NEW YORK – Was it a “very dangerous” and “dirty” slew foot?
Or was it simply a collision along the boards that resulted in Mike Green overreacting?
More importantly, is it a play that will be reviewed by the NHL?
With 6:14 remaining in the third period of the Capitals’ 1-0 loss to the Rangers in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Caps defenseman Mike Green and Rangers Derek Dorsett chased a loose puck into the corner and slammed into the boards.
Green stayed on his skates after the collision, but turned and cross-checked Dorsett in the face, drawing a cross-checking penalty and sending the Rangers to their fifth power play of the game and 26th of the series.
“The one that we all had a problem with, obviously, was the one on Greenie,” Caps goaltender Braden Holtby said. “I think that’s a play that should be reviewed. It’s only because Greenie’s world-class, one of the best skaters in the world, that he didn’t fall on his back there.
“It’s a dirty slew foot and we’re short-handed from it. That’s the only one I think any of us have a problem with.”
Capitals defenseman Karl Alzner and head coach Adam Oates agreed, calling Dorsett’s slew foot a “very dangerous” play.
“You don’t want to complain but that play to me is one that concerns me,” Oates said, “because Mike got slew-footed to me and that’s why Mike reacted.
“Mike is not that type of player. It looked like a slew-foot, a very, very dangerous play. I realize Green’s a guy they want to target, but I think that’s a very dangerous play.”
Replays show both players trying to gain position for the puck, but there is no clear sign of a slew foot.
Green did not speak to reporters after the game and Dorsett, still bloodied by Green’s cross-check, was not asked specifically about the play or whether it would warrant another look by NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan.
“I think when I’m playing hard, I can get under the skin of other guys,” Dorsett told reporters in the Rangers’ dressing room. “Any time I can do that, I want to help get the team on the power play.”
Dorsett’s hit on Green escalated the emotions of a series that has grown nastier by the day. The game ended with John Carlson, Troy Brouwer, Derek Stepan and Dan Girardi taking roughing minors in a post-game scrum along the boards.
“We didn’t like the way they took a couple shots at Nick there,” Brouwer said, referring to Nicklas Backstrom.
Backstrom declined to divulge what led to the post-game fireworks.
“That’s what happens,” he said. “I don’t know.”