By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
Charlie McAvoy had another impactful game for the Bruins on Monday. But there’s a chance the young defenseman also got in trouble with Player Safety.
With just 20 seconds left in the second period of the Bruins’ Game 6 win, McAvoy delivered a check that clipped the Blue Jackets’ Josh Anderson in the head. Replays show that McAvoy led with his shoulder and his feet didn’t leave the ice until after the hit. But the head contact with Anderson is clear.
McAvoy was assessed a two-minute minor penalty for an illegal check to the head. The question, now, is whether the NHL’s Department of Player Safety gets involved.
McAvoy only gets two minutes for this. Wow. pic.twitter.com/5c1XtSetR4— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) May 7, 2019
Kings defenseman Drew Doughty got a one-game suspension during last year’s playoffs for a similar hit against the Golden Knights’ William Carrier. The league would have to determine that, like Doughty, McAvoy hit Anderson’s head as the principal point of contact and it was avoidable.
McAvoy’s lack of a history with Player Safety could help his case, as could the fact that Anderson avoided a serious injury and stayed in the game. It would be cool if they factored in the postgame handshake, where a smiling Anderson appeared to quickly squash any beefs with McAvoy over the hit…
…But that’s not going to matter. Considering the precedent set by Doughty’s hit last year, it wouldn’t be stunning if McAvoy had to sit a game. But the hit wasn’t delivered with malicious intent and apparently didn’t hurt Anderson, so it McAvoy could very well avoid further punishment altogether.
The Bruins already avoided a suspension for Brad Marchand for his jab to the back of Scott Harrington’s head. Let’s see if they go 2-for-2.
Update: According to TSN’s Bob McKenzie and others, McAvoy will have a hearing with Player Safety over his hit to Anderson’s head.
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at email@example.com.