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‘Letter of the Law,’ Sullivan Surprised, Wanted NHL to Penalize Dillon’s Hit on Blueger

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PIttsburgh Penguins, Teddy Blueger hit

Midway through the first period, Pittsburgh Penguins center Teddy Blueger suffered a broken jaw when Winnipeg Jets defenseman Brenden Dillon crunched him into the end wall to finish a check.

The 6-foot-4 Dillon and his shoulder made direct contact with Blueger’s face. Sullivan received an explanation on Sunday why officials didn’t call a penalty.

“They didn’t see it,” Sullivan said then.

On Tuesday, Sullivan expressed surprise that the league didn’t levy a fine or supplemental discipline against Dillon.

“The short answer to your question is yes. I was surprised. When I read the rulebook and I watched the hit, for me, it’s the letter of the law. The main point of contact was his head, hence a broken jaw,” Sullivan began, almost in an NHL video cadence. “Points in consideration, unnecessary extension of the body upward and outward. It appeared to me that both took place on the body check. And for me, my understanding of the rule and watching the hit is very different than the way the league saw it. But it’s not my call.”

Blueger, 27, had surgery on Monday for a fractured jaw and will be out of the Pittsburgh Penguins lineup for six to eight weeks. Teddy Blueger has 17 points (9-8-17) in 40 games this season, including his abbreviated appearance on Sunday.

Brian Boyle figures to anchor the Penguins’ fourth line in Blueger’s absence. Boyle, who signed a PTO before training camp and made the team. Has played 28 games this season with five points (4-1-5).

“Does it present a challenge for us? For sure it does, because Teddy’s a good player for us. You know, he’s one of our best penalty killers. He’s having a terrific year for us,” Sullivan said. “He makes our bottom six a whole lot more difficult to play against. And so once again, we’re just going to have to fill the void.”

Our friends at the Tough Call podcast and YouTube channel have the slow-mo angles. They agree with Sullivan.

 

The Penguins host the Arizona Coyotes on Tuesday night at PPG Paints Arena. The Penguins have won 16 of 18 games and five in a row. They rallied to beat the Winnipeg Jets 3-2 in a shootout after Blueger was injured on Sunday.

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Pittsburgh Hockey Now Editor-in-Chief, formerly 93.7 The Fan, Sportsnet Hockey Tonight, NHL Home Ice. Catch Dan tweeting @theDanKingerski and the official @pghhockeynow account.

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William Maloni
William Maloni
10 months ago

I know the Pens have “depth,” but if they turned to WB for the PK on Its roster, who would that be?

Rick Bucko
Rick Bucko
10 months ago
Reply to  William Maloni

What the Pens need are glaring. Some big pants as Ron Burkle promised. But this coach Sullivan’s team. Remember Ryan Reaves best all around enforcer in hockey. Coach Sully chose little Aubin over him. You see his players all alike little smurfs Simon Kapanen Heinlein the list goes on and on. How about Savard on Defense. Need some one to clear the crease good enough to play for Tampa.

Chris R
Chris R
10 months ago

The no-call and subsequent lack of supplemental discipline for Dillon’s hit on Blueger is total bull. The poor guy dropped to the ice writhing, clearly in pain, and spraying blood everywhere after a blatant hit to the head, and…nothing? The refs can’t look at a replay?Egregious and yet totally expected coming from a league that values many other things over the safety of its players or maintaining the integrity of the game.

Mike
Mike
10 months ago

If that would have been a Penguin making that hit, he would be gone & fined. NHL, you blew this one.

D1VE is Dumb
D1VE is Dumb
10 months ago

With Blueger on IR for at least six weeks and if Zucker has surgery or is on IR for another month or two, what kind of cap space does that free up?

Mike Donnelly
Mike Donnelly
10 months ago

garage league

Wes Johnston
Wes Johnston
10 months ago
Reply to  Mike Donnelly

You got there first. Yes. Garage league.

Rick Bucko
Rick Bucko
10 months ago

Dillion left his feet if you watch closely. I think with his past as a sometimes dirty player throw the book at him. He should be out as as long as Teddy. Eye for a eye.

Cal
Cal
10 months ago
Reply to  Rick Bucko

Agree. I’ve long believed that the penalty for intentional injury should match the length of the injury. Makes sense.

anthony Klifton
anthony Klifton
10 months ago

any other team Dillon would have been spittin teeth

Wes Johnston
Wes Johnston
10 months ago

The league’s not going to take this stuff seriously until individual cities step in, and police haul these clowns off the ice in cuffs. I know, it will never happen, but I can dream, can’t I?