St. Louis was the site of a five-player pile-up Thursday night after Blues defenseman Vince Dunn delivered a crushing blow on Calgary Flames forward Andrew Mangiapane.
Nobody threw any punches, but journeyman instigator Zac Rinaldo, now playing for the Flames, played contrary to his usual role by defending his teammate rather than dealing the first shot. Fortunately, Mangiapane got up from the hit quickly and without injury.
Officials only penalized Rinaldo for the retaliation and not Dunn for the hit, which was questionable, making Calgary's anger understandable in the moment. In slow motion, however, it appears Dunn did not leave his feet or make direct contact with Mangiapane's head. Dunn made clean shoulder-to-shoulder hit, and any contact with the head is secondary and unintentional.
However, the NHL Department of Player Safety can, and probably will, take a further look at the hit to determine whether discipline is necessary. Even if the on-ice officials do not call a penalty, the league can still hand down suspensions and/or fines.