Frederik Gauthier left the Marlies second-round playoff game against the Syracuse Crunch on Saturday after a hit that left him down on the ice for a bit.

Yes, that hit was by Jake Dotchin, late of the Tampa Bay Lightning and now back on the Crunch again as they make a strong showing in the playoffs.

The hit happened away from the play, and the video quality the AHL offers at a high price is so poor, this is really hard to judge.  Obviously that won’t stop people.

Dotchin was given a five minute major and a game misconduct for interference on the play.  I watched this on the game stream twice and I can’t tell what happened exactly.  People who were there, said this:

Dotchin is a man with history.

The hit on Kapanen was in the AHL and led to him missing time just when he was inching towards getting a callup.

Kasperi Kapanen injured just as promotion speculation was heating up - Pension Plan Puppets

It looked like this:

And the contact with Auston Matthews, we can see in glorious high definition like it isn’t 1995 anymore.

The best part of this one is that Vlad Namestnikov accidentally crosschecks Dotchin right after.

Wait...accidentally?  Yeah, I don’t think Namestnikov did that on purpose, and it’s hard for me to assume that the knee on knee was intentional either.  Super slo-mo does not actually show you inside a person’s mind. At best, it was careless, however.

In the NHL, Dotchin was very much part of Tampa’s amazing near-playoff performance with half the team injured.  He was called up and played legitimately well on the top pair with Victor Hedman.  He was tough, hit hard, and is more famous for getting speared in the groin by Brad Marchand than for anything he did himself.

You want to see that again. Why not?

But in the AHL, Dotchin is very much an AHL-style creature. Old school.  He hits hard.  He hits late.  He hits low.  And when you see that, just like with the hit on Andreas Johnsson last year, you need to look at the player and ask why this works to get you notice in the NHL. But you have to look at the coach too.

The coach of the Albany Devils was the AHL coach of the year last year.  He put the man on the ice that sent Johnsson out of the playoffs with a concussion after a game and a half.  Benoit Groulx is the new coach of the Crunch, and he was one of the coaches at the All-Star game because he’d brought the Crunch out of hard times and up to the top of their division.  That’s the Marlies’ division.

A good coach in the AHL plays guys like this to do things like this, and they won’t get stopped until they pay a price for it.  As long as they think this is part of their success—it’s not, Albany was good because of structure, and Syracuse this year has a hot roster of NHL-seasoned players—they’ll keep doing it.

And as the AHL becomes more and more of a development league, more and more very young players will be seriously injured in incidents like this.

Speech over, go back to your hate-on for Dotchin. He’s not my best friend today either.

Does what Dotchin has done change how you feel about Marchand’s spear?

Yeah, and I’m not sorry.461
No, spearing a guy in the nads is “just part of the game”.32
Yeah, and I feel conflicted.95
No, that kind of thing is always wrong. Except on Corey Perry.134