Carcillo might get automatic 10- or 20-game suspension

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Most of the time, the length of a suspension is left to the discretion of the NHL’s department of player safety, but the punishments are much stricter when it comes to any physical aggression on a player’s part towards an official.

Consequently, Rangers forward Daniel Carcillo’s playoff run might be over because of his actions during Montreal’s 3-2 overtime victory last night.

Here is the incident in question:

If it is determined that he “applied physical force” against an official “in any manner,” but didn’t intend to cause an injury, then he will be handed a suspension of at least 10 games. If Carcillo “should have known” that his actions “could reasonably be expected to cause injury,” then his suspension will be a minimum of 20 contests. That’s per rules 40.2 and 40.3.

TSN’s Darren Dreger’s “sense” is that one of those two rules will be applied to Carcillo.

The Rangers have a maximum of 11 games left in their postseason run.

There’s also a chance he might get a less severe three-game suspension if they decide that he physically demeaned or deliberately used “physical force to an official solely for the purpose of getting free of such an official.”

That’s rule 40.4 and the least likely to be applied out of the three, in the opinion of TSN’s Bob McKenzie.

“Well, he can’t do that, obviously, what he did there, but we’ll let the league handle that,” Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said.

He went on to argue that if the league called a penalty on Canadiens forward Brandon Prust for his questionable hit on New York’s Derek Stepan, then Carcillo’s actions “probably wouldn’t have happened.”