The game between the San Jose Sharks and the New York Islanders boiled into a slugfest. Resulting in Sharks start defenseman Brent Bruns taking out Matt Martin with a slew-foot.
Already down 4-1 to the San Jose Sharks, the New York Islanders wanted to let the Sharks know they weren’t going to be walked all over. So the Cizikas, Martin, Clutterbuck line did what they do best, let their fists do the talking.
But in the ensuing scrum, Brent Burns took down Matt Martin. And not by going toe to toe with the Islanders slugger. It was using a little of the dark arts to get the one-up no Martin. Burns would sweep Martin’s legs in a clear example of slew-footing.
Burns would get a minor penalty for tripping and a game misconduct. And that’s going to be all he gets from the NHL.
Ain’t Getting More
The NHL is very clear with its definition of what slew-footing is. And what Brent Burns did fits that description to a tee.
"Slew-footing is the act of a player using his leg or foot to knock or kick an opponent’s feet from under him, or pushes an opponent’s upper body backward with an arm or elbow, and at the same time with a forward motion of his leg, knocks or kicks the opponent’s feet from under him, causing him to fall violently to the ice."
Again, Burns got a misconduct penalty and a tripping minor on the play. According to this write up from the NHL fines and suspensions are possible, so long as the commissioner deems it appropriate.
In this situation, because Burns got the game misconduct. The league isn’t likely to pursue any sort of supplementary discipline for Burns
Any slew-foot is dangerous. Sure, it wasn’t like that Brad Marchand in that video from the NHL. But taking the legs out from under a player is dangerous for the player falling to the ice and those around him. As that player falls, the two Ginsu blades on his feet typically fly up in the air.
I’d like to think that Burns deserves more. But my rationale for this is simply because of the cowardly nature of the act. If you don’t want to fight don’t. It’s not that hard to wrap up a player and not kick him to the ice.
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With my fan bias aside I don’t think that Burns deserves more. He got a game misconduct with just under half of the third period left to play. That’s a huge loss and a huge gain for the Islanders in terms of the game. Too bad it was already 4-1 at that point.