Thursday, February 28, 2013

Struck by sanity, NHL rescinds Zolnierczyk major

What was going to be a regular old dominating 4-1 victory over the Washington Capitals last night turned needlessly ugly in the final minute, when Flyers forward Harry Zolnierczyk and Washington's Mathieu Perreault collided at center ice.

Initial replay angles seemed to suggest a knee-to-knee hit, for which Harry Z was banished for a major and game misconduct, but despite speculation that a hearing with the NHL's Department of Player Safety, this morning things became a little bit clearer with 360-degree vision and the league eventually decided to rescind those infractions and keep his punitive slate clean per ESPN.

The decision might have been made easier to retract rather than to press on since both head coaches -- Adam Oates and Peter Laviolette -- agreed that there was no intent and no actual injurious conduct on the play, and Oates actually took his player to task for putting himself in that position:

“I don’t think it’s dirty at all,” Oates stated. “It’s the product of our whole game, quite honestly. There’s 30 seconds left, the game’s over and Matty thought that he could stickhandle through the team. That’s not what we do, all of us tonight. Guys are sitting there waiting for you and you get hit."

Zolnierczyk had never previously been fined or suspended in 144 total professional games since 2010.

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