Jonathan Toews took a nasty hit from Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg during the second period Thursday night at the TD Garden in Boston.
Toews hit the boards awkwardly and Seidenberg was charged with a boarding call. A boarding call, according to the official league rules is:
“A boarding penalty shall be imposed on any player or goalkeeper who checks or pushes a defenseless opponent in such a manner that causes the opponent to hit or impact the boards violently in the boards. The severity of the penalty, based upon the impact with the boards, shall be at the discretion of the Referee (http://www.nhl.com/ice/page.htm?id=26329).”
Seidenberg only sat in the penalty box for two minutes, a result of his minor penalty and will not face a hearing with the department of player safety because of his actions. Then in defense of Seidenberg, Bruins coach Claude Julien stated after the game that the hit on Toews was legal and was essentially Toews’ fault because he wasn’t paying enough attention to know he was going to get hit.
Let’s flashback to the playoffs last year, Blackhawks v. Blues where Brent Seabrook drilled David Backes into the boards causing the Blues captain to lose consciousness. Seabrook was ejected from the game and subsequently suspended three games during the playoffs. Seabrook, like Seidenberg, could have pulled back from the hit.
Why is the department of player safety not stepping in and punishing Seidenberg? This gross oversight shows that there seems to be no consistency in disciplining players. Players need to know that hits like these are not acceptable and in order to learn that lesson players need to be suspended and fined. If they are not reprimanded then they run the risk of committing such hits again and putting even more players themselves.
It’s time that the department of player safety actually started caring about player safety and treating all players the same, instead of only punishing certain players and letting others get away with the same hits.