The final score of game four was 6-3 in favor of the Anaheim Ducks, but the outcome was overshadowed by a controversial collision between Martin Erat of the Nashville Predators, and the Ducks Jarkko Ruutu.
With all the controversy over blind side hits, and head contact, this issue has jumped to the top of discussions all over the sporting world.
Should Ruutu be suspended for longer? Was the hit a penalty? Did Erat fake the injury? I have been flooded with questions from all sources about my opinion.
While I am no expert referee, I have spent years around the sport of hockey, here is my educated opinion.
No, of course Erat didn’t fake an injury in the NHL playoffs, that is a ridiculous assumption of a naive fan. Yes, the hit was a penalty. Erat obviously did not have the puck and Ruutu had ample time to avoid the hit.
The real issue is how cheap the hit was. Ruutu followed through high, but did not make vicious contact to the unsuspecting Erat. Ruutu also hit Erat from the side, a hit Erat should have seen coming.
I believe the league’s action is fair, because the hit was incredibly late, but not a vicious hit. Despite this, revenge is on the mind of the Predators, both on the score sheet, and in other phases of the game.