The non-call on Dave Bolland’s hit on Mike Richards was not the reason that the Kings lost to the Blackhawks in Game 1. The Kings were significantly out-chanced in the Conference Finals opener and continued to struggle generating quality scoring opportunities and fell by a 2-1 score for the sixth time in seven road games.
Still, Bolland’s third period hit with under two minutes remaining will be under heavy scrutiny from the NHL Department of Player Safety. Having reviewed the replay, that appears to be a reckless hit by Bolland in which he springs himself towards Richards from a low-to-high position and uses his back to make Richards’ head the principal point of contact.
The imperfect method of determining whether a player receives a fine or a suspension is often based on whether the player absorbing the hit is injured, and considering the nebulous nature of head and brain injuries and the possibility that symptoms may not immediately be detected there really isn’t any cut-and-dry way to assess whether Bolland will receive supplemental discipline at this point. Richards walked through the locker room after the game and declined an interview request.
Greene, on Dave Bolland’s hit on Richards:
“Haven’t seen it.”
Jarret Stoll, on the non-call on Bolland’s hit and the tripping call on Jeff Carter that followed:
“It would’ve been nice to get a call there on Rick, but we didn’t. We’ve just got to work harder for those. Power plays tonight, they were hard to come by from our side of things, and sometimes at points they were easy from their side. Maybe we didn’t work hard enough in those areas to draw penalties and create chances and odd-man rushes, scoring chances, second chance opportunities and all those good things to score.”
Darryl Sutter, on Bolland’s hit:
“Couldn’t see anything. Clearly behind the net, behind the goalie. Guys changing. Really couldn’t see it.”
Sutter, on if Richards was fine after the game:
“I seen him arguing with the ref. I think I answered it once.”