Reprinted with permission from hockeybuzz.com
There's no justification, nor is there any rationalization of Montreal Canadiens rookie Jiri Sekac's boarding of Sabres defenseman Nikita Zadorov.
Say what you will about Zadorov "turning at the last moment." You know, like when you quickly survey the flow of the play in anticipation of wear you can go with the puck then actually attempt to play it instead of turning away from it.
Yeah, it was his fault. And when former ref Kerry Fraser backs it, well you know you're right. Right?
Save your blabber.
I have one question. Would you feel the same way if a Sabres' player did the exact same thing to a Canadiens player?
What it should come down to in this case, as with any, is intent to injure. Even though intent to injure is almost impossible to prove, Jiri Sekac was intent upon doing as much damage as he could to a player in a vulnerable position. It matters not whether or not Zadorov was at fault for putting himself in a vulnerable position (and you can't prove that he foresaw what was coming as he was about to play the puck.) It was a brutal hit. So brutal that the immediate reaction from the booth was "That might be a game ejection. That was a vicious hit."
And so it was.
You see, it wasn't about Zadorov, it was how Sekac zoned in on Zadorov's back, "He's looking at numbers the whole way" and the speed with which he went in. That and how Sekac snapped his hips for maximum impact on contact, kind of like a boxer when he snaps those hips while throwing a roundhouse to get the most power out of his punch.
Even though Sekac "does not let up one bit," the impact would have been lessened had he not cocked and released a George Forman-like roundhouse elbow smack dab between the five and one.
Don't worry, though, Sabres fans are accustomed to this kind of stuff. The city of Buffalo, the Sabres and their fans are looked (down) upon as the bastard-child of the red-headed stepchild and no matter what the child did, it's his fault.
We get it.
Just remember, very dog has his day.