Brayden Mcnabb of the Vegas Golden Knights has been on the business end of a few questionable (aka dirty but for some reason acceptable) hits in the Stanley Cup Final. His latest came late in Game Four, a backbreaking 6-2 loss.
McNabb was in his defensive end when he saw Washington’s T.J. Oshie with the puck. He moved in for the hit and threw it even though Oshie was facing the board saying by the time he approached. McNabb delivered a swift cross check to Oshie’s back and sent him sprawling dangerously head first towards the boards.
The Golden Knights already have their work cut out for them, trailing the series three games to one heading into Game Five. Many are saying the NHL’s Department of Player Safety should also have them play Game Five without Mcnabb.
Ordinarily I’d agree wholeheartedly. This type of hit can’t be allowed. Yet just in this series alone this type of hit already has been allowed too many times to reasonably suspend McNabb for his effort. Here are just a few examples:
There are other factors at play in this case, sure. It was late in the third period. The game was pretty much out of reach. You could call this message sending. I’m not buying that here. This has been a standard play in all periods of every game, no matter what the score.
If this hit isn’t even a penalty at 3-1 in the second period of Game Two, or in the first period of Game Three, it’s not a suspension in the third period of Game Four.