Kurtis Gabriel was ejected from the San Jose Sharks’ 4-0 loss to the Coyotes for this hit on Johan Larsson.
Kurtis Gabriel puts an illegal hit on Johan Larsson that results in a 5 minute major. pic.twitter.com/18fLQYwiaH
— FOX Sports Arizona (@FOXSPORTSAZ) March 28, 2021
The initial call on the ice was an interference major, which the officiating crew upheld after review.
Down 2-0 with 12:58 left, this Gabriel hit put a nail into the San Jose Sharks’ coffin. Larsson went into the locker room and didn’t return.
“Any time you have a heavy hit to your head, it’s dangerous,” Coyotes head coach Rick Tocchet said post-game. “[The trainer] went to talk to him. He wasn’t that bad, but you never know with these things. Any time you get hit in the head, things happen 24 hours later.”
Bob Boughner, however, saw things differently: “I saw what went down last night with a hit from behind by Schmaltz, a two-minute penalty, putting a guy head first into the boards. I saw this hit, it doesn’t look as near dangerous. I think because it’s Gabes, you didn’t get the benefit of the doubt. I was surprised by the five. It definitely was a penalty for interference, I would think at most.”
For what it’s worth, Boughner said this right after the game. At this time, he had only seen the hit live.
The San Jose Sharks bench boss was referring to this Nick Schmaltz hit on Radim Simek last night:
“I asked [the referee] what the difference was,” Boughner shared, “and he said it was interference and he said there’s a call in the book that you can call a major on an interference.”
“I was surprised when they reviewed that it was five,” Devan Dubnyk said.
Kurtis Gabriel did not speak post-game.
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