Friday, 24 November 2017

Taking It On The Chin

Thanks to the US Turkey holiday, we got ourselves a few rare afternoon games on a Friday in the NHL. Among the handful of games kicking off the slate of games today was the Anaheim Ducks hosting the Winnipeg Jets as the Central Division team looked to take their second-straight victory off a California-based team following their 2-1 win over Los Angeles. While we did get an entertaining affair on a warm California afternoon, one Jet might be sitting for a handful of games for some careless stick work.

With the Jets leading 3-1, Hellebuyck made a save to smother the puck, and the normal outcome of a goalmouth scramble ensued as scrums developed on the ice. Off to Hellebuyck's right, Corey Perry cross-checks Ben Chiarot, causing those two to exchange words and get their hands up. The only problem is that Chiarot's hand held the butt-end of his stick.
Wow. You can understand why Perry may have been angry after seeing his chin at the end of the scrum. As the announcers described, the butt-end that Chiarot delivered to Perry's chin had the Ducks' forward irate, and you can understand why as that butt-end, while unintentional, did some significant damage.

Don't be surprised of Ben Chiarot gets some time to watch from the pressbox after that butt-end. The image to the right is what Perry's chin looked like post-game, and that's a pretty significant butt-end that Chiarot delivered to break the skin and reportedly "needed 20 stitches, including some below top layer of skin" to close the wound as per Frank Seravalli. You basically can see the outline of the top of the stick on Perry's chin, so Chiarot delivered that butt-end - again, intentional or not - with some decisive power. Once the whistle is blown, kids, you gotta be in control of your stick. There are no two ways about it.

If I'm the Department of Player Safety and George Parros, Chiarot gets a game. He's a first-time offender, but the crime he committed on the ice was pretty serious. Butt-ending someone is a dirty play at any moment, and that kind of play cannot be allowed, tolerated, or justified in any way. Let's hope that Chiarot learns his lesson when it comes to controlling his stick.

UPDATE: Winnipeg’s Ben Chiarot fined $3,763.44, the maximum allowable under the CBA, for butt-ending Anaheim’s Corey Perry. Wow. I'm not sure that's the appropriate penalty, but c'est la via, I guess.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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