I don't care how many times you watch it, dissect it, over analyze it in slow motion and in real time, this hit shouldn't have happened. Whether the player be Ristolainen or Tom Sestito, these kind of hits are unnecessary and avoidable. Ristolainen had enough time to pull back once it was clear that Guentzel didn't have the puck.
Without getting into the old school hockey and fighting debate, from a strategic standpoint Ristolainen left the Sabres without their top defensemen for most of the game.
I know. We all know what that's about. Fortunately, we can handle it. The Sabres have nothing else in the cupboard.
The Sabres staff must've lost their copy of the rulebook because they're confused about the rules for hockeyball.
Ristolainen gets 5 for interference & a game misconduct 🤔— Buffalo Sabres (@BuffaloSabres) March 21, 2017
But good news! The NHL Department of Player Safety has many willing new applicants who don't see anything wrong with the hit. They think Ristolainen's punishment was harsh and it was a "clean hit." Many think it should've been a minor, if that. To help Player Safety weed through the applications, I've compiled some of the top applicants here:
Ristolainen collided with Guentzel (who apparently likes to skate with his head down), and gets a game misconduct??— Kevin Murphy (@Tha1KevinMurphy) March 21, 2017
If only Ristolainen would have cleared Crosby's calendar for the next month instead of some scrub... #Sabres— The Jack & Sam Show (@SandJShowSabres) March 21, 2017
I'm not sure what the issue is here, Risto was clearly just backing up the truck. #sabres https://t.co/ZjuQg4iGgL— Renee (@rockfool) March 21, 2017
Some of these fine folks have a very developed sense of what's right and what's wrong. Stick tapping a guy in the nuggets is way worse than a possible head injury. (Psst. They're both wrong. But O'Reilly didn't leave the game stumbling and bleeding on the ice.)Risto game misconduct? another example how much of a joke @NHL officiating is... unreal... #Sabres #LearnHowToCallAGame— Jonathon Gondek (@JonathonGondek) March 21, 2017
Earlier in this game. And didn’t get penalized for it.— Tyler The NonCreator (@KingDonutI) March 22, 2017
Also, *** HOT TAKE ALERT *** . . . I thought THAT was worse than Ristolainen’s hit.
What about the nut shot to ROR? If only it were Sid that got smoked by Ristolainen. https://t.co/gt5IMcb4u2— Michael Brill (@14mikeyb) March 21, 2017
@NHL don't do anything about 87 for the PENS who pitchforks players all the time but go ahead and suspend ristolainen like you probably will— Matthew Pearson (@Grizz_716) March 21, 2017
Hey @nhl, how can Crosby hit a guy in the nuts w/ his stick & get away w/ it but Ristolainen delivers a clean hit & gets ejected?— Jeff Kincaid (@JeffedInTheA) March 21, 2017
THEY TOSSED MY RISTOLAINEN. THIS IS BULLSHIT. CROSBY SPEARED ROR IN THE NUTS. NOTHING. FUCK THE PENS. FUCK EVERYTHING— Erin Feral (@ef_forreal) March 21, 2017
To recap: In Buffalo, it ain't no thing to drill someone in the head. Sidney Crosby is a devil who indiscriminately pitchforks guys in the beanbag and deserves to be on the receiving end of Risto the battering ram, and their professional hockey team doesn't know how to hockey.
That's fine. We're going to the playoffs and they'll be drawing horns on pictures of Crosby in their parents' basements.