The NHL Experts blog is a collaboration of voices from around and inside the game of hockey. With viewpoints ranging from the press box to the front office, the Experts blog will offer unique perspectives through the playoffs to keep readers informed of significant storylines in all aspects of the game.
(UPDATE: This post has been edited to reflect Aaron Rome's four-game suspension as announced by the NHL early Tuesday afternoon.)
When Vancouver Canucks defenseman Aaron Rome leveled Boston Bruins winger Nathan Horton with a very late and totally crushing hit early in the first period of Game 3, the result was not at all good for either team. The Bruins watched their jovial friend and teammate carted off the ice on a stretcher, and the Canucks faced yet another loss of a valuable defenseman.
Rome, who earned himself a five-minute interference major and a game misconduct on the play, hit Horton nearly a second after the puck had left his stick; the league cutoff for a suspension is usually half a second. As a result, the NHL banned the defenseman from the rest of the series, leaving Vancouver in a predicament with which it is all too familiar.