Early in the first period, on a play that would result in the New York Rangers goal, Derek Stepan and Washington’s Mike Green had multiple altercations. Early in the shift Green would cross-check Stepan behind the net, which went uncalled, and then when the puck worked back to the corner Stepan and Green would collide with Green tumbling to the ice after being contacted in the head. So was this a headshot? Will Stepan be subject to suspension?
Here’s the video:
Larry Brooks of the NY Post is reporting that the NHL will review this hit by Stepan and he indicates that he expects a suspension. When I watched the video live I thought it was an elbow to the head, but on the video it does not appear it was the elbow that contacted Green. It does look like Stepan was expected to battle with him and clearly swings out the elbow. I do not know if that will matter because there clearly is direct contact to the head.
The fact that Green was coming off concussion/inner ear trauma the last few weeks and that he did not return to the game certainly works against Stepan here. The NHL might take into consideration the cross-check which could have injured Stepan earlier in the shift, but I would not be surprised if with the heightened caution over concussions to see Brooks be right and Stepan get a punishment.
What do you think?
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