Tonight’s game was colored, early on, by Rob Scuderi’s hit on Jason Chimera midway through the first period. Was it dirty? It was a hip check that certainly appeared to be a clip, one in which Scuderi took Chimera out below the waist, at the knees. Columbus immediately responded, and Derek Dorsett got a game misconduct for going after Scuderi. Afterward, The Associated Press talked to Chimera, who was none too pleased.
CHIMERA: “It was low. It was a dirty hit. I don’t care what you call it. I’ve been hip-checked before, but it’s a dirty hit. There’s no room in the game for that kind of (stuff). When the guy takes your knees out, what are you supposed to do? It wasn’t a hip check at all. It was a direct hit on the knees. They had no explanation, so I don’t know what they (the referees) were thinking. I mean, I landed on my face on the ice and my neck was squished against the ice. I’m lucky I didn’t come out with a concussion or something. It’s a dirty play. There’s no room in the game for that. There are too many guys that are carried out on stretchers because of dirty stuff. There’s no room in the game for it. There’s got to be a level of respect out there.”
Here’s what Scuderi told me about the play:
SCUDERI: “I don’t really know where I got him. I’m assuming it was questionable, if so many of their guys were up in arms about it. I understand that they’re just being good teammates and sticking up for their guy. At the same time, I’ve played 300 games in this league, and I don’t have a reputation as a dirty player, but one hit can stir it up like that. I’m certainly not a dirty player. Sometimes it just happens and the rest is just part of the game. They were just sticking up for their teammate.”
And Terry Murray’s thoughts:
MURRAY: “The hit is just a hockey hit. That kind of hit, that’s what we used to see all the time, years ago. That’s just going down, and the player skates and his speed, with his momentum, carries him over his back. That’s one of those hits that has been around for 50 years or longer. That part of it was clean. Obviously everybody thought that. There were no stoppages of play. It seems, now, that there’s a lot of reaction to hits around the league. There’s the same scenario tonight. They react and we end up with a big power play and take advantage of it.”