The NHL wasted no time in rescinding the match penalty handed out to Sharks forward Andrew Desjardins for his crushing open-ice hit on Jamal Mayers of the Blackhawks on Tuesday.
As the rulebook states:
“The Referee, at his discretion, may assess a match penalty if, in his judgment, the player attempted to or deliberately injured his opponent with an illegal check to the head. If deemed appropriate, supplementary discipline can be applied by the Commissioner at his discretion.”
The officials applied the rule, believing Mayers to have been hit in the head by Desjardins, when video evidence clearly indicated otherwise:
So, there you have it. No blow to the head. NHL supervisor of officials Mick McGeough responded accordingly:
“The way the linesman saw it on the ice, he was convinced it was a major penalty. Unfortunately, he was wrong. It’s been overruled, taken care of by the League and Brendan Shanahan and the safety committee, and there are no more issues right now. (Linesman) Jonny Murray made the call. Unfortunately, he wasn’t overruled by the referee. It is what it is.”
Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith immediately dropped the gloves with Desjardins in retaliation, because in hockey, you do hockey things to retaliate for other hockey things.
Mayers remained in the game, but Desjardins did not, as a match penalty calls for an ejection of the player. Keith received 17 minutes of penalties for instigating the subsequent fisticuffs.
What should have been a Sharks power play for the Keith penalties, ended up being a 4-on-4, during which Cinco de Mayo enthusiast Patrick Kane gave Chicago the go-ahead goal.
The Sharks went on to lose their third in a row, after starting 7-0. The season is in shambles.