The NHL made the right call with Jamie Benn's check during game two

The Dallas Stars got very lucky in game two when Jamie Benn checked Devon Toews behind the net on Thursday night. After a lengthy review, it was determined that Benn's check was clean and could remain in the game. Here's why the NHL got the call right.
May 9, 2024; Dallas, Texas, USA; Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon (29) and defenseman Cale
May 9, 2024; Dallas, Texas, USA; Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon (29) and defenseman Cale / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

About every Dallas Stars fan had a PTSD episode during game two on Thursday when Jamie Benn leveled Devon Toews behind the net. Everyone started having flashbacks to when Jamie Benn was ejected during the Western Conference Finals last season for the rouge check on Mark Stone. Player safety has been a concern with aggressive checking. Here's why the NHL got the call correct on Thursday night and allowed Benn to continue playing.

Before I continue with the article, Blackout Dallas was happy to see Toews return to the game after leaving the ice to get checked out. You never want to win a playoff game while injuring someone on the other team. While hockey is a vicious sport, players know the risks of getting rattled by an agressive check. Let's look back at the check and review what went through the replay officials' minds when reviewing the penalty.

The first thing that the replay officials looked at was whether Benn went for Toews's head. If you watch the replay slowly, you can see both player's shoulders touched before any contact with the head. Secondly, look at Wyatt Johnston after Benn checks Toews. He gets another shot from Johnston, so Toews gets hit by two players instead of one. Since Benn didn't hit him in the head first, there was technically no penalty on the check. That's why I understood why they went to review the check in the first place.

Now imagine the outcry from our fanbase if the roles were reversed if Toews checked Benn hard, and there was no penalty after the fact. The referees can officiate the next round based on how they do in each round of the playoffs. Twitter would have blown up calling for the officials to be excused from the remainder of the second round if the Stars didn't get a call. That's why I was happy to see the officials review the check because, in real-time, it did look like Benn went up high and checked him.

Here's a check attempt from the second round of the playoffs that should have ejected Jacob Trouba. Watch how he launches his entire body at the Hurricanes player. That is the literal definition of targeting in college football, and he would have been ejected immediately if he played football in college. This is what the NHL is trying to prevent players from doing to protect them from any long-term side effects of a concussion.

In conclusion, Stars fans should be happy that the league did take a look at the check to make sure it was legal. They were trying to protect Benn and Toews from any long-term effects of a concussion that could shorten the remainder of their NHL career. It was nice to see both players finish game two. Expect the physicality to ramp up for game three later tonight.

Check out our latest Blackout Dallas Articles