Our inaugural Cheater! is none other than predator's own Martin Erat (RW, #10). His boarding penalty came with less than one minute left in the game, where the Predators where defending a 3-2 lead. Take a look at the penalty.
Basically, you can't hit a guy from behind into the boards. But here is the official rule 42:
42.1 Boarding – A boarding penalty shall be imposed on any player or goalkeeper who checks an opponent in such a manner that causes the opponent to be thrown violently in the boards. The severity of the penalty, based upon the degree of violence of the impact with the boards, shall be at the discretion of the Referee.
Football Equivalent/Analogy: Clipping.There is an enormous amount of judgment involved in the application of this rule by the Referees. The onus is on the player (or goalkeeper) applying the check to ensure his opponent is not in a vulnerable position and if so, he must avoid the contact. ...
As in most sports, there are smart penalties and dumb penalties. A tripping a player on a breakaway to the net can be smart. Erat's decision to take this boarding call, however, was not. The Preds were outnumbered 6-to-5, because the Islanders had pulled their goalie in the hopes of scoring a goal to tie the game up. With less than a minute remaining, the odds of scoring a goal on a 6-5 are not particularly good. Erat's hit neither clear the puck from the zone, nor prevents a shot on goal. No, the hit is simply a hit.
The result is a penalty, which gives the Islanders a chance to stop play and call a time out. The faceoff moves to the Islanders offensive zone. Now the Predators are outnumbered 6-to-4. The islanders score soon after. The islanders go on to win the game in a shootout, and the Predators get only one point in the standings, instead of 2.
I plan on posting this same poll for each Cheater!. Share any additional thoughts below in the comment section.