Brian Dumoulin picked up two minutes for cross checking on Marcus Foligno in a game in Buffalo tonight.
Foligno had both hands on his stick, braced to pick up the puck just a couple of feet from the boards. Dumo was very close behind with his stick across Foligno’s hips. For some reason, he decided to shove, and Foligno went flying into the boards with no way to get his hands up and defend himself. He hit face and chest to the glass.
There’s a couple of notable differences to the similar to the Dekeyser hit from last night.
1) Dumo had his stick lower, toward Foligno’s hips as opposed to up higher on the back and shoulders. This means Foligno’s head and neck were not forced downward and he hit the boards in a relatively safe upright position.
2)Foligno was almost stationary and somewhat braced for contact of some sort. It was just a situation where contact would occur so he should have been, and was, expecting something.
3)The penalty was a minor for cross checking, not boarding. This means the official didn’t feel there was any particular danger with the contact and the way Foligno went into the boards. He was only penalizing the method of contact, a cross check, which is technically illegal anywhere regardless of proximity to the boards.
To me the call on the ice was perfect. It was expected contact. Nothing malicious. The impact with the boards was unfortunate but not overly dangerous. No unreasonable danger was created by the way Dumoulin delivered the check. It was just a run of the mill offence.
I wouldn’t fight the NHL Department of Player Safety too hard if they decided to suspend simply because the play happened in that danger zone a foot or two away from the boards. But I also wouldn’t lose any sleep over it if they didn’t review it.