Boston Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy lowered his shoulder and plowed it into the jaw of Columbus Blue Jackets forward Josh Anderson in the final 20 seconds of the second period of Monday night’s Game 6. For good measure, Anderson’s head recoiled directly into the fist of Zdeno Chára, before he crumpled to the ice.
Referees looked at the hit and assessed McAvoy a two-minute minor penalty for a check to the head. If that strikes you as a lenient call—it’s very easy to interpret that hit as McAvoy targeting Anderson’s head, and it could’ve easily been ruled a major—know that your position is shared by Columbus fans, whose thunderous boos made clear their displeasure with the call. Replays appeared to show referee Kelly Sutherland motioning to boot McAvoy from the game, before reversing course:
Also this poor bag of peanuts was sacrificed:
Anderson was able to return to the ice for the start of the third period, but the Bruins have since added two goals and lead 3–0.