The league announced that Winnipeg defenseman Dustin Byfuglien has been suspended for four of the Jets’ remaining five games for his “dangerous” crosscheck in the back of the neck to a “defenseless” J.T. Miller. Rangers coach Alain Vigneault called the actions against Miller “violent” and “deliberate,” but the Jets don’t feel Byfuglien is that type of player.
“He’s not a guy that is a dirty player, so he definitely didn’t mean to do that,” Mark Stuart told TSN. “He’s not out there to injure guys.”
Jets captain Andrew Ladd has reviewed the video of the incident and realizes it doesn’t look good, but he feels you lose context when watching what happened in slow motion.
“I think it’s easy to slow it down after the fact,” Ladd said.
“In the course of a game, things happen quick. I know he didn’t mean to get him in the neck. He was probably trying to get him in the back and hit the wrong spot.”
Winnipeg has just a two point edge over Los Angeles in the battle for the final Wild Card spot in the Western Conference and the Kings have played in one less game. Los Angeles also has the edge in ROW, so the tie would go to the Kings.
Byfuglien is a critical player for the Jets, averaging 22:39 minutes per game. He has 18 goals, 45 points, and 122 penalty minutes in 68 contests.