Is it just me or is it open season on goalies in the NHL this year? Last night’s incident with Andrew Shaw hitting goaltender Mike Smith behind the Phoenix Coyotes net is just one of the many examples of players running the goaltenders of their opponents. Shaw’s head made contact with Smith’s head. Smith stayed on the ice for quite awhile but he was assessed by the Coyotes medical staff and eventually he was able to get up and finish the game. Shaw was given a five minute major for charging and a game misconduct. He will now have a hearing with Brendan Shanahan to determine if further punishment is required.
Here’s a look at the Andrew Shaw hit on Mike Smith:
Shaw isn’t the first hockey player this season to take a run at their opponents goalie. I mean Shaw likely didn’t intentionally try to injure Smith but he was definitely in the wrong.
Look at the Ryan Miller/Milan Lucic incident. Miller came out of his net in a race for the puck and Lucic nailed him. Miller missed a month with a concussion and Lucic got… NOTHING.
Check out Milan Lucic’s hit on Ryan Miller:
In Miller’s first game back from the Lucic incident, he got intentionally run-over by Jordin Tootoo. Miller however fought back this time and stood up for himself. Tootoo was suspended two games for that hit.
In you missed it here a look at Jordin Tootoo running-over Ryan Miller:
Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender James Reimer missed quite a few games with a concussion because of a hit by Montreal Canadiens captain Brian Gionta. Gionta was not giving a suspension but Reimer never really played the same after his injury.
Here’s a look at what caused James Reimer’s concussion:
Other goaltenders like Carey Price, Tim Thomas, Jimmy Howard and so many more have been hit and run-over and nothing has been done about it. If you can’t protect your goalie then you might as well stop playing hockey. Your goaltender is the backbone of your team. If the NHL keeps allowing these plays we are going to have a serious problem. If players aren’t punished for hitting goaltenders then it will result in open season on goaltenders in the NHL. Team’s won’t have to beat the goalie if they can just hurt the goalie. Goaltender’s are essential to their teams. There is no room in the NHL for these kind of plays.