The play occurred with 3:22 remaining in the first period of Tuesday’s Game 4 when Staal, during a Wild power play, was looking to establish position in the slot as his teammates moved the puck around the perimeter. Morrissey connected to the face/neck area and Staal went down to the ice immediately. He was slow to get to his skates and gingerly made his way to the bench while the play continued.
Despite how blatant Morrissey’s cross-check was, it was missed by the referees.
The Jets made it 1-0 moments later when back at even strength thanks to Mark Scheifele’s second of the post-season.
Staal was able to return to the game early in the second period but the Jets ended up adding an empty-netter and winning 2-0 to take a 3-1 series lead as the teams head back to Winnipeg for a Game 5 showdown Friday.
Watch the play and have your say below.
“I’ve never been suspended. I don’t think I’m a dirty player,” Morrissey told reporters following the game. “It was a complete accident.”
Jets head coach Paul Maurice admitted it was a missed call but denounced any notion that it was an intentionally dirty play.
Meanwhile, Wild bench boss Bruce Boudreau had a different take.
“The refs decided not to call it because we were already on the power play,” Boudreau said. “It cost us the game.”