Calgary Flames forward Alex Chiasson got sent to the showers early on Wednesday night after he was caught spearing an opponent on the ice during the first period.
Well, "caught" and "spearing" are both somewhat generous in this case.
After a stoppage in play, Chiasson skated by the Flames bench and delivered a subtle little jab into the midsection of the Flyers' Nick Cousins. While totally unnecessary, it certainly wasn't the most violent or malicious play you'll ever see. It was still very stupid, especially when you consider that Chiasson did right in front of an official.
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Seriously, look how close they were.
After initially receiving a double-minor for the infraction, the officials conferred and changed the ruling to a five-minute major and a game misconduct. While that may seem a bit harsh for such a soft "spear," it seems like the correct call by the book.
Rule 62 -- Spearing62.1 Spearing - Spearing shall mean stabbing an opponent with the point of the stick blade, whether contact is made or not.62.2 Double-minor Penalty - A double-minor penalty will be imposed on a player who spears an opponent and does not make contact.62.3 Major Penalty - A major penalty shall be imposed on a player who spears an opponent (see 62.5).62.4 Match Penalty - A match penalty shall be imposed on a player who injures an opponent as a result of a spear.62.5 Game Misconduct Penalty - Whenever a major penalty is assessed for spearing, a game misconduct penalty must also be imposed.
Regardless of how hard Chiasson's jab was, the fact that he made contact with Cousins basically guarantees him a five and a game.
The punishment doesn't exactly fit the crime in this case, but if you're dumb enough to commit that penalty while standing about one foot away from a linesman looking directly at you, you deserve whatever you've got coming to you.