The Dallas Stars caused quite a stir Sunday evening in Anaheim - No, not for allowing an inconceivable 47 shots against (that number has actually been bested three times already this season, somehow...), but rather for Ryan Garbutt's check on Ducks' forward Dustin Penner in the second period.
Garbutt had already scored a rather pretty goal and been whistled for kneeing and slashing at this point, then delivered a hit that Penner did not expect as he released a pass in the offensive zone.
Here are the moving pictures:
That's a tough thing to see, and we certainly hope Penner is alright.
He was caught completely off-guard and wobbled considerably as he got up. The league has made it clear in recent seasons that the onus is generally on the hitter to protect the safety of the player being hit. There will be a "distance traveled" issue here as well, and the league will have several days to consider as the Stars do not play again until Thursday.
Penner's health will be taken into consideration as well, and the result could be be a suspension, or at least a fine, for Garbutt while Lane MacDermid steps into the lineup to provide similar services next weekend.
Anaheim media has reported that Penner was walking around after the game and in better condition.
The regrettable incident is emblematic of the Stars' night - Unnecessary, punishable actions adding up to a lopsided loss as the team drops to 3-5-0.
How many games will the wheel of justice dole out for Mr. Garbutt?
Thanks for all the well wishes. Proud of how the guys bounced back and crushed the stars after. #143 — Dustin Penner (@Dustinpenner25) October 21, 2013
DAL's Ryan Garbutt has in-person hearing with NHL for hit on ANA's Dustin Penner. In person hearing gives NHL option of 6 or more games.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) October 21, 2013
Update: A (MUCH) faster turn-around time on that news on a SUNDAY night proves that injury and perception do play a significant role in these proceedings. Garbutt could be looking at a sizeable haircut here where his pay is concerned.