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canuckbeliever

Gryba gets 2 games for Eller hit

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Surprised? Not at all.

Continuing disappointment and frustration with NHL officiating and supplementary discipline? Absolutely!

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BS

Ference only got 1.

Are you people smoking BC Bud? Of course he should be suspended, thankfully the NHL made the right call, for the good of the game.

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Terrible decision. In my opinion these ''decisions'' are mainly due to watching things in slow motion. The game is played very, very fast and looking at it in slow motion just distorts things rather than clarifies them. e.g. you often hear comments like ''at the very last second he did this or that'' when there's no time for people to make a decision to do that in 1/100th of a second.

- added to the confusion is the fact players sometimes make involuntary movements near the time of impact; i.e. the mind decides to make a hit, and then at the last possible second the brain tries to avoid or minimize the impact. (Like to hear a player's view.)

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Stretcher >>>>>>>>> Reason

Based on the rules from the past, people seem to point to this as a suicide pass and say it's a clean hit. However, I believe players should have more respect for each other and shouldn't do this when they know a player is in such a vulnerable position.

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I still continue to wonder how a guy with 2489 career penalty minutes in the NHL has any credibility for being the NHL's disciplinarian.

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I still continue to wonder how a guy with 2489 career penalty minutes in the NHL has any credibility for being the NHL's disciplinarian.

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Gryba no history, no intent, clean hit 2 games.

Ference has history, clear intent to elbow Grabovski, 1 game.

Yep that's consistent Shanny...

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I'm with the majority. Brutal call.

As someone who grew up in an era where the Habs constantly got preferential treatment from the Zebras on HNIC, it's sad to see that things haven't changed.

This suspension is clearly a result of the optics of the incident. An unconcious Eller bleeding profusely due to hitting his face on the ice (as Niki said).

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http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=422303

Got a question on rule clarification, comments on rule enforcements or some memorable NHL stories? Kerry wants to answer your emails at cmonref@tsn.ca!

Hi Kerry,

I'm sure you're going to receive a lot of questions regarding the Gryba hit on Eller. My question is regarding the game misconduct call. Gryba was initially called for interference and went to the penalty box. Shortly after, he was sent off the ice. Do you think the game misconduct was called due to the penalty or the referees decided to add it afterwards to get Gryba out of the game to avoid any retaliation that would've likely come from Montreal?

Thanks and keep up the good work, I love the article.

Regards,

Mitch Layden

Mitch,

The mailbag is full of questions regarding Eric Gryba's hit on Lars Eller but somewhat to my surprise, given the seriousness of the gruesome injury sustained by Eller, the fan reaction is clean hit—bad outcome!

The Referees had to make a determination as to the legality of the body check; not in a rush to judgment but given the extended time in the aftermath of the hit required to attend to Lars Eller and remove him from the ice on a stretcher. The split second, initial look that each Official might have had on the play would be replayed in his mind's eye as Eller's blood pooled on the ice.

Any initial thought that Gryba's check was a clean and legal hit could quickly erode in self-doubt from recall of Eller free-falling with his arms outstretched immediately after impact and prior to a face-plant on the ice. The inability for Eller to utilize his arms to defend his fall would indicate he was probably knocked out or dazed from the impact of the hit. This fact places into question whether an illegal check to the head had been delivered by Griba. The shocking optics in the aftermath of putting Gryba in the penalty box could not be avoided or blocked out as the Officials came together to consult with one another.

I broke down footage on-air with James Duthie to demonstrate Gryba's setup and principle point of contact off the head and center line to Eller's body making this a legal body check. The Officials had no such luxury and had to render a decision from one look as their recall was possibly being muddied by the shocking sight of Eller's blood. They would obviously have deep concern for the health of Lars Eller and they would want to assess the correct penalty if one was deserved.

Given the apparent knockout following the impact of the hit one option was to apply rule 48—illegal check to the head. For this to be applied it would have to be determined that a lateral or blind side hit was made where the head was targeted and/or the principle point of contact. This rule has no provision to apply a major penalty and game misconduct but rather a minor penalty or a match if in the Referees judgment Gryba attempted to deliberately injured Eller with a check to the head. None of these factors applied.

Charging was not an option either since Eric Gryba was not moving his feet as he set up to make the check and glided into Eller with his skates on the ice. This leaves the potential for one final option for the Officials to consider if they were to assess a penalty.

On the bang-bang pass play question would surface as to whether Eller had gained possession of the puck that was offered up by Raphael Diaz. Since interference was the 'final call' on the play they must have deemed that Lars Eller did not have possession of the puck.

Rule 56.4 allows the Referee, at his discretion, to assess a major penalty, based on the degree of violence, to a player guilty of interfering with an opponent. In addition Mitch, a game misconduct must also be applied under rule 56.5 when a major penalty is imposed for interference that results in an injury to the opponent. It wasn't a case of the Referees wanting to remove Eric Gryba from the game to prevent any future retaliation by the Montreal players but by virtue of the interference rule as applied. They ruled on the violence of the check as demonstrated by the optics in the aftermath.

(A classic example of open-ice interference where the head of an opponent became the principle point of contact occurred last night in the LA-St. Louis game. David Perron cut across the path of Dustin Penner in the middle of the ice from the blind side and clipped Penner in the head with his shoulder. The puck was being carried up on the side wall and 40 feet from where the illegal contact took place.)

Eric Gryba's fate is now in the hands of the Player Safety Committee that convened a hearing at noon. We shall await word as to whether they, like the vast majority of the hockey world deem Gryba's hit to be a legal hockey play that ended with a horrible result. Given the bad optics and resulting injury to Eller it isn't a foregone conclusion that Gryba will escape some form of suspension.

We'll all stay tuned.

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Such a joke, how does this deserve 2 games but Ference gets 1 game for his 100% elbow?

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You're really that surprised?

I'm actually surprised, everyone here is surprised.

Did anyone watch the cup finals where we played Boston? (It's a facetious question, relax). They got away with everything. Marchand was literally allowed to use Hank's head as a speed bag. It isn't a conspiracy. It never was. Teams like the Bruins, and Rangers get away with stuff.

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