Late in the second period with the Jets tied 3-3 Anthony Peluso tried to do his job finishing checks and creating energy by crushing Alex Goligoski into the side boards with a check. The only problem was the hit was a little late and from behind.
Coming from behind the play as Goligoski moved the puck up the ice Peluso skated down Goligoski from behind and punished him for making the pass. In most cases finishing your check is justified. However doing it my behind has always been against the rules. Peluso completely ignores the rules as he crushes Goligoski into the boards between the numbers.
Anthony Peluso Hit on Alex Goligoski- Game Misconduct For Boarding (12/14/13) (via SomeHockeyVideos)
As Goligoski suffered on the ice Peluso's Jets teammate depth defenseman Adam Pardy needed to answer the bell well outside his weight class against Star's tough guy Antoine Roussel. They were only given minors, but it was clearly a fight. This is the one role Peluso is supposed to be in the lineup for, but instead a non-fighter was asked to answer for our tough guy's actions. This begs the question, What is the use in having a tough guy if real players are asked to answer for the tough guys actions?
Back to the matter at hand, is this hit in particular is worthy of a suspension. The easiest way to see if this is a questionable hit is too look at comparables. The best recent comparable I can find recently is this hit by Blues forward Maxim Lapierre against Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle. In both cases the defenseman is skating away from the attacking forward after making a play with the puck with the numbers clearly showing. In that case Lapierre was given a five game suspension.
Now in Peluso's defense there are several different circumstances in play here. Lapierre had a previous suspension record after a 4 game suspension against former Sharks forward Scott Nichol on March 5, 2010. Also this hit did result in an injury to Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle. Anthony Peluso has no NHL record of suspensions and Goligoski did return later in the game. So both those factors are out.
However Peluso was given a 5 minute major and a game misconduct on the play. The referees at the game felt this was an extreme case of boarding or hitting from behind. The malicious intent on the play was obvious. This was not a case of simply finishing the check.
As such Peluso has a meeting with the NHL's Department of Player Safety today at noon eastern (11am central). This means Peluso may be given a 1-5 game suspension for this hit.
Peluso should get 2 games for this hit. It has no place in this league. Skating down somebody to hit them in the numbers is not a part of the game. This was boarding with an avoidable hit that caused injury (even though the injury was not serious as Goligoski returned to game). Peluso deserves to be punished for this hit.
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