Some thoughts from the NHL on TSN panel on Monday night:
There's no question in my mind that there will be a suspension for Aaron Rome because his hit on Nathan Horton was late. The National Hockey League has a standard, and that standard is any hit beyond half a second after the player has released the puck leads to an interference penalty. This was almost a full second.
Some may say that the difference isn't all that much, but it is in the eyes of the NHL. The five-minute major was warranted, the game misconduct was warranted, and I'd be shocked if there isn't a one-game suspension at least for Rome in this situation.
There will be others calling for Rome to be suspended for the duration of the series, and it's understandable when you see a player like Nathan Horton go down and suffer the kind of injury that he did suffer.
But, I still believe Aaron Rome was trying to step up on his man, but he shouldn't have been stepping up that late. He made direct contact with the head, although Horton's head also smashed hard off the ice and that may have been a mitigating factor for the league.
We'll see, but I'll be shocked if there is not at least a one-game suspension.
It is definitely not a blindside hit as outlined under Rule 48 for the National Hockey league. He was coming through the neutral zone and had released the puck.
Was he unsuspecting? Absolutely.
Was he vulnerable? Absolutely.
But, was it a blindside, Rule 48 infraction? No, it wasn't.
But, still, there's no doubt in my mind that it was a suspendable hit.
After the incident, the Bruins knew Horton wouldn't return to the game, but the Canucks had a five-minute power play to kill off for that late hit.
You almost got the feeling that this was going to be a big-time negative turning point for the Boston Bruins. But they were still able to maintain their composure, and 11 seconds into the second period, the Bruins were able to capitalize. The early goal by Andrew Ference, followed by Mark Recchi finally getting Boston a power play goal, got Boston on the board.
The big thing about the Bruins in this game was that they did not lose their composure. It definitely could have been devastating for them to lose Horton, miss the five-minute major on Rome, and not have anything to show for it.
They didn't start running around seeking vengeance or justice in the hockey game. They kept their composure and came out and won it in the second period.