The Nashville Predators and the Montreal Canadiens skated to a shootout this evening. The shootout was not the fun part of the evening, though. Montreal held a 4-1 lead more than 12 minutes into the third period. Nashville came storming back to tie the game in regulation with three late goals. But that wasn’t the fun part, either.
Nope, for me the fun part was the last ten seconds of overtime. Greg DeVries cross-checked Patrice Brisebois in the neutral zone, but that wasn’t even the good part. As Tomas Plekanec was skating into the offensive zone with speed down the left wing side, David Legwand mauled him along the boards, drawing a hooking penalty in the dying seconds. The clock ran out before play stopped and the penalty could be enforced.
It sort of begs the question, here we had a player who had an offensive advantage, and with the clock running out on the hockey portion of the game, the defender had little to lose by taking what looked like an “intentional” penalty. Just throwing it out there, but do we need to see teams that take a penalty in the defensive zone in the last ten seconds or so of overtime pay a stiffer price than merely having the penalty recorded in the official statistics?
By the way, Nashville won the game 5-4 in the shootout that Legwand might have preserved.