By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — Playoff hockey can get pretty nasty. Hockey in the Stanley Cup Final can get even nastier. But that nastiness typically doesn’t involve the goaltender.READ MORE: Gabriel Landeskog Explains Why He Went After Taylor Hall Following Clean Hit On Nathan MacKinnon
Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final on Monday night in Boston, though, was an exception, as St. Louis netminder Jordan Binnington felt inspired to join the physical foray in the second period.
It came during the second period, after Binnington covered up a puck for a whistle. Veteran Bruins forward David Backes was standing in the crease when St. Louis D-man Joel Edmundson seemed to exact some revenge for what he felt was a flop by Backes earlier in the period. Edmundson caught Backes with a cross-check from behind, sending Backes to the ice in Binnington’s crease.
Backes may have leaned on Binnington for some leverage in getting up, and the goaltender let Backes know rather quickly that such help was not being offered.READ MORE: Springfield Police Officer Hurt, Suspect Shot Outside MGM Casino
Binnington popped Backes square in the face with an elbow.
(In the unlikely event that he was watching, Tim Thomas had to smirk upon seeing such violence return to that crease in the Stanley Cup Final.)
No penalty was called for the elbow, as referees generally aren’t even looking at the goaltender in such situations. It’s unlikely to draw any attention from the department of player safety, either, because the league doesn’t generally work in the business of disciplining goaltenders.MORE NEWS: Garth Brooks Excited For First-Ever Performance At 'Home Of Champions' Gillette Stadium
It will, though, certainly be noted in the Bruins dressing room as the series goes on. Whether that comes into play on any post-whistle funny business, we cannot know. But it will certainly be noted.