Video: Capitals’ Johansson suspended two games for hit to head of Islanders’ Hickey


Washington Capitals forward Marcus Johansson has been suspended two games for an illegal hit to the head of New York Islanders defenseman Thomas Hickey.

The hit occurred in the first period of Thursday’s game and resulted in a minor penalty to Johansson. Hickey did play the remainder of the game.

But on Friday, the league deemed the incident was worthy of supplemental discipline.

In the video, the NHL Department of Player Safety determined that Johansson could’ve delivered a “potentially legal hit” but instead, he extended “upward, delivering a blow directly to the head of Hickey. This extension makes the head the main point of contact on a hit where head contact is avoidable.”

Naturally, following the game, Capitals coach Barry Trotz defended his player and the hit.

“Their guy was putting the puck into the zone. Marcus came into him and got him with a shoulder. Marcus is not that type of player at all,” said Trotz.

“It’s unfortunate, but (Hickey) was bent over when he shot it. His head came down a little bit and Marcus was trying to hit him through the crest (on his jersey). I didn’t think there was anything malice or anything vicious on it. It was just a hard hit.”

The Capitals have two games this weekend: On the road against the New York Rangers on Saturday and at home against the Ottawa Senators on Sunday.