GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Blackhawks forward Andrew Shaw didn't waste any words when talking about his run-in with Phoenix Coyotes goalie Mike Smith that resulted in him being ejected.
"I did not try to hit him at all," Shaw said. "I tried getting out of the way. Unfortunately, I did make contact."
Here's the video:
The play happened at 7:11 in the second period as Smith played the puck behind his net and Shaw went after it. Shaw's head actually made contact with Smith's facemask. Shaw received a five-minute major penalty for charging and was ejected.
Goalies are not "fair game" outside the crease, according to NHL rules, and the onus is on the opposing player to avoid contact. Shaw has a hearing Monday with disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan.
Smith, who has a history of concussions, lay on the ice for several minutes and was examined by Coyotes staff, but he remained in the game despite appearing to be hurt at first.
Shaw said he was glad that Smith was OK and able to stay in the game.
"It sucks when that kind of stuff happens, but I'm just glad that he was OK," Shaw said. "He went to play the puck and his stick came up towards my face. I tried to get out of the way of it and unfortunately made a little contact."
Of course, Smith and the Coyotes had a different take. Smith did not meet the media himself because he was getting treatment after the game. But the team's public relations department took questions to him from the media.
"I went back to play the puck and I didn't see [Shaw] coming," Smith told them. "I don't have eyes in the back of my head."
"I feel fine," Smith said. "I'm 100 percent."
Coyotes coach Dave Tippett and veteran Shane Doan both made sure to call Shaw's hit a head shot.
"I mean he hits a goalie the head," Doan said. "They want to get rid of blows to the head, period. Trust me, I know. It's a blow to our goalie's head behind the net and I know that the GM's had talked about how that's something they definitely want to make sure that doesn't ever get into the game, and we've got to protect our goalies."
Said Tippett: "The league will look at that. Obviously, that's contact at the head and it doesn't matter if it's a goaltender or a player. That's blindside contact to the head."
Hawks captain Jonathan Toews conferred with the on-ice officials while Smith lay on the ice and Shaw sat in the penalty box. Toews said the referees took Smith's condition into account when deciding to give Shaw more than a two-minute minor.
"I don't know if it came down to whether the officials thought Smith was going to stay in the game or not," Toews said. "Obviously, they thought he was done and that's probably why we got the five-minute penalty.
"From what I saw, Shaw wasn't trying to go in there and take his head off or anything. If anything, he didn't even try and protect himself. I mean it's a quick play. As far as I know, he was trying to avoid contact there. It's unfortunate that happens. We'll see what happens."
(Image source: AP)