I’ve come to accept that anything I say about Aaron Rome’s hit on Nathan Horton will come across as blatant homerism so I’ll keep this post short.
Reading some of the comments on Twitter last night you’d have thought that Rome took a 200-foot run at Horton, but according to TSN, it took 28 frames from the time Horton delivered his pass to the time Rome hit him. Again from TSN, 30 frames is equivalent to one second of real-time and the NHL generally allows 15 frames (or half a second) before it’s considered late. Yes, Rome’s hit was late, but it was less than half a second late. To be precise, it was 0.4 seconds late.
But just because the hit was late, it doesn’t mean it was dirty. Certainly, Rome has no history of head-hunting. Sometimes, the game is just too fast, something even Brad Marchand conceded after the game:
Marchand on hit: Always gonna be there. Things happen too quick. Guys put themslvs in vulnerable pos. Lots of times you don’t mean to do it.
Boston supporters should know this full well after Zdeno Chara sent Max Pacioretty to the hospital with a broken neck because Chara hit Pacioretty a fraction of a second late. (For what it’s worth, remember that Chara wasn’t suspended for that hit.)
I’m not even sure it was a blind-side hit considering both players were going north-south and Horton was admiring his pass going down center ice. However, I’ll admit I could be wrong on this if there are other angles of the play I haven’t seen.
Maybe it’s because I grew up watching Scott Stevens lay these kinds of hits out all time, but whatever happened to keeping your head up?
Regardless, friend or foe, you never want to see anyone get seriously hurt playing this game so I recognize that Rome should face some supplementary discipline. He has a disciplinary hearing scheduled for 11 AM this morning (Boston time). As well, the Bruins have already announced that Horton will miss the rest of the series. At the end of the day, Rome will be suspended and I don’t think Canucks fans will argue. Heck, they’ve been trying to get him off the lineup for months now anyway.
According to Dan Murphy from Sportsnet, Aaron Rome has been suspended for the rest of this Stanley Cup Finals series.