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Gaustad Should Not Be Suspended

Nobody will ever question the toughness and intensity of Paul Gaustad. Nobody has ever accused Gaustad of being a dirty player either. That is until now. Anaheim Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle is upset about the hit that Gaustad put on Ryan Getzlaf in the closing seconds of the Sabres 3-2 loss on Tuesday night.

Carlyle had this to say about the hit...

"That’s one that’s going to be looked at very closely because Gaustad left his feet and hit him with a shoulder, blindsided him," Carlyle said. "It may look like he (Gaustad) got hurt on it. Look at the replay. He’s in the air after he hits him (Getzlaf). So it was one of those that we’re going to have to take a look at."

The hit came at the Sabres blue line while there was a delayed penalty against the Sabres. Gaustad was skating into the Sabres zone and he turned into Getzlaf and the two players collided. Both players were laying on the ice but obviously Getzlaf got the worst of the hit. I have included a clip of the hit but you need to skip to the end to see the hit. It is in the last 20-25 seconds of the video.

I don't blame Carlyle for publicly defendsing his player by saying the hit was dirty. In fact all Sabres fans are aware that Lindy Ruff is the master of this type of thing. Didn't Lindy Ruff just do this last weekend when Gomez hit Miller?

The bottom line is that this was not a dirty hit. You would have a hard time convincing me that Gaustad even knew that Getzlaf was there. Gaustad was turning to go after the puck and Getzlaf was there and it caused a collision. In an effort to brace himself from the hit, Gaustad took out Getzlaf.