Craig Rivet: Controversial Cross-Check
Let me start by saying that I missed last nights game. Yeah, I know, I’m a terrible fan. However, this morning Eric Smith sent me some post-game interviews that compelled me to look a little closer at the highlight reels.
So here’s the skinny. Former Sabres Captain turned Blue Jacket, Craig Rivet apparently cross-checked rookie Tyler Ennis in the head. this resulted in a 5-Minute major that resulted in the Blue Jackets OT loss.
After some searching, I came up with a very low quality video, that shows the hit and the resulting scuffle:
Did you see it? It took me a few tries to catch a good glimpse, but it is right around the 4-second mark.
Craig Rivet’s take on it:
So was the hit intentional? For me it is very hard to tell, but I have seen a lot worse hits against the Blue Jackets with little to no consequence. I personally feel that the shot deserved a penalty, but not a 5-minute major.
And now my questions to you fans who were at/watched the game. Was the hit intentional? Was a 5-minute major appropriate?
While researching the hit, I found some good information/opinion from Aaron Portzline @ The Columbus Dispatch:
It was a tight game for 50 minutes, but Rivet’s penalty changed everything.
Rivet and Buffalo’s Tyler Ennis exchanged slashes after a whistle, but Rivet went a step further, cross-checking Ennis in the face to draw a five-minute major and a 10-minute misconduct.
“(Ennis) turned around and slashed me, and I turned around and slashed him,” Rivet said. “It was just a free-for-all. I thought he was going to turn around and hit me, and my stick came up and caught him.
“It wasn’t a deliberate cross-check to the face, but it happened so fast. It’s a bad time to take a penalty like that, and it obviously cost us.”
The Sabres made it 4-3 only 27 seconds later when Drew Stafford scored a spin-o-rama goal in close on Mason. Barely a minute after that, with 6:48 to go, Paul Gaustad redirected a Brad Boyes shot through traffic to push the lead to 5-3.
“I have a tough time with the penalty,” Arniel said. “I know all of a sudden we’re concerned about head shots, but I see that play happen an awful lot.
“Yeah, he used his stick and it probably should have been an extra-minor (penalty). They should have had a power play, but I didn’t think it deserved a five.”