In addition to producing some incredible photos, Torey Krug's steamrolling of St. Louis Blues forward Robert Thomas on Monday has created quite the divide.
Krug didn't draw a penalty after leveling Thomas in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final, as officials deemed it a clean hit. But many believed the Boston Bruins defenseman should have been called for charging after skating the length of the ice without his helmet to seemingly target Thomas with a huge hit.
Here's a sampling from the national media crowd that thought Krug should have been penalized:
Torey Krug literally raced the length of the ice and levelled Robert Thomas after being tangled up with David Perron. Charging? Yes. Called? No.— Scott Burnside (@OvertimeScottB) May 28, 2019
How the hell is that not a charging penalty on Krug? Wow.— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) May 28, 2019
Krug with a punishing hit on Thomas that clearly should have been a charging penalty. He was obviously PO'd because Perron had committed three penalties on him in the defensive zone and officials stood there and watched and called nothing. Brutal officiating. A real NHL problem.— Mike Harrington (@ByMHarrington) May 28, 2019
Look I don’t really care but to say that’s not charging is mystifying. (Note: charging might only be second to goaltender interference in the way fans randomly introduce qualifiers that don’t exist.) pic.twitter.com/XldZT4Hzss— Travis Yost (@travisyost) May 28, 2019
TSN's Travis Yost cites the NHL rulebook, which defines charging as a player "violently check(ing) an opponent in any manner" as "a result of distance traveled."
Krug indeed traveled the length of the ice before wiping out Thomas. But many former NHL players seemed to agree that this hit still wasn't charging.
Here's the ex-player perspective, from former Bruins defenseman John-Michael Liles, longtime goaltender Martin Biron and winger Matt Barnaby:
Not. A. Charge. Not even close https://t.co/s9GwZTu67l— John-Michael Liles (@hoosierjm26) May 28, 2019
Watch the replay👇 https://t.co/P6qRakV022— John-Michael Liles (@hoosierjm26) May 28, 2019
Krug didn’t take any strides for a long distance before hammering Thomas. He came in fast but was gliding to deliver the hit. Not a charge in my book.— Martin Biron (@martybiron43) May 28, 2019
Those calling for charging on Krug... He did a great job in selling fact he was going to play puck.... then BOOM— Matthew Barnaby (@MattBarnaby3636) May 28, 2019
The ex-players make a compelling case: Whether Krug intended to play the puck or not, it was essentially on Thomas' stick when Krug delivered his blow. And as NBC's Eddie Olczyk pointed out on the TV broadcast, Krug didn't leave his feet until after making contact, the sign of a "good, clean hit."
Krug's hit actually might become illegal in the near future, but for a different reason: The NHL discussed a rule change at the league meeting in March that would require a player to skate to the bench if his helmet comes off.
But for now, it appears the officials got it right by "letting the boys play" in Boston's eventual 4-2 win.
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