Colorado Avalanche: DoPS Should Look at Dubnyk’s Tackle of Kerfoot

DENVER, CO - JANUARY 04:Alexander Kerfoot
DENVER, CO - JANUARY 04:Alexander Kerfoot /

Minnesota Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk should have to answer to the Department of Player Safety for his attack on Colorado Avalanche rookie Alexander Kerfoot.

The Colorado Avalanche honored legend Milan Hejduk first by raising his no. 23 to the rafters and then by slaughtering the Minnesota Wild 7-2. The game was hotly contested, especially on the Avalanche’s side. They out-hit the Wild 28 to 13.

However, midway through the third period, with the Avs up 5-2, Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk seemed to be getting frustrated. And it finally boiled over.

Avalanche center Alexander Kerfoot was driving to the net because that’s what good players do — and he’s beginning to make that his office. Wild forward Matt Cullen tripped him up from behind, and Kerfoot went spinning into the crease — and into Dubnyk.

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The big goalie (6-foot-6, 218 pounds) jumped on little Kerfoot (5-foot-10, 175 pounds) and whacked the off-balance forward with his stiff blocker. Kerfoot crumpled to the ice, and Dubnyk jumped on his back. He wrestled Kerfoot’s helmet off his head and then proceeded to try to smash Kerfoot’s face into the ice.

Remember that Dubnyk has about 50 pounds (especially when you consider all that goalie equipment) on the rookie Kerfoot. Yet the goalie wrestled him like he was trying to hogtie the Harvard grad — and all this while Kerfoot is in a vulnerable position with his helmet gone. Even Wild defenseman Matt Dumba, himself no gentleman, was trying to dissuade Dubnyk:

Luckily, Kerfoot was uninjured. He got assessed a two minute minor for interference — which was not a good call — and Dubnyk got four minutes for roughing, which was a good call. The Avalanche got revenge by scoring on the ensuing power play — Nathan MacKinnon, naturally. That goal got Dubnyk yanked.

Later, Nikita Zadorov got more physical revenge:

After the game, Dubnyk tried to rationalize his actions:

"“Just a couple frustrating plays. I think you watch a soft call at the other end. Zucks is driving to the net, and he has no way to stop. The goalie barely gets touched, and they score the fifth goal.”"

Ok, first of all, Jason Zucker got called for interference on Mikko Rantanen, so it doesn’t matter whether goalie Jonathan Bernier is touched or not — Rantanen went flying. Secondly, Alexander Kerfoot spinning across the ice is the very definition of “no way to stop.”

Dubnyk further, well, whined:

"“Start to get a little upset. Seems like the only way you can get a goalie interference call is to lie on your back, and I’m not about to do that in a 5-2 game. I just wish I knew they were somehow going to make us shorthanded there. I’m not sure how that worked, but it would have been nice to at least get my extra minutes’ worth.”"

You’re not sure how that worked, Doobs? You sucker punched an off-balance player with your big blocker, tackled him to the ice, stripped his helmet off, and proceeded to try and grind his face into the ice. Even Brenden Shanahan got penalized when he did that to Rene Corbet in The Great Brawl, and that was the wild 1990s.

All in all, that was a very dangerous play. If the Department of Player Safety is serious about player safety — since it’s in their name and all — they should be looking at plays like these.

Next: Kerfoot's 1st NHL Goal

Luckily, Colorado Avalanche rookie Alexander Kerfoot appeared to be fine. He returned to the game after his penalty. He also recorded a two-point night, earning assists on both of Carl Soderberg‘s goals.