Martin Pospisil drills Vince Dunn into the boards, causing an injury
Photo credit: Sportsnet

Referees make a huge mistake, resulting in a defenseman being potentially seriously injured

Published March 5, 2024 at 9:32

During last night's slate of NHL games, there were a pair of hits delivered in the Seattle Kraken/Calgary Flames game that have drawn a ton of attention online. Both hits were questionable at best, with players being driven into the boards hard by blindside hits, but the most interesting detail was that they were delivered by the same player only minutes apart.

Flames forward Martin Pospisil is in his first full NHL season, despite being 24 years of age, so every move he makes right now needs to be with purpose to avoid losing his roster spot to someone else within the organization who may be deserving of a roster spot. Unfortunately, Pospisil may have allowed his emotions to get the best of him last night, which could wind up being a costly mistake.

The first incident involving Pospisil led to the Slovak drilling Adam Larsson from behind, sending him crashing head and shoulder-first into the boards. Shockingly, he didn't even earn a 2-minute infraction on the play despite executing the play right in front of the official.

The second incident, which took place just a few minutes later, Pospisil took a similar run at Vince Dunn, this time catching his target right on the numbers and finishing the check very hard. At least this time he was assessed a 5-minute major and a game misconduct.

This is a prime example of a referee not doing his job. Had Pospisil been assessed a penalty on the first infraction, the second hit likely doesn't happen. For Dunn, who was injured on the play, the official not making the first call may result in him missing the remainder of the season, though the hope is that it won't end up being that serious. Still, the referees have a responsibility to the players to protect the integrity of the game. By not calling the first infraction, it ultimately led to a player being injured. In my mind, they're also culpable for the injury to Dunn, not just Pospisil, who committed the infraction.
March 5   |   205 answers
Referees make a huge mistake, resulting in a defenseman being potentially seriously injured

Does Martin Pospisil deserve two suspensions for his actions last night against the Seattle Kraken?

Yes, both dirty hits14269.3 %
Maybe just 1 suspension for the 2nd hit4823.4 %
No suspension is necessary157.3 %
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