During a Game 6 loss to the St. Louis Blues, the Dallas Stars became a victim of The National Hockey League’s neglect for player safety – enough is enough.
Let it out, DFW – that was a rough 60 minutes of Dallas Stars Hockey.
A Sunday-afternoon affair between the Dallas Stars and St. Louis Blues had the makings of a vengeful contest, one in which Dallas could’ve sent another opponent packing into the oblivion of an NHL offseason.
Instead, here we find ourselves. Losing Game 6 by a score of 4-1, the Stars will be heading to St. Louis for an all important, sure-to-be-heart-throbbing Game 7. Upon watching, it was obvious the Blues were the hungrier club – quadrupling your opponent’s score has to account for something. Aside from the overall result, there’s only one problem I have with this loss.
People may want to contend he could’ve been flopping, yet I don’t see them lining up to take a 90 mph frozen rubber missile to the collar.
Referees of the NHL: in what world should this be concluded an acceptable goal? Forget fandom for a minute – allowing play to continue after watching a goalie writhe in obvious pain, and furthermore letting the opponent legally chip a puck into a now empty net? In a playoff game?
You’ve got to be kidding me.
As fate would have it, my Twitter inbox quickly became flooded with Blues fans after the game, the majority of which pointing me in the direction of NHL Rule 8.1 as their interpretation for this atrocity:
"When a player is injured so that he cannot continue play or go tohis bench, the play shall not be stopped until the injured player’s teamhas secured control of the puck."
While technically right, being that the Dallas Stars did not establish control of the puck, many people who are clinging to this definition seem to have purposely ignored the following paragraph of said rule, stating that:
"In the case where it is obvious that a player has sustained aserious injury, the Referee and/or Linesman may stop the playimmediately."
Essentially, the NHL gives their referees power to blow the whistle or not in situations such as these, leaving it up to the moment-to-moment judgement from the men wearing stripes. While this rule was most likely designed to combat embellishment among players – and rightfully so – the same logic should absolutely not be enforced upon goalies, especially while play is in their own zone.
What exactly was Bishop supposed to do here? A powerful slapshot rendered his goaltending abilities useless. What more can a professional athlete do to convey he may be seriously hurt? Although it was later reported that Big Ben is ultimately fine, he had no other way of dealing with his pain on the ice. People may want to contend he could’ve been flopping, yet I don’t see them lining up to take a 90 mph frozen rubber missile to the collar. Bishop’s reaction looked very real – and for Dallas Stars fans – absolutely terrifying.
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The NHL cannot swallow their whistles in these situations – allowing the St. Louis Blues to pot an empty netter while an opposing goalie is too busy screaming for help should pose as a huge embarrassment to the league. What hope does a team have to evenly contend when their netminder is not even able to physically stand?
There’s a reason the rulebook includes goaltender interference as a penalty. There’s a reason teams are allowed to challenge scoring plays for it, too. There’s also a reason why you gain an additional player when pulling your netminder in-game – hockey is not a fair sport without them.
Despite a valiant late-first and second period effort, the Dallas Stars lost a meaningful playoff contest. I am not arguing that reversing this ruling would’ve done much to change their Game 6 outcome, even though I must admit it looked as if Dallas lost much of their drive after the injury.
I am arguing that Dallas was unjustly scored upon after said injury. Player safety should always come first. Something needs to change, NHL.
You better believe Dallas will be monitoring your next rulebook discussions closely.
- Published on 05/06/2019 at 12:30 PM
- Last updated at 05/06/2019 at 11:46 AM