Update: Joe Haggerty of NBC Sports Boston reports that Morrissey is not expected to face supplemental discipline, reportedly because Grzelcyk put himself in too vulnerable of a position. To me that’s irrelevant and this ruling is a joke, but there you have it. You can launch yourself into a guy and get away with it if your target is vulnerable.
It’s not a question of whether Jets defenseman Josh Morrissey should be disciplined for his hit on Matt Grzelcyk on Tuesday night. It’s a question of whether the NHL’s Department of Player Safety will do the right thing and hit him with a suspension.
The hit occurred at the end of the second period of the Bruins’ 5-4 shootout loss to the Jets. As Grzelcyk gathered the puck in the corner and turned toward the boards, he crouched in a vulnerable position as Morrissey left both feet and drove basically his entire upper body into the back of his head.
Grzelcyk was certainly vulnerable, but it really doesn’t matter in this case. If he were upright, Morrissey still launches and bulldozes him face-first into the boards. Maybe it wasn’t malicious, but it was certainly reckless and dangerous. It’s about as far from a proper body check as you can get.
Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy said after the game that Grzelcyk has an upper-body injury and will be re-evaluated in Boston. It could very well be a concussion.
Morrissey was assessed a five-minute boarding major for the hit, but he absolutely should face some form of supplemental discipline after the fact. He left his feet, made contact with Grzelcyk’s head, and injured him in the process. It’s similar reasoning for why David Backes got suspended three games with no prior incidents for his hit on the Red Wings’ Frans Nielsen.
Just to be clear that this is not a Boston bias thing, the Jets’ Mark Scheifele showed how to deliver a perfectly clean and hard hit when he buried David Pastrnak. Well, so did Kevan Miller when he got called for boarding on a similar hit.
Mark Scheifele DESTROYED David Pastrnak along the boards ???????? pic.twitter.com/RkMssx1Wtc— Bar South N Celly™ (@BarSouthNCelly) March 28, 2018
So we’re having this discussion, once again … if Player Safety wants to show any consistency, they’ll suspend Morrissey. But unfortunately, it’s unclear what they’re going to do. It is clear, however, what they should do in this case.
— By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at email@example.com.