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.
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) May 28, 2019
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.”
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:
Torey Krug literally raced the length of the ice and levelled Robert Thomas after being tangled up with David Perron. Charging? Yes. Called? No.
— Scott Burnside (@OvertimeScottB) May 28, 2019
Pierre LeBrun, The Athletic:
How the hell is that not a charging penalty on Krug? Wow.
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) May 28, 2019
Mike Harrington, The Buffalo News:
Krug with a punishing hit on Thomas that clearly should have been a charging penalty. He was obviously PO'd because Perron had committed three penalties on him in the defensive zone and officials stood there and watched and called nothing. Brutal officiating. A real NHL problem.
— Mike Harrington (@ByMHarrington) May 28, 2019
Travis Jost, TSN:
Look I don’t really care but to say that’s not charging is mystifying. (Note: charging might only be second to goaltender interference in the way fans randomly introduce qualifiers that don’t exist.) pic.twitter.com/XldZT4Hzss
— Travis Yost (@travisyost) May 28, 2019
Here’s who thought the non-call was the right call
John-Michael Liles, former NHL defenseman (2003-17)
Not. A. Charge. Not even close https://t.co/s9GwZTu67l
— John-Michael Liles (@hoosierjm26) May 28, 2019
Martin Biron, former NHL goalie (1995-2014)
Krug didn’t take any strides for a long distance before hammering Thomas. He came in fast but was gliding to deliver the hit. Not a charge in my book.
— Martin Biron (@martybiron43) May 28, 2019
Matthew Barnaby, former NHL forward (1992-2007)
Those calling for charging on Krug… He did a great job in selling fact he was going to play puck…. then BOOM
— Matthew Barnaby (@MattBarnaby3636) May 28, 2019
Bruce Cassidy, Bruins head coach
— Craig Kolodny (@NBCBostonCraig) May 28, 2019