Boston Bruins: Matt Beleskey Cleared by Department of Player Safety


It appears that Boston Bruins forward Matt Beleskey dodged a bullet. The NHL’s Department of Player Safety has determined that no supplemental discipline was required for the Bruins forward for his hit on New York Rangers forward Derek Stepan. The Bruins defeated the Rangers in that game 4-3.

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“I just think he didn’t think I was gonna hit him. He kind of didn’t brace himself,” said Beleskey about the hit. “I didn’t take any extra stride, or anything like that. Maybe, maybe…a little bit late. But he saw me coming and I came from the front. It’s unfortunate that – I think I just saw he’s injured, so hopefully he’s all right.”

Stepan is out indefinitely with two broken ribs. There is no time-table for his return.

The announcement will likely send Rangers coach Alain Vigneault in to apoplexy. Vigneault was absolutely indignant (to the point of stupid) regarding this hit. He was foolish (to the point of stupid) to compare this hit to a hit placed upon former Bruins forward Nathan Horton back in the Stanley Cup Finals in 2011 (Where Alain Vigneault failed to bring home the cup for the Vancouver Canucks that year.).

“In our opinion, it was a late hit. More than a second [late], and he was a couple of feet away from the boards,” said Vigneault of Beleskey’s hit.  “So we’ll have to wait and see. I remember Aaron Rome in this building, 0.6 seconds late, getting suspended four games in the Stanley Cup Final, so [it will] be interesting to see. Step [Derek Stepan] broke some ribs, so he’ll be out indefinitely.”

Vigneault in this instance is delusional (to the point of stupid). Vigneault’s personal demons over his and his teams’ failure four years ago are coloring his judgment here. A vicious hit to the head of a player that sent a player to the hospital and out of the Stanley Cup final is worthy of the suspension they got. In Vingeault’s mind, a clean hit on open nice where the shoulder hits the body is considered an offense worthy of a serious suspension.

Once Vigneault discovered he wasn’t going to get anywhere, he shifted tacks and went after the Bruins in another route.  This time the exasperated Rangers coach went after the Bruins for Henrik Lundqvist‘s dive in period three of the Rangers-Bruins game.

“I mean it’s a little disappointing. Obviously everybody saw the knee to the head. The comments on Hank were very inappropriate. The way Hank conducts himself, on the ice, away from the rink, off the ice, the example that he sets.”

“Who would you rather have as a son, Henrik Lundqvist or Brad Marchand?  For him to say things like that about Hank, totally wrong, and probably Claude is getting a little older and needs to check his eyesight.”

Apparently it’s now good form to make ad hominem attacks against players when they don’t get their way. Not exactly a gold star moment for Vigneault here. I’m sure the Rangers head coach and Henrik Lundqvist can sit back on their laurels from their Stanley Cup wins to question the actions of the Bruins.

Maybe I’m shallow, but I’d like to see my son reach the top of the world in the job he chooses, and it seems that only one of them have them done that.

Guess which one?