According to Nick Kypreos of Sportsnet, Flyers forward Claude Giroux will need to explain himself to Brendan Shanahan later this morning.
Kypreos reports Giroux will meet with the league at 11 a.m. ET today over his late head shot to Devils forward Dainius Zubrus. Giroux’s hit came late in the second period and earned him a two-minute penalty for an illegal check to the head.
Giroux’s hit and now apparent meeting with the league now puts his status for Game 5 in doubt. If the Flyers have to go into an elimination game without their top offensive player, their outlook for survival is bleak. For what it’s worth, TSN’s Bob McKenzie says Giroux’s hit was a textbook Rule 48 violation and the last time we heard that from him was in regard to Raffi Torres’ hit on Marian Hossa.
One of the more memorable plays from the Capitals’ 3-2 win over the Rangers was seeing Alex Ovechkin lay a huge hit on Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi during the second period. Ovechkin was given a minor penalty for charging thanks to him leaving his feet to make the hit. Take a look at the video and see for yourself.
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After the game, Caps coach Dale Hunter told Stephen Whyno of The Washington Times he thought the hit wasn’t as menacing as it appeared.
“It was more incidental contact where both of them were protecting themselves and trying to get out of the way,” Hunter said.
Dan Girardi told Andrew Gross of Ranger Rants he didn’t want to make a big deal out of the play but did say Ovechkin hit him in the head.
“He hit my head a bit there, I think it was the right cal,” Girardi said. “I’m not sure what it was, charging or interference. My head’s kind of there, I think he’s just playing the game hard.”
Meanwhile, Ovechkin said he thought the hit was shoulder-to-shoulder. Chris Botta of Sports Business Journal said the thought after the game was that there would be no supplementary discipline for Ovechkin even in spite of him being a repeat offender.
Last night we saw Coyotes defenseman Rostislav Klesla shove Predators forward Matt Halischuk from behind resulting in an ugly first period hit some thought would be suspension-worthy.
Turns out it was as the NHL will be meeting with Klesla on Sunday afternoon to see if he’ll be sitting out of Game 5 in Glendale on Monday night. Should Klesla wind up being suspended, the Coyotes will be losing their top defender and surprise offensive contributor.
Through the playoffs, Klesla has two goals and four assists and is fourth on the team in points. Losing him would make things a bit harder on Phoenix as they’d be looking to clinch the series. Halischuk was not seriously hurt on the play as he left the game briefly but returned.