Rick Quinton | Email Rick.Quinton@corusent.com
As Alain Vigneault saw it, Phoenix goalie Mike Smith left his crease to play the puck behind the net and Alex Edler simply had no choice but to run into him.
The coach says he thought the hit might have deserved a minor penalty, but certainly not the major Edler received for charging. And you can bet Vigneault is not happy that Edler has a telephone hearing scheduled with the league later today (6pm PDT) to answer for his actions.
The fact Smith didn't return to play the third period won't help Edlers case, even though whatever injury smith suffered probably happened earlier in the game during a goal-mouth collision with Daniel Sedin.
It’s going to be interesting to see how the league rules, because there is a precedent. In last year's playoffs, Chicago's Andrew Shaw collided with Smith behind the Phoenix net, resulting in a three-game suspension --- and Smith was not injured and finished the game.
The Canucks continue their three-game road trip tomorrow afternoon in Los Angeles and then face the Avalanche in Denver on Sunday.