading this they know that we were as offended by the comments made by the people behind us as they likely were. We were also extraordinarily embarrassed. If it helps, I'm pretty sure the guys behind us were sincere in their belief that you guys weren't also fluent in English. Quite frankly, I'm surprised they knew you spoke French.
They were also pretty convinced Nabby never stood for the anthem(s) because he's Canadian, so, that should tell you something.