Matt Dumba has split opinions with his big hit on the Calgary Flames’ Mikael Backlund late in the third period of a 2-0 loss for the Minnesota Wild.
We have spoken about how Matt Dumba has increased his hitting this season already, and the Minnesota Wild could potentially face a suspension for his latest one. It really depends how it is interpreted by the Department of Player Safety; as it appears neither of his skates were on the ice surface at the moment of contact.
For his efforts, Dumba was wrestled to the ice by Ryan Lomberg, who also chose to lay a cheap shot on the Minnesota Wild defenseman, once he had taken him down.
Given the timing of the hit, with less than a minute remaining in the third period and with the Minnesota Wild down 2-0, you’d have to be very disappointed if a suspension is handed to Matt Dumba.
Looking at the hit itself, it doesn’t appear that Matt Dumba was seeking to deliberately injure the player, unlike the Ryan Reaves and Tom Wilson incident elsewhere in the league. It’s interesting to see some opinions on it, namely that of Calgary Flames’ goal scorer Elias Lindholm:
No penalty was handed down on the play either; instead it was only Ryan Lomberg getting punished; he was dealt a penalty for instigator, a penalty for fighting and a game misconduct for the scrap with Dumba after the hit, finishing the game with 17 penalty minutes total.
The Minnesota Wild head coach certainly didn’t think anything much of the hit, but noted the Calgary Flames’ goon move, sending Ryan Lomberg after Matt Dumba immediately following the hit:
Looking closely at the hit itself, you do see the Minnesota Wild defenseman’s feet leave the ice surface before the moment of impact. Likewise, you do see that the head is the primary impact point.
You could probably argue a charging penalty and a check to the head, but again, the case for this is weakened by the fact that no call was made by the on-ice officials.
I think on this occasion, despite it being a little dirty to lay such a hit late in the game, that Matt Dumba and the Minnesota Wild will get away with the hit.
It certainly added a talking point to an often scrappy and rather frustrating game for the Wild. They didn’t really deserve to take the loss and will be massively disappointed if Dumba is adjudged any sort of suspension for a nasty (albeit not as reckless as Twitter suggests) play.