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Canadiens goalie Carey Price mercilessly pummels opponent who slid into him

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Should he have been thrown out?

The Montreal Canadiens are currently ravaged with injuries, so maybe that explains why goalie Carey Price threw haymakers at a poor New Jersey Devils player who entered his crease on Thursday.

Or maybe he’s just really territorial. Like, really territorial. Like a mother bear protecting her cubs from a hungry wolf.

In this case, the cubs were his net and the wolf was Devils forward Kyle Palmieri.

Hockey purists might criticize Palmieri for not fighting back, but man ... I’d do the same thing if a goalie was unleashing his goalie wrath on me.

As our Devils’ blog pointed out, Price is lucky he wasn’t ejected for the play according to Rule 51.3:

51.3 Match Penalty - If, in the judgment of the Referee, a goalkeeper uses his blocking glove to punch an opponent in the head or face in an attempt to or to deliberately injure an opponent, a match penalty must be assessed.

He was penalized, but the lack of a match penalty may leave the door open for supplemental discipline from the league. At any rate, fewer players will test Price’s crease after this.