Boston Bruins: Huge Hit By Charlie McAvoy Wasn’t Foul Play

Boston Bruins, Charlie McAvoy #73 (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Boston Bruins, Charlie McAvoy #73 (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

In the Boston Bruins’ 4-3 comeback win, Charlie McAvoy was feeling it laying a huge hit on the Hurricanes’ Jordan Staal.

Unfortunately for Charlie McAvoy and the Boston Bruins, this seems to have drawn a lot of criticism, which is wrong on all counts. The hit itself wasn’t foul play and rightfully wasn’t dealt a penalty during gameplay.

To suggest otherwise is foolish, but that didn’t stop it being assessed by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety. This is a move that we question greatly, because it sways toward removing any real contact from the sport.

There was zero wrong with the good firm hip-check that Charlie McAvoy landed. In fact, the only thing wrong is that Jordan Staal had his head down and not up; if that one adjustment had have been made, he would likely have moved out of the way.

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The hit certainly drew some excitement from the Boston Bruins bench and if it had been in a packed TD Garden, would’ve no doubt had the fans on their feet. It’s fair to say, that one hit may have helped maintain the Bruins’ momentum.

Removing any team bias from the equation, the only reason this deserved so much as a second glance by the NHL is the fact that Charlie McAvoy’s arms do swing a little as the check is landed.

You could, at a stretch, make arguments for an elbowing call, but realistically the motion was more out of momentum and the sudden stop as their bodies collided. As such you’d be hard-pressed to call it an intentional elbow, if you could even call it an elbow in the first place.

The biggest concern with the NHL retrospectively looking at such moments is that not only does it undermine the on-ice officials, but it also could eventually lead to a game devoid of the body-on-body contact that we all enjoy. When it’s done right, at least.

Of course, if this is the Hurricanes landing a bone-crunching hit on a Boston Bruins player, maybe we’re looking at it and seeking all manner of reasons that they should be punished. That wasn’t the case though; our players are wise enough not to drop their head.

This sort of play needs to remain a part of the game, it’s one of the reasons we love the sport. The Stanley Cup Playoffs without proper contact just wouldn’t feel right. As for Charlie McAvoy, long may his good form continue.

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No foul here; ignore what any Hurricanes fans say to the contrary!