1. What is Player Safety, Really?
I’m sure you’ve already figured out where this is going, but the third and final talking point from tonight is dedicated to questioning why things went the way they did in the third period.
Late in the third, Connor Hellebuyck has his mask jarred loose after a collision with Jamie Benn and Josh Morrissey. Following this collision, Hellebuyck’s mask was sent behind the net and he proceeded to lay face down on the ice.
Roughly five seconds after this occurs, the Stars scored to tie the game. How did this happen? If the NHL is so concerned with player safety as they claim to be, how is it allowed for play to continue when the goaltender is entirely at risk of serious injury.
Rule 9.6 of the NHL rulebook states that the play can only be blown dead if there is not an immediate scoring chance. Given the fact that the puck was behind the net at the time of the incident, that feels far from immediate. It took nearly five seconds for the puck to enter the net, which seems to contradict the NHL’s rule on the matter.
Bowness seemed equally confused after the game:
The Jets may have escaped with the OT win, but the fact that Hellebuyck could have been struck in the head with a slapshot on a rule technicality feels remarkably short-sighted by the league and its officials.
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The Jets will hope to build off of such an emotional game when they pay a visit to the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday. The ‘Hawks’ currently sit last in the central, so the Jets need to roll into the United Center and take care of business.
Stay tuned to our site on Sunday for our preview of the Jets at Blackhawks game.