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Jay Rosehill talks Morgan Rielly’s cross-check and Nikita Zadorov’s suspension: Canucks Conversation

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Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Clarke Corsan
2 months ago
On today’s episode of Canucks Conversation, David Quadrelli and Harman Dayal were joined by former NHLer Jay Rosehill to discuss the latest drama from the battle of Ontario and Nikita Zadorov’s suspension.
Morgan Rielly is set to have an in-person hearing following his cross-check to the head of Ridly Greig, after Greig buried an empty-netter with a slapshot from about 12 feet away en route to the Senators’ 5-3 win over Toronto.
Rielly took exception to Greig’s late-game antics by giving him a stern cross-check to his head and neck area, which prompted a scrum between all players on the ice. It’s important to keep in mind that Rielly has never been suspended nor does he have a history of maliciousness, and that he does appear to target his shoulder initially, which Greig raises in defence, and the stick rides up into his head.
Jay Rosehill gave his thoughts on the play by Greig and response by Rielly:
“It was a clear big F you to the Maple Leafs,” said Jay. “I saw Morgan Rielly go right after him, and I absolutely loved it. What I wasn’t a fan of is the fact that he cross-checked him right in the head. There’s a lot of wiggle room in between doing nothing and cross-checking him in the head. It’s my honest opinion that it wasn’t his intent to go and give him that shot right to the head. Kind of crawled up on him, which can happen when you cross-check, but at the end of the day, you’ve got to be in control of your own stick. He’s going to pay the piper here, but as far as the actual response itself to what he did, I was all for it.”
“As a former NHL player, what’s your response to Greig’s shot at the end of the game?” asked Harm.
“He’s fully able to make that call and do that, I got no problem with that, you can do whatever you want,” Jay replied. “You can act like Brad Marchand, Mario Lemioux, you can do whatever you want, it’s your career and you have the ability to act how you want, but if you’re going to do things like that, expect a response back. The guys have a lot of pride, honour, and integrity within the game and how they feel towards their teammates, the organization they play for, and if you’re going to throw a big two fingers in the air right at the team you’re playing after an empty-netter, it’s going to elicit a response.”
Quads: “How many games do you think he will get and how many do you think he should get?
“I think he’s going to get 5 or 6, being that it’s an in-person,” answered Jay. “I think he should get two for it, I think that sends the message. I don’t think he’s a guy that does that all the time or tries to do it, if you look at it from the one angle, he clearly goes right at his shoulder, bounces right off his shoulder and slides up into his head. Once he realizes he’s up in that danger zone, he completely lets go of his stick. That doesn’t mean he’s not responsible for it, you’re responsible for what happens whether that was your intention or not, but a 5 or 6 game suspension for that, I just don’t see the consistency in the suspensions where you see other guys doing more vicious things. Leafs Nation is pulling up all kinds of incidents against the Leafs that got 0 games that were much more vicious, so the consistency is never there, it’s always a coin flip, but I have a feeling he’s going to get 5 or 6 and I think that’s too much.”
The guys then moved on to discuss Nikita Zadorov’s two-game suspension for his hit on Lucas Raymond on Saturday. 
“He’s cutting across on his edge backward, one of those defenseman-type hits,” said Jay. “Usually, it’s up against the glass; this one happens to be open ice. He’s on his trail leg with his heel leading, so to have any agility at that point in time at that speed; it’s difficult to line the guy up perfectly, but he clips his head, and that’s the biggest problem, right? Of course, Raymond does the theatrics after sliding on his knees and arching his back and sliding and flopping face-first; that’s fine, that’s his M.O. But when you’re hitting guys in today’s day and age, you know where the NHL stands on it. They want to play hockey without hitting players’ heads. If you’re going to hit a guy, you gotta get there full body, you gotta get the trunk and main mass of his body. You can’t just clip his chin or his head. Every time there’s a suspension like that, and there’s a few here in the last week, it seems like there are two common themes; one is the guy that gets hit always seems to look like he doesn’t even realize they’re playing body contact hockey, and the person hitting them isn’t able to get the full body. The immediate reaction from the league is going to be to suspend that player, whether that original player put himself in a vulnerable spot or not, they don’t seem to care. Right now, it’s a full contact sport that you’re not allowed to touch the guy’s head on. As long as you’re playing hit-hockey, where you can’t hit the guy’s head, you’re going to run into these kinds of problems all the time.”
You can watch the full segment below:

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