NHL Department of Player Safety announced this afternoon the suspension of Tampa Bay Lightning forward Alex Killorn. He’ll be disqualified for one playoff game for boarding New York Islanders Brock Nelson. Considering the nature of the hit, I’m not surprised that the league has gone the suspension route. The NHL has a major inconsistency problem when it comes to discipline; they have to pull the reigns in after a slew of unpunished suspendable hits from the round-robin/play-in series of games.
The video analysis of the reason for the suspension stated that Killorn approached nothing but numbers and made contact well after Nelson released the puck. NHL Player Safety continued by saying, “Delivers a forceful check to the defenseless Nelson, driving him dangerously into the boards.”
During the game, Killorn was assessed a five minute major and a game misconduct. In essence, Killorn will have been disqualified for nearly 2 games. Nelson was notably shaken up by the hit, he immediately dropped to his hands and knees and grabbed his head. Fortunately, Nelson didn’t miss any time on the ice.
The Play in Question
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Nelson was also the target of another questionable hit in the second period. This time at the hands, or stick, of Tampa Bay’s Barclay Goodrow which went unpenalized. In my opinion, Goodrow should have also had a hearing with Player Safety for cross-checking Nelson in the back of his head.
I think that the NHL concussion spotters should be called into question. If a player goes down and is holding their head after a hit on the boards they should be checked for a concussion.
The Lightning will have a tough time getting the series lead to three games in Game 3. Tampa Bay is also without Stamkos who hasn’t been in the lineup since he got injured in training camp. The Lightning could also be without their top goal scorer, Brayden Point, who suffered an injury during the second period of Game 2.