Even with some spectacular games and finishes last night, many people in the hockey world were focused on an incident that happened behind the net in the Florida Panthers-Vancouver Canucks game. After putting his talents on display again, by eluding several defenders, Elias Pettersson was run into the boards by Florida defenseman Michael Matheson, who then seemed to throw the young Vancouver star into the ice. Pettersson, one of the lightest players in the league, was injured on the play and had trouble even getting to his feet before leaving the game.
Immediately there was outcry from the Canucks faithful that Matheson deserves a suspension, and today Darren Dreger of TSN tweeted that the league is indeed reviewing the incident. As of this writing no hearing has been offered to the Panthers defenseman, but many believe he should be facing several games for something that could be construed as “intent to injure.” Vancouver head coach Travis Green certainly seems to think so, repeatedly saying after the game that it was a “dirty play.”
There are of course many who oppose the idea of any supplemental discipline for Matheson, saying that the incident looked worse than it actually was because of Pettersson’s slight frame. Though officially listed at 176-lbs, the rookie phenom may well weigh even less than that and certainly doesn’t have the sort of size or strength of many around the league. Incidentally neither really does Matheson, who is listed at 193-lbs himself and is not regarded as an overly physical player.
It’s easy to see the arguments on both sides, but what do you think? Should Matheson be given a suspension for the play last night? Does the fact that he was not even penalized on the play come into the decision, or the fact that Pettersson suffered an injury? Vote below and share your thoughts about the incident in the comment section.
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