I'm not quite clear on the rule, but isn't there some distance from the boards that determines whether it's boarding or not? I guess he hit him from the side, but I thought there was something in the rule that said if it was a certain gap between the player and the boards it was boarding. I thought the Tootoo hit a couple years ago against the Dallas Larson would have fallen under this rule too. Does it actually exist? If so could that explain things?
Either way, I don't know why players can't fight if they don't like a hit. I wouldn't like getting hit like that. If the players don't like it, and they are the ones playing, shouldn't they be the ones to determine whether they think it is acceptable (regardless of the legality of it)?