UPDATE: NHL suspends Colby Armstrong for two games for hit on Capitals’ Mathieu Perreault. Evander Kane will take his place in the lineup. MORE TO COME.
One play that got lost in the Thrashers’ 2-1 defeat to the Capitals on Thursday night could mean a suspension for Colby Armstrong under the NHL’s new hit to the head rule.
In the second period, Armstrong collided with the Capitals’ Mathieu Perreault. Armstrong’s hand appeared to come in high and hit Perreault in the head.
“I just banged a forecheck on him,” Armstrong said after the game. “I had a pretty good line on him. He’s a pretty good little shifty player and I think he kind of bailed out there at the end. I saw the replay. If anything I just tried to get a piece of him. I didn’t mean to get my arms up in his kitchen like that. It just happened so fast. I just tried to get a piece of him. I talked to the ref afterward and he said he ducked out of the way and fell backward.”
Armstrong was given a holding penalty, as was the Capitals’ Shaone Morrisonn, in the ensuing fracas.
As for a possible suspension, Armstrong said: “I don’t know. It’s a tough call. I’m sure [the league] will look at it. I think it was just one of those plays where you go over the guy. I don’t know what they are going to do. We’ll see what happens.”
The hit was not a blindside, but the league could find there was intent to injure as stated in the rule, which was only recently enacted.
“It was a clear elbow to the face,” Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau said. “Anytime it’s an elbow to the head. It was flagrant. An elbow to the head is an elbow to the head.”
What do you think?