Anton Belov gets a match penalty for a clean check on Claude Giroux

The NHL is working to eliminate checks to the head, however referees are still inconsistent when enforcing the rule.

During Saturday afternoons game between the Edmonton Oilers and Philadelphia Flyers, Anton Belov made shoulder-to-shoulder contact with Claude Giroux, sending him to the ice. The referee gave Belov a match penalty, sending Belov to the dressing room for the remainder of the game.

According to, Rule 21: Match Penalty consist of:  “a penalty involving the suspension of a player for the balance of the game and the offender shall be ordered to the dressing room immediately. A match penalty shall be imposed on any player who deliberately attempts to injure or who deliberately injures an opponent in any manner.”

So, apparently this hit was a deliberate attempt to injure Giroux.

[Snapshot from YouTube video - NHL Network]

[Snapshot from YouTube video - NHL Network]


Oh yeah, and there was no penalty called on this hit.

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This just goes to show that National Hockey league referees could use excess training in when it’s appropriate to call illegal checks to the head.

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Nick Godin

Nick Godin

NHL writer for The Nosebleeds and Sports Rants. Hockey enthusiast. Social media expert. If you despise Jack Edwards you probably won't like me.