It’s been a tough start to the season for Dan Girardi.
The New York Rangers defenseman missed the first three games with a groin injury. On Wednesday night versus the Boston Bruins, he appears to have escaped his fourth game of the year without a concussion.
At 10:55 of the second period, Girardi reaches up in an attempt to catch the puck in the air. It bounces off his glove and behind him. He starts to spin around in the direction of the puck, but the direction he chose to spin into is right in the way of the on rushing David Pastrnak.
Pastrnak turns and his shoulder makes direct contact with Girardi’s head. The Bruins’ forward’s skates look as if they come off the ice right before or simultaneously to the contact with Girardi.
Girardi left the ice on his own power. He was gone for about seven minutes before returning to play one shift in the second and the entire third period. Pastrnak was assessed a two-minute illegal check to the head penalty.
Now the question remains: will Pastrnak get a phone call from the Department of Player Safety? A few things to consider.
Despite being in a defenseless position Girardi was eligible to be hit, but not in the head (duh). What DoPS is probably going to look at is how Pastrnak could have avoided contact with Girardi’s head. Did Pastrnak actually launch himself upwards into Girardi’s head or was it incidental? The skates leaving the ice is never a good sign. Yet, Girardi was not injured and finished the game.
Should Stephane Quintal decide to throw the hammer down, losing Pastrnak for any amount of time will be a blow to the Bruins offense. He is the leading goal scorer on the team with five goals and second on the team in points with eight.
Boston’s David Pastrnak will have a hearing tomorrow for charging/ illegal check to the head on NY Rangers’ Dan Girardi.
— NHL Player Safety (@NHLPlayerSafety) October 27, 2016