The Wild are already behind the 8-ball with Tuesday’s news of Zach Parise going down for what will likely be the remainder of the post-season, regardless of how far the Minnesota Wild might go. So here we are, late in the first period of Game 4 with the Wild on a power play and... Well, I’ll just let the gif do the talking here.
Morrissey cross checks Staal in the ear pic.twitter.com/9k5A494GPd— CJ Fogler (@cjzero) April 18, 2018
There was a lot of garbage tweets going around twitter since Sunday’s game. Delusional Winnipeg Jets fans and bloggers calling for the head of Marcus Foligno for “targeting” his off-ice buddy with an intent to injure. We’re not going to get into that here, I said all I needed to about that in today’s walk. However, I’d like to take a moment to let you fans know, the gif above IS what targeting looks like.
Josh Morrissey had all the time in the world. He wasn’t off balance, he wasn’t being hit or falling down. Any of those intangibles whiny Jets fans can’t wrap their heads around. Morrissey just casually skates up to Eric Staal, raises his stick above his shoulders and targets Staal’s face. Staal has a good 3 or 4 inches on Morrissey to boot! He really had to raise his stick up to make that kind of contact.
It doesn’t get any more crystal clear than that and if the NHL Department of Player Safety doesn’t throw the book at Morrissey for his intent to injure on this one, I firstly wouldn’t be at all surprised but I would also be extremely disappointed and everyone in that office should probably be fired for incompetence. In a league trying to eliminate contact with the head, there’s no excuse for the refs to miss that and there is absolutely no reason the DoPS should sit on their hands with this one.
Staal cross-checked in the face by Morrissey, and the refs both just watch it.— Michael Russo (@RussoHockey) April 18, 2018
Last game Big Buff cross-checked Staal in the back of the neck and no call
The refs just watched it happen! Are you kidding me!? I’m not one to call shenanigans on the officiating. It’s a tough job and they do make mistakes. This though, I just don’t see how you miss it when he’s standing in the middle of the ice all by himself and get casually dumped like a sack of potatoes. Then, Morrissey stands there throwing his hands up like “I didn’t touch him, why did he go down?”
To be completely fair, Morrissey is known for being a physical presence out there, but has not been in the sights of the DoPS for an prior infractions, including this very questionable hit against the Bruins Matt Grzelcyk just a few weeks ago.
Eric Staal would leave the game only briefly, aided in part by the end of the period. He would return to action for the 2nd period and with that I’ll take this moment to remind you that supplemental discipline, or in this case, any discipline at all, should not be determined by how injured a player is, but by the action and intent of the offending player. Being this is the playoffs, he would likely only miss a game or two if the NHL takes up the case. The pure egregiousness of the hit however should warrant a stiffer penalty.
Then again, the NHL seems to only be serious about head injuries during off-season press conferences.