It was the right call, but a clipping penalty to Canucks defenseman Keith Ballard at 16:35 of the second period had the 18,860 in attendance at Rogers Arena Thursday night up in arms.
Ballard, who is known for his well-timed hip checks, caught Nashville forward Jordin Tootoo just inside the Canucks' blue line. The gritty Predator went up and over, much to the delight of Canucks fans – but the cheers quickly turned to boos when Ballard was assessed a minor penalty.
"I guess I went too low, I know it's a rule, I've got the penalty before," Ballard said. "I just can't hit the guy too low. I don't know if I did or not."
The clipping call, if you're wondering, Rule 44.1 in the NHL Rule book. It states, "Clipping is the act of throwing the body, from any direction, across or below the knees of an opponent."
For his part, Tootoo didn't have a problem with the hit.
"It's part of the game," he said. "If you're going to dish it out, you got to be able to receive it, so it's no big deal to me."
Ballard wasn't protesting the call.
"I hit him at the knees, he called the penalty and that's the way it goes, the guys did a great job killing it," he said. "It's not my call, they have a hard job to do and they do a pretty good job."