Torey Krug’s highlight-reel hit sparked a discussion about a potential missed call

Krug body checked Blues forward Robert Thomas in the Blues' defensive zone after getting tangled up away from the play.

Torey Krug Robert Thomas NHL
Torey Krug handed out the biggest hit of the night to St. Louis' Robert Thomas in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final. –John Tlumacki / The Boston Globe

Bruins defenseman Torey Krug may have come away with Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final’s top highlight when he skated across the length of the ice to level Blues forward Robert Thomas with a body check in the third period Monday.

Krug lost his helmet while he was tangled up with David Perron in front of the Bruins’ net before returning to his feet as his teammates rushed the puck into the offensive zone. When he rejoined the play, he delivered some old-school-hockey style contact.

Krug’s hit brought the TD Garden crowd to its feet, but not everyone watching the game was thrilled. Some members of the media felt Krug should have been assessed a penalty for charging, while others, including former NHL players, rose to defend the Bruins defenseman.


Here is a breakdown of what the NHL’s rules define as “charging,” as well as a number of media members and former players who debated the hit’s legality on Twitter.

What does the NHL define as “charging”?

Charging falls under Rule 42 of the NHL’s official rulebook. It is defined as “the actions of a player who, as a result of distance traveled, shall violently check an opponent in any manner. A ‘charge’ may be the result of a check into the boards, into the goal frame or in open ice.”

NHL 2018-2019 rulebook charging
The NHL’s definition of “charging” as a penalty. —Screenshot via NHL 2018-2019 Official Rulebook

While the NHL’s rules do not require a player to have taken a specific number of strides to meet the qualifications of a charge, USA Hockey’s rulebook refers to a charge as when a player “takes more than two strides or travels an excessive distance to accelerate through a body check for the purpose of punishing the opponent.”

Here’s who thought Krug should have been penalized

Scott Burnside, The Athletic:

Pierre LeBrun, The Athletic:

Mike Harrington, The Buffalo News:

Travis Jost, TSN:

Here’s who thought the non-call was the right call

John-Michael Liles, former NHL defenseman (2003-17)

Martin Biron, former NHL goalie (1995-2014)

Matthew Barnaby, former NHL forward (1992-2007)

Bruce Cassidy, Bruins head coach