Islanders: Todd Reirden falsely calls Anders Lee hit “predatory”

Anders Lee #27 of the New York Islanders (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Anders Lee #27 of the New York Islanders (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

Todd Rierden called New York Islanders Anders Lee hit on Nicklas Backstrom “predatory”. He’s wrong.

After the New York Islanders 4-2 win over the Washington Capitals in Game 1, Capitals coach Todd Reirden called Anders Lee’s hit on Nikolas Backstrom in the opening minutes of the first period “predatory“.

Anders Lee was given a two-minute interference penalty on the play. Nicklas Backstrom would not return for the remainder of the game. That’s all that Anders Lee deserved for that play.

It’s shocking to me that Todd Reirden of all people would call Lee’s hit on Backstrom “predatory” when he has Tom Wilson on his roster. Tom Wilson, after all, is a notorious predator in the NHL.

That’s Not Predatory

Anders Lee’s contact with Nicklas Backstrom is clearly interference. No one should be questioning that claim. It’s late contact on a player that didn’t have the puck.

Here’s a link to the hit.

Again, there’s no question this hit is late and that it’s interference. But to call it something more than is rich coming from Todd Reirden who thought this hit by Tom Wilson on Brett Seney was interference at best:

If that hit by Tom Wilson is interference than so is Anders Lee’s hit on Nicklas Backstrom.

John Carlsson who tussled with Anders Lee after the hit called Lee’s actions “dirty“. Tom Wilson clearly thought the same as Lee and the Caps winger fought later in the contest.

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Todd Reirden’s comments are there to spark his team. To create a larger ‘them vs. us’ mentality in his team and give them a rallying point for Game 2.

I’d be surprised if Anders Lee got any supplemental discipline from the league after this play. It’s interference and that’s it. He got his two-minute minor for the play and had to answer to two angry Capitals players on the ice for putting a finger on their star center.