The above video is being passed around the hockey interwebz this morning from the end of yesterday’s Islanders/Penguins game. There was a melee around the final buzzer, and a linesman, trying to get around Kris Letang, makes some minor contact with him. An annoyed Letang tries to put his stick on the liney – who he clearly knows is a liney, by the way – and give him a little shove. It comes off as Letang trying to crosscheck an official.

I’m well aware that it’s not cool to make contact with an official in any way, but stripped of it’s context – the crazy energy of that game, fights just starting, the contact between them and all – the play looks a lot worse than it is. I’m pretty sure this is the last we’ll hear of this. If not…yikes.

(S/t to @BobbyBows)

Comments (15)

  1. I’m assuming they do, but do NHL officials verbally announce themselves when coming up behind a player? In beer league it’s hit or miss. And because of it I’ve seen a few refs get popped or elbowed as a player thinks it’s a guy from the other team grabbing him.

    Now, Letang does look at him, but the ref is in tight enough and it happens fast enough maybe Letang see’s the official but doesn’t realize it’s an official? I think we’ve all done something in the heat of the moment without actually realizing who or what was involved.

    • Please! He knew what he was doing and who he was doing it to. But no need to worry pens fans, you guys get away with everything. If Matt Martin had done that we wouldn’t see him on the Ice until November.

  2. 40.2 Automatic Suspension – Category I – Any player who deliberately
    strikes an official and causes injury or who deliberately applies
    physical force in any manner against an official with intent to injure, or
    who in any manner attempts to injure an official shall be automatically
    suspended for not less than twenty (20) games. (For the purpose of
    the rule, “intent to injure” shall mean any physical force which a player
    knew or should have known could reasonably be expected to cause
    injury.)

    • I very much doubt they’d call it as “intent to injure” — they’d probably go with Category II, which is a “mere” 10 game suspension. That said — I doubt they’ll do anything. Not because he’s a Pen (and what a damnfool theory that is) but because of the context and refs not wanting to determine the outcome of a game (let alone a series).

      • Well they sure decided the outcome of game 3 with that weak call on strait in OT, pens have gotten away with a lot worse. If they called it down the middle it wouldn’t be an issue, but the two games on LI the refs are clearly giving the pens a lot more calls

      • The only sports I know that allows contestants to touch officials are Pro Wrestling and Roller Derby. If the NHL doesn’t protect its on ice officials from harm, especially after the whisle, then its the NHL credibility that will suffer as looking like a sham sport.

        It’s hard enough for the refs to stay out of the way but you never see any one deliberately hitting them like this. What’s the difference between being cross checked or elbowed. They only way you can getaway with an illegal hit is to do it to a teammate. I’ve never seen this before. So the NHL needs to show that this can’t be tolerated or the message they can.

  3. Sorry, didn’t see “yikes” as a link to rule 40.

  4. Flyers fan…hate Letang but I more or less take Justin’s view point on this. Morrow smashing Cizikas head into the ice seems much more suspendable in a league trying to prevent head shots. But if I doubt Morrow will hear from the league because he plays for the penguins and I wear a tin foil hat.

  5. “…stripped of *its* context…”

    /Grammar Nazi

  6. Geez louise – didn’t watch the game (so the context isn’t completely clear to me), but I actually wouldn’t mind if Letang did get suspended for this stupidity. I do mind it when even my favorite team takes liberties with the rules of the game, regardless of how important that player is to the team. Clearly, with the Pens making all sorts of dumb hockey plays that don’t justify their presence in the playoffs – I doubt any player on the team is “important” at this point.

    Cheap shots against players, or especially in this case – an official, should not be ignored, no matter if it’s an exhibition game or game 6 of the finals. In 4 games, the Pens are NOT the better team, and crap like this will continue to put them at a disadvantage. How anyone thinks they’re Cup favorites is beyond me, because if they bow to the Isles this round, that’ll make 3 straight first round exits.

  7. Didn’t Jannik Hansen or someone else on the Canucks cross check a linesman at a faceoff earlier in the season? If the NHL didn’t suspend him, then it is really hard to see Letang getting anything for this incident in the playoffs…

  8. Bullshit, he made aggressive contact on the ref. If a less star player did this, no question , he would suffer the consequences. The Pens are getting quite frustrated by giving up so many goals to a less superstar squad, no cakewalk now. If a player in any other major sport did that, action would be taken. Let’s just wait and see if the same rules apply to Norris trophy candidates and number one seeded teams.

  9. If they went by the so called “Book” on the kicked in gaol aginst Montreal, why won’t they go by the book and suspend Letang?????

    makes you wonder who the league wants to move ahead in the playoffs. How much would they expect to lose if pittsburgh goes out against NYI???

    If you are going by the book, suspend him. PERIOD.

  10. He should get 10 games by rule but he’s a pen so no penalty. Just like 08-09 Malkin gets an integrator in last 5 min by rule a game misconduct and 1 game sit but nooooo the NHL needs the pens to win that series so they don’t suspend him and then allow 1:20 of 6 on 5 with no call.

  11. Wow really?!?!

    Geez, I didn’t realize how …….never mind.

    Okay, here is what happend for those that don’t understand hockey: Letang pushed the linesman towards the scuffle, probably because the linesman asked him for a push.

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