NHL wonít punish Rick Nash for hit on Tomas Kopecky; how did he duck suspension? (Puc
If ever we needed an NHL video on why a suspension or fine wasnít handed out, now would be the time.
According Bob McKenzie of TSN, New York Rangers star Rick Nash will receive no supplemental discipline for that hit on Tomas Kopecky of the Florida Panthers in Thursday nightís game.
Why? Our guesses ...
1. The principal point of contact may not have been the head. Blow up the screen and it appears Nash might have hit Kopecky in the back of the shoulders rather than squarely in the head, although he does eventually knock the helmet off of Kopecky by shoving down with his gloves.
Because, you see, he jumped into the air to hit him.
This may not have been the clear cut Rule 48 we all thought. Again, in theory.
2. There was no injury on the play. Kopecky scored the dagger into an empty net after the hit, giving the Panthers the 3-1 win and prompting Coach Kevin Dineen to say "that's Chumbawamba right there. Ö You get knocked down and get right back up. We're beat up. We have a lot of bodies out, people at home watching. Kopecky wanted to get right back in the fight.''
3. Nash has never been suspended before. As far as we can tell, heís got a clean slate.
So thatís all we got. Otherwise, this is a leaping, reckless hit against a defenseless opponent who had just fired the puck on goal. Itís not Matt Cooke on Marc Savard, in execution or aftermath, but itís a distant second cousin.
Itís a hit that the NHL doesnít want made; but itís a hit that wonít be punished by the NHL, for what ever reason its Department of Player Safety has determined.
The Rangers are tied for the No. 8 seed with the Carolina Hurricanes with 32 points in 30 games. Rick Nash is their leading scorer with 25 points.