Update: Here is what Craig Button of the NHL Network had to say to me about why this hit wasn't discussed on NHL Tonight last night.
"There is so much in a 9 game night & John didn't appear to get injured. If he did, it would have had big play in the show."
I have a hard time believing that, if this hit took place in the Ranger Flyer game it would've been glossed over like it was in this instance.
During the third period of tonights game against the Leafs, defenseman Dion Phaneuf became an even more disliked man in Islander land if that was possible.
At the 11:10 mark of the third period, star center John Tavares came dangling down the ice and got by Phaneuf but had the puck knocked away from him and went to the boards to chase it. Upon getting to the boards, Phaneuf followed behind and hit Tavares directly from behind right into the boards. Tavares was shaken up on the hit but there was no penalty call on the play. Following this, both Kyle Okposo and Matt Carkner began chasing Phaneuf and while this was going on Matt Moulson managed to score his second goal of the game. After the goal, instead of hugging his teammates Moulson was hugging Leafs as a scrum had ensued.
If you remember this isn't Phaneufs first run in with the Islanders. A couple years ago while he was with Calgary Phaneuf hit Kyle Okposo with a questionable open ice hit during a pre season game leaving Okposo with a concussion. Then two years ago Phaneuf hit Tavares with an open ice hit away from the play that went without a call. Some think the no call on that hit was sort of the straw that broke the camels back heading into the infamous Penguins game. Later that season, Phaneuf hit forward Justin Dibenedetto from behind without a call and following that was knocked down on a hit by now former Islander Micheal Haley.
Here is what Matt Carkner had to say to Arthur Staple on Phaneuf, "That's what I'm here for. Guys can't be taking liberties with our best guys."
You be the judge, clean hit or dirty?
Personally, I think Phaneuf is one of the biggest dirt bags in the NHL and rarely ever answers the bell. His time will come though, and after all he has put the Islanders through the last few years, I hope the Islanders are the team fortunate enough to give him what he deserves.