At 10:18 of the second period on Saturday night, Anaheim Ducks forward Corey Perry chased a puck to the end boards of the Dallas Stars' defensive zone. Stars defenseman Stephane Robidas had two gloves on Perry's back, pressuring him. Perry lost an edge, Robidas completed the check as Perry was falling, and the Ducks star crashed into the end boards.
Perry would return to the game, and Robidas received a boarding minor, but Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau said that's not the point. "Even if he didn't extend his arms, he pushed him, or if he didn't, he held him and pushed him and held his arm to where he couldn't protect himself," Boudreau said after the game, via Dallas Stars Blog. "That Robidas guy does it every game. He gets away with murder all the time."
Boudreau said continued:
"If the Corey penalty (a Stephane Robidas hit on Corey Perry that received two minutes for boarding) wasn't a five-minute penalty, then I don't know what is. He's in the most vulnerable position, head first going into the boards and he's getting a shove. Whether it's a big shove or a little shove, it's a shove of a defenseless person into the boards."
As the Ducks have faltered down the stretch, Boudreau has increased his rancor about the officiating. Which is something he used to do in Washington from time to time as well.
Was this a blown call? In watching the replay on GameCenter Live, it appeared Perry lost an edge and Robidas completed his hit to the end boards without compensating for it. Did he lose his edge because of the initial contact? Debatable. As Erin Bolen notes on Defending Big D:
"It takes a lot (read: significant head or neck injury) to get a major for boarding when the attempt is at a hockey play rather than a head-hunting type play, so while Boudreau makes an argument that it should have been five minutes, that wouldn't follow the NHL's precedent."
The NHL has likely looked at this already. It comes down to a shove vs. a player blowing a tire. If it's the former, it's just a fine at best, especially with Perry uninjured on the play.
UPDATE: Via Eric Stephens of Ducks Blog, "Corey Perry update: Receiving more treatment on right shoulder today and remains day to day. No practice."