Bruins

Bruins

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:

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:

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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