TSN TV Schedule TSN2 TV Schedule
Blogs

Fraser: A closer look at Desjardins' hit on Mayers

Kerry Fraser
2/6/2013 12:20:46 PM
Decrease Text SizeIncrease Text Size
Text Size

Got a question on rule clarification, comments on rule enforcements or some memorable NHL stories? Kerry Fraser wants to answer your emails at cmonref@tsn.ca!

Hi Kerry,
 
First off love your column!
 
Can you discuss the Andrew Desjardins hit on Jamal Mayers on Tuesday?
 
I am baffled that he got a five-minute major and a match penalty for the hit. To me, Desjardins' hit looked completely clean. When Mayers received the puck, it appeared as though Desjardins hit Mayers cleanly shoulder-to-shoulder. This was such a key moment in the game as the Desjardins penalty negated all the momentum San Jose received from the hit, and the 4 minute power play (the Keith double-minor) they would have gotten if the hit wasn't called. Do you have any explanation for why they did call it a hit to the head? Thanks.
 
Sincerely,
Jeff Madsen

Jeff:

I completely agree that Andrew Desjardins delivered a clean, open-ice hockey hit on Jamal Mayers after receiving a suicide pass from his Hawk teammate Duncan Keith. Desjardins executed a perfect shoulder-to-shoulder check and neither targeted Mayers' head nor did it become the principle point of contact. To be perfectly blunt, at no time did Andrew Desjardins even make contact to the head of Jamal Mayers!

In answer to your question, let me attempt to provide some explanation as to how the officials could assess a match penalty under Rule 48.5 — Illegal Check to the Head; the most severe penalty in the book. Aside from the five- minute time penalty and expulsion from the game, the player is automatically suspended from further competition until the commissioner (or his designate) has ruled on the issue.

After this hit and order had been restored following the fight that was instigated by Duncan Keith, the four officials gathered for a lengthy conference at the referees' crease. Each member of the crew offered his opinion given the angle and sightline he had on the play. At least one of the crew would have felt certain (from his vantage point) that Desjardins had deliberately attempted to injure Mayers with an illegal check to the head. It appeared to me that one of the linesman provided considerable input prior to arriving at a final decision.

Following the shoulder-to-shoulder contact delivered by Desjardins, the impact caused the San Jose player to finish the check with his right arm moving in an upward/high position. This could give the impression from a certain angle that contact had been delivered directly to the head of Mayers. While this obviously did not occur, it is reasonable to assume that at least one of the officials was positive he saw this occur. A penalty of this magnitude would not be assessed unless at least one of the officials made the case that he was "certain" of what he saw before laying his neck on the block.

An obvious mistake was made on this call and the match penalty to Desjardins was rescinded, expunged from his record and he will return to the San Jose Sharks active roster immediately.

The officials are not the only ones that erred on this play. After watching footage, I am certain that in the future, Duncan Keith will make the safe, smart play that was available to him with an outlet pass on the left wing boards to Michael Frolik. Aside from the pass being in Mayers' skates, Keith should have seen that Desjardins was plugging up the middle and Mayers presented an easy target while looking back to receive a pass, whether on the tape or in the skates. Fortunately, Mayers did not appear to sustain an injury on the play.

The correct call on this one would have seen Keith in the box for 14 minutes while the Sharks went on a four-minute power play.

Kerry Fraser

Kerry Fraser


Kerry Fraser is an analyst for the NHL on TSN and That's Hockey 2Nite on TSN2. As one of the league's most recognizable senior referees, he's worked 1,904 NHL regular season games and 261 playoff games during his 37-year career.


Got a question on rule clarification, comments on rule enforcements or some memorable NHL stories? Kerry wants to answer your emails at cmonref@tsn.ca!


You can also follow Kerry Fraser on Twitter at @kfraserthecall!

Follow Us!

There's a new Twitter feed that will make you a real TSN.ca insider! Follow twitter.com/TSN_Sports_Buzz to get updates on the latest blogs, best videos and more!


More about TSN on Twitter...




Golfer Taylor Pendrith is the highest ranked player on Canada's men's national team. The recent graduate of Kent State University is 18th on the world amateur rankings. More...

Spotlight on TSN Radio

TSN Radio 1260 - Edmonton

The latest on the Oilers, Eskimos and Oil Kings.


TSN Radio 1290 - Winnipeg

The place to be for the Jets, the Blue Bombers and Goldeyes.


TSN Radio 1050 - Toronto

Covering TFC, Leafs, Raptors, Argonauts, Jays, Rock and Marlies.


TSN Radio 1200 - Ottawa

Coverage of the Ottawa Senators and Ottawa Redblacks.


TSN Radio 690 - Montreal

Covering the Canadiens, Alouettes, Impact and more!

© 2014
All rights reserved.
Bell Media Television