MINNEAPOLIS — Jason Zucker had just played the puck, and his head was down when Michal Rozsival buried his shoulder into him. Zucker went down hard, the back of his head slamming on the ice. It took a few minutes for the Minnesota Wild forward to get up, and he had to be helped off the ice.
Rozsival soon followed.
Rozsival was ejected from the game, given a five-minute major for interference and a game misconduct for the hit. It was hard to tell for sure if Rozsival’s shoulder caught Zucker in the head in any way, or if it was the contact with the ice that injured Zucker. But a league source said it’s unlikely that Rozsival will face any supplemental discipline from the department of player safety for the hit, which came within the allowable time after Zucker made a play at the puck. In fact, the severe on-ice penalty — it’s highly unusual to see a player get a major and an ejection for “interference” — plays in Rozsival’s favor. The league likely will say he was punished plenty by missing the final 25 minutes of the game.
“I didn’t think it was a major,” Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said. “It was a spontaneous play as a defenseman in that situation. He just played the man [and] unfortunately the player was injured.”
The Hawks had one other brush with the officiating, when Duncan Keith’s first-period goal — which would have made it a 2-1 game and could have changed the momentum — was immediately waved off because Jonathan Toews bumped Wild goaltender Devan Dubnyk a moment before Keith scored. Dubnyk went down like he was shot, but there was definitely contact as he peered around the net and Toews went by.
“I don’t know, I guess I’ll have to watch it,” Toews said. “In the moment, you always disagree, no matter what. You’re a little biased no matter what. I was focused on the puck. I thought he was out of his net a tiny bit. So I guess in that case, they probably made the right call. It’s frustrating but it happens.”
The Hawks took seven penalties in all (counting Rozsival’s as one), and Minnesota was 1-for-6 on the power play.
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