Chris Kreider was once again in "Beast Mode" against the Blue Jackets last night. He was flying all over the ice, while creating numerous offensive chances. Nothing was going to stop him.
Nothing that is, other than a phantom boarding penalty on Fedor Tyutin that resulted in a game misconduct…
At first glimpse, it looked like a reckless hit by Kreider. But when you slow it down, you can see that not only shouldn't it have been a five minute major, it probably wasn't a penalty at all.
The biggest indicator of a true boarding penalty is whether Kreider hits a defenseless Tyutin. As you can see by the two screen grabs below, Kreider is innocent of all charges…
In the photos, you can see Tyutin is not facing the boards nor is he in a vulnerable position (i.e. bending over or head down) when Kreider makes initial impact. Also Kreider's point of contact is on the Blue Jacket defenseman's hip not the numbers. Kreider was also pulling up, not driving through Tyutin.
At the end of the day, Kreider is a strong dude and Tyutin didn't brace himself for the hit resulting in a dangerous outcome.
Unfortunately for Kreider, Tyutin was injured on the play, which is the likely reason for the ejection.
Here's Alain Vigneault on the hit (via Bergen Record)…
"If you look at the replay, he tried to stop just before," Vigneault said. "You can see he’s stopping and it’s sort of a follow-through from their player. Anytime a guy gets pushed into the boards the way he did, the referees don’t have much of a choice."
Now the next question is whether the NHL will pursue further punishment for Kreider in the form of a suspension.
Looking at all the above factors as well as it being Kreider's first offense, I don't see how Brendan Shanahan and his minions can rule in favor of a suspension.
The only thing Kreider does have going against him is that Tyutin was injured on the play. The defenseman didn't return to the game but apparently it was due to a seperate lower body injury.
Larry Brooks at the New York Post says the NHL Department of Player Safety, which reviewed the play during and immediately after the match, is not expected to conduct a hearing or enact supplementary discipline against Kreider