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Matt Dumba made Sharks look like stupid losers

It was clean, that’s all we’re saying.

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NHL: Minnesota Wild at San Jose Sharks Robert Edwards-USA TODAY Sports

It turns out that the San Jose Sharks apparently cannot handle a teammate being involved in a normal hockey play.

During Thursday night’s matchup in San Jose, our beloved Minnesota Wild defenseman Matt Dumba laid out a massive open-ice hit and made Matt Nieto sit his ass down on his blue line. But of course, the Sharks went on to cry about Dumba doing a very Normal Hockey Thing and making an opposing player look foolish. Both Kevin Labanc and Jaycob Megna both tried (and the latter succeeded) to pick fights with Dumba after, again, a very normal thing.

Dumba clearly did not expect having to answer for the hit. He turned around and went to get his attention back to the puck, but was met by Labanc, who was tugging at his collar, and then Megna stepped in and dropped his gloves. Since the Wild defenseman is no stranger to fighting, he accepted eventually, but it was clearly initiated by the Sharks blueliner. Dumba did not even have both gloves off by the time Megna attempted his first punch, as the Wild defenseman had to shake his right mitt loose before going for an upper cut.

This whole sequence has become way too familiar in the NHL the last few years. Someone executes a picture-perfect hit resulting in no injury — just some embarrassment — and then a swarm of the hitee’s teammates forms around the hitter. It’s silly and stupid!

Of course, the context that this whole series of events caused the Wild to slip and lose control of the eventual 5-2 loss, only adds to the frustration.

With Megna clearly initiating the fight, this should have been a textbook case of an instigator penalty and the Sharks blueliner should have been kicked out of the game and the Wild awarded a power play. But no, this was ruled as an even fight and it was just two standard fighting majors dished out. Of course, head coach Dean Evason lost his cool on the bench to the two officials for this boneheaded refereeing and was rightfully frustrated at Dumba having to respond.

“If you make a clean hit, you shouldn’t have to be confronted by two people before you fight,” Evason said after the game, via The Athletic. “That doesn’t make any sense. One guy grabs him and he jostles with that guy and punches back and forth. And then another guy comes in and he has to fight for a clean hit. That shouldn’t be in our game. That was the key point in the game.”

With the teams at even-strength, Mason Shaw had his scheduled shift just a minute after the fight and with some energy needed to be lifted — and the young Minnesota winger doing his usual hard-nosed play — he went for a hit on Evgeny Svechnikov that ended up being the last play he made in the game.

With the ill-timed hit and the knee-on-knee collision that was the result, Shaw was kicked out of the game and the Wild had to have a five-minute penalty kill down by one goal. And of course, Timo Meier made the Wild suffer and gave his Sharks a 3-1 lead just 33 seconds into their man advantage.

So, thanks to some stupid officiating and not being able to recognize who started a fight and dealing out the right calls, the game slipped away from the Wild. At least we know that the entire Sharks roster is filled with sensitive players that clutch their pearls whenever someone is capable of laying out a massive and powerful hit.