This post is not about whether Zdeno Chara should have been suspended for his hit on Max Pacioretty. Instead, it is addressing the ridiculous argument that the game is so fast that Chara couldn't have known where he was on the ice. Let's turn it over to reigning MVP and creepy-looking twin Henrik Sedin via Puck Daddy and the Vancouver Sun:
“I'll tell you this: if you say that you don't know where things are around the ice, I think you're not telling the truth,” Sedin said. “You play the game for 20 years, you know it's there."
|The one on the left to the right|
Another flawed argument in the Chara debate is, "if this happened anywhere else on the ice, it wouldn't have been so bad." Yes, that's true. But, unfortunately for Pacioretty, it happened where it did. If Fedor Tutin wasn't so close to the boards when Matt Cooke took a flying leap into him from behind, it wouldn't have been boarding. But Tutin was near the boards; hence, it was boarding and a suspension. As it should have been.
The NHL rule book is littered with provisions that determine penalties based on where you are on the ice. It matters, and it should. Therefore, if you are going to defend Chara's non-suspension, just don't say either 1) the game is so fast that he didn't know where he was on the ice; or 2) if it had happened 5 feet to the left, it would have been a regular hit.
After all, if Brett Hull's skate was a foot farther out, it wouldn't have been in the crease.