F (OT)

Nick Ritchie called for a soft illegal check to the head penalty

Published December 22, 2022 at 10:26

Last night the Arizona Coyotes took on the Vegas Golden Knights, typically this would be a last place team playing a pretty good team during a nothing game in December, but, this led to probably one of the most questionable calls the league has made this year.

During the first period with 5:12 remaining, Coyotes forward Nick Ritchie cuts across centre ice and appears to catch Vegas defender Ben Hutton up high, take a look:

This play resulted in a two minute minor for illegal check to the head. Now, usually I would agree with the National Hockey League when making calls like this, but in this instance I'm not so sure. Let me explain why.

There appears to be contact with the head of Hutton, yes, on that there is no dispute, however, before the head contact, there appears to be some shoulder to shoulder contact as well. Usually when that happens, hits get ruled as clean more often than not.

The thing that gets Ritchie here, is the position of his arm, if he had of tucked it in a little more I don't think a call would've been made, if there was any intent, I don't think Hutton would've stayed conscious, let alone upright.
December 22   |   30 answers
Nick Ritchie called for a soft illegal check to the head penalty

Was this an illegal check to the head?

Yes, it's a head shot1033.3 %
No, that's not a penalty1446.7 %
Hockey has gone soft620 %
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