Martin Hanzal of the Arizona Coyotes and Radko Gudas of the Philadelphia Flyers should be punished by the NHL for dirty hits during Saturday’s game, argues the HockeyBuzz blog:
Gudas’ name has come up too many times this season and during his career when it comes to borderline or over-the-line hits. It’s time the NHL does something about it. He’s been one of the Flyers’ best players down the stretch, too, but what’s right is right.
However, the response that Martin Hanzal chose –targeting Claude Giroux for a similarly dirty hit and then intimating afterwards that it was deliberate — is worthy of an in-person hearing and a long suspension.
What we’ve seen a lot in the NHL, though, is that they suspend mostly based on outcome.
Center Martin Hanzal scored two goals to lead the Arizona Coyotes to a surprising 3-1 victory at Gila River Arena on Thursday night over the Dallas Stars, the top team in the NHL’s Western Conference.
Hanzal, who has struggled for goals since becoming a first-round pick for Arizona in 2005, gave Arizona the lead 55 seconds into the second period when he found Oliver Ekman-Larsson’s rebound and made a crafty shot that struck Dallas defenseman Alex Goligoski and got past goalie Kari Lehtonen. This made the score 2-1. Hanzal added a short-handed goal in the third period to double the Coyotes lead.
The game featured two goals nine seconds apart. Arizona second-year player Tobias Rieder scored at 14:11 of the first period, then Dallas veteran Ales Hemsky immediately tied the game at 1.
Hanzal’s first goal was the 100th of his career, inspiring him to give this amusing quote: “It’s a nice number. It took me what, nine years? In another 35, I might catch Doaner.”
Arizona goalie Louis Domingue made 37 saves against the NHL’s top-scoring offense.
The 33-34-7 Coyotes are one win from evening up their wins and losses. They play Saturday night at 8 p.m. MST on home ice against the Philadelphia Flyers. Arizona is not mathematically eliminated from playoff contention but trails the Minnesota Wild for the final wild-card spot by 10 points with eight games to play.