The NHL conference finals began on Saturday and each game saw a questionable hit that led many to wonder if disciplinary action was to follow.
In Game 1 of the Western Conference final, Chicago's Dave Bolland delivered a high hit to Los Angeles' Mike Richards late in the third period. Bolland appeared to leave his feet to make contact with Richards, but ESPN.com's Pierre LeBrun reports Bolland won't see further action from the league.
Bolland insisted that it was a clean check.
“It’s a quick game. It’s a hard-hitting game. Just the way it is,” Bolland told the Chicago Sun-Times' Adam Jahns, via ProHockeyTalk. “You get hit. It happens. It’s happened to me.”
In Game 1 of the Eastern Conference final, Pittsburgh's Matt Cooke hit Boston's Adam McQuaid from behind into the boards in the second period. Cooke was given a five-minute major and a game misconduct for the check.
CSN New England's Joe Haggerty reports Cooke also won't see further discipline from the NHL for the hit.
Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma agreed that Cooke deserved a penalty, but maybe not a game misconduct, according to ProHockeyTalk.
“Clearly it’s a hit right through the numbers,” Bylsma said. “I don’t think it was a rough hit. I think he was going into the boards, it was right from the numbers. I’m not sure I thought it warranted a five-minute penalty. But, you know, he did come right behind the guy, was going in with the guy. There you have it.”
The Blackhawks will host the Kings at 8 p.m. on Sunday night. The Penguins will resume their series with the Bruins in Pittsburgh on Monday at 8 p.m.
Will sparks fly in Game 2?
Burke wants to see NHL use bigger rinks
Former Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke is always thinking of ways to help the NHL evolve.
With players getting bigger, faster and stronger, Burke would like to see the league adopt a larger ice surface according to Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe.
“A wider rink should allow for more playmaking, more scoring, better power plays… overall, a greater emphasis on skill, but still with plenty of hitting. No one wants to turn hockey into a non-contact sport," Burke said.
An NHL-sized arena is 85-feet wide and International standard is 100-feet. Burke's idea is to expand the NHL's ice to either 90 or 92 feet.
According to Burke, Penguins GM Ray Shero and Islanders GM Garth Snow have supported the idea.
What do you think?