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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?


Further Reading

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.”

Craig Rivet: Locker Room

Craig Rivet: Locker Room


  1. Winger

    April 10, 2011 at 5:02 pm

    Arniel’s comments can be ignored. Turn it around and he’d feel different. That’s what coaches do. If you don’t think it should be a 5-minute major then you’re right, you’re not a good fan. The NHL has instructed Ref’s to hand out majors for any head-shots. Doesn’t matter if it is intentional or not. Rivet’s a good guy and I highly doubt he had any intent to injure his former teammate, but a head-shot is a head-shot. But what’s the big deal, this was a meaningless game?

  2. Craig Layne

    April 10, 2011 at 7:25 pm

    I agree 100% that it was a meaningless game. And yes, Arniel would feel different if the shoe was on the other foot. However, we have seen time and time again ref’s favoring the apposing team this season. Does that make it right? Absolutely not, just frustrating as a fan seeing things favored in the opposing team time and time again.

    Of course Rivet didn’t intend to hurt him. But that is my reasoning for not deserving a major. So, I guess my problem isn’t with this call, but the head-shot rule in general. I feel that there are occasions where it should be enforced, and punished to the full extent of the rule book, but other times (such as this situation) there should be some wiggle room. Accidents happen.

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