I haven’t been able to find any video of the hit (not even on Youtube … what is this world coming to?), but Damian Cristodero of the St. Petersburg Times reports that the NHL handed Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Mattias Ritola a two game suspension for a hit he delivered to New York Islanders forward Matt Moulson.
Early in the second period, Ritola left his feet along the boards, leading with his backside and putting his elbow to the back of Moulson’s head, sending Moulson into the side boards. Ritola was assessed a five-minute major for charging. Moulson stayed in the game, scoring New York’s first goal.
“If it’s a hit that deserves suspension, you have to live with what you do,” Lightning head coach Guy Boucher said Wednesday after the game. “I know him, he’s not a cheap shot guy at all, he’s a skilled guy.”
Charging hits can be awfully dangerous, so I am glad that the NHL punished him … especially considering the fact that Ritola’s own coach admitted that he should be suspended for the hit. We will provide video (either within this post later on or as a separate update) if it becomes available from the NHL.