How often do we see a penalty for clipping? It's rare enough that when Andrej Meszaros was whistled for a clip in the third period on Thursday night, I had to pull out my trusty NHL Rulebook to see exactly what the wording was on the rule.
44.1 Clipping - Clipping is the act of throwing the body, from any direction, across or below the knees of an opponent.
A player may not deliver a check in a "clipping" manner, nor lower his own body position to deliver a check on or below an opponent’s knees.
An illegal "low hit" is a check that is delivered by a player or goalkeeper who may or may not have both skates on the ice, with his sole intent to check the opponent in the area of his knees. A player may not lower his body position to deliver a check to an opponent’s knees.
Well, yep. There's no denying it was a clip. Apparently he did something the officials didn't like, too, because they sent him to the box for unsportsmanlike conduct as well, and this came with less than four minutes left in a one-goal game. Meszaros didn't seem too happy about it when I asked him what happened after the game, though, as you can see in the video in our post-game recap from last night.
Q: What happened on that hit there at the end?
"I don't know. I went to hit that guy, and I don't know. The referee called it so, I don't care, I mean, I don't think it was a penalty but he thought it, so he gave me 2 minutes plus 2 unsportsman...tough one."
Q: Was the unsportsmanlike for the hit or something you said afterwards?
"I didn't say anything bad, I just threw my stick in the penalty box, I guess that's why. I don't know. I told him something after the game, but I'm not going to say it, but during [the hit] I didn't say anything."
Meszaros has been a physical player with the Flyers, and it's a part of his game that's really helped him become a pretty nice defenseman on the third pairing. He didn't admit it to me, but it seemed like he was extra feisty last night, perhaps because he was playing against his old team. The emotions got away from him a bit at the end last night, obviously, and as a result, he very well could've cost the Flyers the game. Gotta learn to walk that line.