With an Olympic gold medal and enormous four-point game against Tampa Bay in his rear-view mirror, Flyers’ captain Mike Richards is likely not concerned with facing Florida Panthers forward David Booth for the first time since knocking him out with a snot-bubble hit on Oct. 24.
However, the same can’t be said for Booth, who has played just eight games since returning from a serious concussion caused by the impact.
“We’ve got to get two points, that’s the bottom line,” Booth told the Sun Sentinal’s Steve Gorten, about facing the Flyers at home on Wednesday. “But it’ll be an interesting game, sure.”
According to the Daily News, the NHL has ruled that Mike Richards’ hit on Florida’s David Booth in Saturday’s 5-1 victory at the Wachovia Center, was a hockey hit within the game’s legal parameters.
Both Florida’s Keith Ballard and Florida general manager Randy Sexton were enraged by the hit, calling it intent to injure and demanding a suspension. Flyers’ general manager Paul Holmgren snapped back, saying that if Sexton thinks it’s an illegal hit, he needs to “watch more hockey games.”
Credit goes to the league for seeing this hit for what it was — violent but not illegal. Credit also should go to the league office for staying consistent in their rulings. Often seen as inconsistent with suspensions especially when it comes to the Flyers, the NHL did not suspend Dion Phaneuf for a similar violent collision in the preseason and ruled in an identical fashion in favor of Richards.
Late in the second period of Saturday’s Flyers – Panthers contest, Mike Richards did his best Scott Stevens impression, colliding with Florida’s David Booth on the blue line, knocking the 24-year-old out cold.