Blue Notes

Steve Zipay takes you inside the locker room, home and on the road, with the New York Rangers, and also writes about the NHL, off and on the ice.

NHL: No punishment for Max Pacioretty

Max Pacioretty (67) of the Canadiens is congratulated

Max Pacioretty (67) of the Canadiens is congratulated by his teammates after he scored a second period goal, his second of the game. (Feb. 9, 2012) (Credit: David Pokress)

The NHL did not fine or suspend Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty Sunday for delivering a dangerous hit from behind that drove Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh’s head into the glass in the second period in Montreal on Saturday, knocking him out of the game.

Pacioretty was given a two-minute minor for boarding when his arm and shoulder struck hit McDonagh’s back and neck at the boards to the right of goaltender Martin Biron at 7:20 of the second period.

After a telephone hearing Sunday afternoon with Brendan Shanahan, who heads the league’s Department of Player Safety that examined boarding and/or charging, the department “decided that supplemental discipline (for Pacioretty) was not appropriate.”

After the hit, McDonagh left the ice, bleeding from the face, and did not return. Earlier, at 2:51 of the period, McDonagh had checked Pacioretty hard into the boards near the Montreal bench and Pacioretty got up slowly. The Rangers, who did not practice yesterday, have not released any information on McDonagh’s condition.

At the opening of his post-game media scrum at Bell Centre on Saturday, coach John Tortorella asked the group: “How high did Pacioretty jump on his hit? Can anybody give me an answer?. The coach then refused to offer his view of the play, and repeated: “I’m asking you guys.” When no one responded, he repeated:  “Can anybody give me an answer? Over-under?”  When the single response to his over/under query was “six inches”, Tortorella shot back: “Figures. You’re wrong.”

Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi also was kayoed in the final minutes of the 3-0 loss when he blocked a shot by P.K. Subban with his right leg, fell to his knees in pain, and had to be helped off the ice. X-rays were negative. His status for Monday’s practice and Tuesday’s home game against Winnipeg also was unclear.

Injuries have been mounting for the Rangers. Winger Rick Nash, the team’s leading scorer, missed his third game with an undisclosed injury; Michael Del Zotto, who appeared to injure his hip or right leg on a check by Ottawa’s Marc Methot on Thursday, also missed Saturday’s game.  

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